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. 

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