Chanukah Hallel Paragraph Four: Joining in Song

Nov 30th, 2010 by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer
In the Forms of Hallel and Focus of Hallel we have seen that many believe that Hallel is a conversation between the person leading the prayers and the congregation. We sing Hallel as the Highest Angels sing Kedusha, first one, then the other, and then together as a single voice. Rav Shlomo Kluger (Tehillot Yisrael, Page 1,178) insists that we read this paragraph as two parties singing to and then with each other:

“God remembered us and will bless –

Bless the House of Israel,”

Before battle, Matityahu sang to Israel to reassure them that God would bless their efforts.

After battle, he rejoiced in their blessings of success. Their leaders sang, not of their own blessings, but with joy that God had so blessed all the people.

“Bless the House of Aaron,”

Before battle, the people prayed for the success of their leaders, the House of Aaron.

After battle, the people sang God’s praises for inspiring their leaders.

“Bless those who are in awe of God, the insignificant with the great.”

Was sung by the Chashmonaim and their followers together, and therefore God responded with the following blessing:

“God will enhance you – you and your children.”

God will bless you with the ability to find the words to express the deepest feelings of your soul, and to inspire future generations with those feelings.

“You are blessed to God Who made the heavens and the earth.

The heavens are God’s, while the earth has been given to people.”

God, the Chashmonaim and the people sang this together in celebration of what people can accomplish when they acknowledge God’s blessings.

The Chashmonaim and the people sang in unison to God:

“The dead do not praise the Creator of Worlds,

nor do those who go down to their doom. But we – we praise the Creator of Worlds – From now and forever –


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