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What Is The Reason? Hallel Print E-mail

What Is The ReasonI recall hearing you mention more than 25 years ago that the Midrash says that the days on which we recite the Whole Hallel are hinted to in the story of Noah’s ark. Is that true? Where is the Midrash? Where is the hint? I also remember you teaching that there is a verse that teaches us that we must sing parts of the Hallel. Is that correct? You also taught that there are some opinions that Hallel is a Biblical commandment. I forgot who argued with the Rambam. CLK

Wow! Your recollection is accurate. The Midrash Ne’elam on Noah says, “Two by two they came to Noah, to the Ark,” these are the days on which we complete the Hallel. The Siddur Or HaShanim quotes Rav Shimon Ostropollier as explaining that since everything is mentioned in the Torah, so must the days on which we complete the Hallel be hinted at in the Torah. “Two by two,” refers to the Two days of Pesach and the two days of Shavuot. “They Came,” “Ba-u,” has the numerical value of 9, the days of Succot-Shemini Atzeret, and “El Noach,” has the numerical value of 91, which is the same gematria of Chanukah.

The Yalkut Shimoni (Song of Songs 2:14 # 586) says, “let me hear your voice,” refers to Hallel, “for sweet is your voice,” refers to “Hodu L’ashem,” and, “Your countenance is comely,” refers to “Ana Hashem Hoshi’a Nah, Ana Hashem, Hatzlicha Nah.”

See the first Tosafot on Berachot 20b that there is a debate between Rashi and Tosafot whether Hallel is a Biblical or Rabbinic Mitzvah. See too Sha’agat Aryey #69, and Chatam Sofer, Y”D at the end of 233.

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