Hallel Rosh Chodesh Tevet Part Three

Dec 24th, 2011 by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer
Paragraph Seven:

“Your Majesty, you are the king of kings. The Lord of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; in your hands He has placed all mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds in the sky. Wherever they live, He has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold (Daniel 2:37-38).”

“Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. The king said to Daniel, ‘Surely your Lord is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery’ (Verses 46-47).”

King Nebuchadnezzar, who began his siege of Jerusalem on the 10th of Tevet, acknowledges God as the Supreme Power, just as all nations will as described in this Psalm:

“All you nations; Praise God!

Sing compliments, all you peoples!

For His kindness overpowers us,

and God’s Truth is forever.


We sing this paragraph of the Hallel with the confidence of having witnessed our greatest enemy acknowledging and blessing God.

Paragraph Eight:

The following is the story of King Nebuchadnezzar, who, on the Tenth of Tevet, lay siege to Jerusalem: All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”

Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you.

You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox.

Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.”

Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled.

He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox.

His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.

At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored.

Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.

His dominion is an eternal dominion;

his kingdom endures from generation to generation.

All the peoples of the earth

are regarded as nothing.

He does as he pleases

with the powers of heaven

and the peoples of the earth.

No one can hold back his hand

or say to him: “What have you done?”

At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before.

Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble (Daniel 4:28-37).”

It is astounding to read this Psalm, the concluding paragraph of Hallel, which is the story of David rising to his throne and succeeding despite terrible tribulations, and realize that the man who destroyed God’s Temple, ultimately sang a similar song.

For the miracles described in this paragraph of the Hallel are not unique to King David; they were experienced by one of our worst enemies as well. These miracles are not limited to the great and holy such as King David; they are possible for all of us. When can we possibly experience this potential more than we do on Hanukkah. We sing this paragraph with total confidence that these miracles can be ours. May it be God’s Will.

Author Info:
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