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07                                             Me!?” Since the crossing of the Red Sea occurred on the seventh

                            A Message from our                  day of Pesach, this reasoning would lead us to curtail our recita-
                                                                tion of Hallel to only an abridged version during the seventh and
                                             Chazzan            eighth days of Pesach. This of course, would lead us to say a com-
                                           Yitzy Spinner        plete Hallel during Chol HaMoed and an abridged Hallel during the
                                                                final days of the chag, and so it was determined that we should
                                                                say an abridged Hallel for Chol HaMoed as well.

                                                                This reasoning sounds plausible until we consider a different Tal-
                                                                mudic source, Pesachim 117a, in which we are taught that Hallel
                                                                itself was composed at the time of the splitting of the sea. If
                                                                that’s so, how could we possibly not commemorate its authorship
                                                                by recited it on the anniversary of its composition? Clearly there
                                                                must be another reason why we recite a shorter version of Hallel
                                                                for most of Pesach.
                                                                When comparing Pesach to Sukkot, we notice that we recite a
                                                                complete Hallel throughout Sukkot. Sukkot has two factors that
                                                                distinguish it from Pesach. First, the korbanot for each day of Suk-
                                                                kot were different while on Pesach they were the same each day.
      Hallel, Hallel, Hallel - it’s a recurring                 Second, the waving of the Arba Minim is directly tied to Hallel while
      theme of Pesach, and each time we                         we have nothing unique to Pesach that occurs during Pesach.
      say it - it seems to be slightly differ-                  Upon this analysis, by comparison to Sukkot (and Shavuot as

      We’ve got the Hallel that we say before Torah Reading, but even   well), it seems logical to suggest that the reason we say a com-
      that Hallel takes two forms - the complete version that we recite   plete Hallel is actually because of the unique korban that was
      on the first two days of Pesach, and an abridged version that is   offered. On a day that featured a repeated korban, only a half
      recited for the remaining six days. We also have the familiar sec-  Hallel was said.
      tion towards the end of the Seder that goes by the name ‘Hallel’,   This reason, offered by the Sefer Otzar Dinim, is monumental. It
      an expanded version of the morning tefillah’s Hallel. Let’s also not   permits us to look only at the Halachic nature of reciting Hallel
      forget the 136th chapter of Tehillim called the Hallel HaGadol…
                                                                while requiring us to ignore the historical context of its author-
      All in all, there’s quite a lot to decode here!           ship. The whole Hallel must only be said when there is a specific
                                                                reason (korban) that would justify its recitation, even on the ex-
      Generally speaking, we recite Hallel whenever a day is considered   act day when Hallel was first recited, during the very act that our
      to be a Moed - a holiday - and specifically, a day on which work   chag commemorates.
      is prohibited. Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot clearly are referred to
      as Moadim. Chanukah is a holiday that doesn’t prohibit work, yet   As winter turns to spring, we find ourselves at what one might
      because of its miraculous story, Hallel was determined to be said.   consider the cusp of yet another moment of freedom. It’s been so
      On Purim, however, we don’t say Hallel, possibly for one (or more)   long since we’ve all been able to recite Hallel together. Consider
      of several reasons: a) the miracle happened outside of Israel; b)   that just one year ago, our Shul was simply closed for Pesach. As
      the miracle didn’t happen to the entire Jewish nation; c) the Me-  these warmer days approach, I look forward to singing Hallel with
      gillah itself is said as a form of Hallel (praise).       each and every one of you over the coming months and years, in
                                                                good health, good spirits, and good company.
      On Rosh Chodesh, however, we deviate from our usual manner
      and recite an abridged form of Hallel in which we omit two para-  Rachel and I and our children wish you all a Chag Kasher
      graphs. It’s interesting to note that until about the third century,   V’Sameach. We eagerly wait for the day when we will all join in
      Hallel was only said on Rosh Chodesh oustide of Israel. Seemingly,   song together.
      the recitation of Hallel was to ‘announce’ Rosh Chodesh outside
      of Israel’s borders, during a time when only those within Israel   Chazzan Yitzy Spinner
      would have known it was Rosh Chodesh due to the testimony of
      witnesses. Since Rosh Chodesh is not a true Moed, a truncated
      version of Hallel was adopted to mark the significance of the day.
      With all this considered, there’s one aspect of our Pesach Hallel   We have the custom to recite the complete
      recitations that stands out more than all others. We have the cus-  Hallel during the first two days of the chag,
      tom to recite the complete Hallel during the first two days of the   and an abridged form of Hallel throughout
      chag, and an abridged form of Hallel throughout the remaining         the remaining days of Pesach.
      days of Pesach. The classic reason given for this is quoted by Rab-
      bi Abahu in Talmud Erechin 10b, “Is it possible that the King sits
      on the Throne of Judgment, and the Book of Life and the Book of
      Death are open before Him, and [the nation of] Israel sings before
                                                   SCOPE Magazine Passover 2021    7
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