Succot Hallel Part Two

Oct 12th, 2011 by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer
<strong>Paragraph Five</strong>

Raba lectured, What means, “I love that the Lord should hear [my voice and my supplications]”? The congregation of Israel said: “Sovereign of the Universe! When am I loved by You? When You hear the voice of my supplications.” (Pesachim 118b)

We all love when someone listens to our pleas! What is so special about God listening?

Samuel the Little ordained a fast and rain fell before sunrise. The people thought that it was due to the merit of the community, whereupon he said to them: I will quote you a parable. This can be compared to a servant who asked his master for a gratuity and the master exclaimed, ‘Give it to him, and let me not hear his voice.’

Another time Samuel the Little ordained a fast and rain fell after sunset. The people thought that it was due to the merit of the community. whereupon Samuel exclaimed: “I will quote you a parable. This can be compared to a servant who asked his master for a gratuity and the master exclaimed, ‘Keep him waiting until he is made submissive and is distressed, and then give him his gratuity.’ (Ta’anit 25b)

We do not want God to say, ‘Give it to him, and let me not hear his voice.’ We want to be able to ask and have Him respond. This is not like other relationships when we hesitate to ask and often are embarrassed to request help. We love to be able to ask, to feel comfortable asking, and to receive as a response to our prayers.

We recently celebrated Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur when we asked God to shower our year with blessings. We look back on Succot and celebrate the comfort with which we can approach God and request our needs and desires.<strong> </strong>

<strong>Paragraph 5 – Four Species Hallel:</strong>

<em> “For You saved my soul from death,

my eyes from tears,

my legs from tripping.“</em>

A person’s feet are responsible for him; they take him to the place he desires. (Sukkah 53a)

“For they planted themselves at Your feet.” Rabbi Yosef taught: This refers to the Torah scholars who are engaged in Torah study and trudge with their feet from one town to another, and from one province to another to study Torah, and they cast off from themselves the yoke of the exiles.

Alternatively,  “For they planted themselves at Your feet,” means that even though they suffer during their travels, they do not leave Your sanctuary, but they receive from Your word abundant reward, though being intensely involved in debating the meaning of the Torah. (Tanchumah: V’zot HaBerachah #5)

We point our Lulav forward during this paragraph “As If” to point the way we want to move forward with our feet in order to achieve eternal life.<strong> </strong>

<strong>Paragraph 5 – Shabbat Chol HaMoed Hallel:</strong>

<em> “I love that God hears the voice of my prayers,

that I am listened to when I call!

Ropes of death strangled me and alleys of the grave found me;

I discovered trouble and sadness.

So, I called out in the Name of God:

Please God, rescue my soul!

God is proper and just.

Our Lord shows compassion.

God defends the simple.

I was lowered but then saved.”

</em>

There is special joy to experiencing salvation, to crying out and being answered, to being lowered and then rescued. Beyond the relief we can see that no matter what troubles us, we can have hope. This is the gift of Shabbat, the day on which we look at the world as being whole and complete, a world that has a taste of the World To Come.

This is also the sense that we have when, on Succot, we gather in our harvest, and see that our worries are over. We have more hope the next time we plant. We celebrate the accomplishments and growth of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We rejoice in the feeling that our prayers have been heard. This holiday empowers us to face the future with hope and aspiration.<strong> </strong>

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<strong>Paragraph Six</strong>

“What can I respond to God for all the good He has given to make me independent?”

There is a difference between one person who receives a favor, and a group that has received a similar blessing or gift: An individual knows that the gifts was specifically for him, and feels a need to acknowledge the gift. However, one who is part of a group will often rely on the others to express gratitude.

This paragraph of Hallel reminds us that although God blesses all of Israel and all of Creation, we are each obligated to acknowledge the blessings as if we were the personal recipients of all of God’s benificence.

This is similar to an idea taight in the Talmud:

He (Ben Zoma) used to say: What does a good guest say? ‘How much trouble my host has taken for me! How much meat he has set before me! How much wine he has set before me! How many cakes he has set before me! And all the trouble he has taken was only for my sake!’

But what does a bad guest say? ‘How much after all has mine host put himself out? I have eaten one piece of bread, I have eaten one slice of meat,I have drunk one cup of wine! All the trouble which my host has taken was only for the sake of his wife and his children!’

What does Scripture say of a good guest? “Remember that you magnify His works, where of men have sung.”  (Job XXXVI, 24.) But of a bad guest it is written: “Men do therefore fear Him; [He does not regard any that are too wise of heart]. (Ibid. XXXVII, 24.) (Berachot 58a)

<strong>Paragraph 6 – Four Species Hallel:</strong>

<em> “What can I respond to God

for all the good He has given to make me independent?

I will lift up the cup of salvation

and I will call out in God’s Name.”</em>

The Rekanati (Emor: “u’likachtem) teaches that the Four Species represent the Name of God. We literally hold God’s Name in our hands. (See Bet Yosef &amp; Taz, Orach Chaim 651) Our actions, speech and thought determine the level of Presence God’s Name has in this world.

“What can I respond to God for all the good He has given to make me independent?” By being aware that I hold His Name, so to speak, in my hands, and am determined to use my actions to increase His Presence in His creation. It is thus that, “I will lift up the cup of salvation

and I will call out in God’s Name.”

<strong>Paragraph 6 – Shabbat Chol HaMoed Hallel:</strong>

<em> “What can I respond to God

for all the good He has given to make me independent?”</em>

Rav Shlomo Kluger (Derushim L’Pesach #2) posits that the degree of gratitude should reflect the giver’s intentions. If someone is kind to another only to benefit himself, the recipient is, of course, obligated to be grateful, but to a lesser degree than he would be to someone who helped him solely from concern for the person in need. King David used this verse to say, “Kol tagmulohi ‘Aly,’” all God does is for me, and therefore I owe the highest the level of gratitude.

Shabbat is a gift that is entirely for us, and therefore, we owe the same gratitude expressed by King David. On Succot we recall all the kindnesses God did for us while we were in the desert; the Clouds of Protection, the Manna, water from a rock etc. It was all for us.

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Author Info:

Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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