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Tradition & Innovation

Hannah's Prayer from Berakhot 31b

By Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin

Master of the Universe, Have you created anything in vain?
Our eyes you made for seeing and our ears for hearing, our
mouths for speaking, our noses for smelling, our hands for
working.
And our breasts.
Did you not also create our breasts to suckle a babe?
Grant me a child, O Lord, that he may be nourished from me.
O Lord, you reign over all the hosts, the angels above and
the mortals below. The angels above do not propagate.
They do not multiply.
They do not die.
Mortals below are fruitful,
And multiply,
And die.
If I am an angel,
then let me live forever.
but if I am mortal,
Then grant me a child
So I can do my part
In perpetuating humankind.

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