Hannah Senesh: “Here almost every life is the fulfillment of a mission.”

Today I’m thinking about these two short excerpts written by Hannah Senesh in her journal on September 23, 1939 and September 21, 1941 respectively.

Yesterday, on Erev Yom Kippur, I was very low. I mean spiritually. I made an accounting of what I had left behind and what I had found here, and I didn’t know whether the move would prove worthwhile. For a moment I lost sight of the goal. I deliberately let myself go because once in a while one must completely relax from all one’s tensions and from being constantly on guard. It felt good to let go, to cry for once. But even behind the tears I felt I had done the right thing. This is where my life’s ambition—I might even say my vocation—binds me; because I would like to feel that by being here I am fulfilling a mission, not just vegetating. Here almost every life is the fulfillment of a mission.

Dear God, if You’ve kindled a fire in my heart, allow me to burn that which should be burned in my house–the House of Israel. And as You’ve given me an all-seeing eye, an an all-hearing hear, give me as well the strength to scourge, to caress, to uplift. And grant that these words be not empty phrases but a credo for my life. Toward what am I aiming? Toward all that which is best in the world, and of which there is a spark within me.

Questions for reflection: 

1. Where and when have you felt that your life is the fulfillment of a mission, and why? 

2. Toward what are you aiming? 

3. Toward what is there a spark within you?

I find that persons who lived with special attunement to reality, beauty, meaning, and depth can help us to discover what’s essential and how to pursue it with joy and intention. 

Published by Amanda Achtman

What matters to me is living in truth, taking responsibility, creating value & cultivating community.

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