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Chanukah Hallel Paragraph II: An Expression of God’s Will

“When Israel left Egypt, Jacob’s family from among a people who spoke a strange language, Judah became God’s Holy Place, Israel, His realm. The Sea saw it and ran away. The Jordan River reversed course. The mountains danced like deer, the hills like lambs. What’s

with you, Sea, that you flee? With the Jordan, that you turn around? With the Mountains, that you dance like deer? With the hills, like lambs? Quake, you Land, before your Master, before the Lord of Jacob! Who turned the rock into a pool of water. Pebbles into a source of water.”


The Sages taught: I read, “Like Tabor among the mountains and Carmel by the sea, so shall come!” (Jeremiah 46:18) At the time the Holy One, Blessed is He, came to give the Torah on Sinai, the mountains were running and arguing with each other. Each claimed, “The Torah shall be given on me!” This is the meaning of the verse, “The Mountains danced like deer, the hills like lambs.” (Bereishit Rabbah 99:70)


This is not a simple parable, but a spiritual reality. All that exists depends on the word of God, which gives expression to its physical form and substance. As the Sages taught, “There is not a blade of grass that does not have a transcendental Force in heaven pushing it to grow.” (Bereishit Rabbah 10:7)


Even the mountains and the seas understand that they exist only as an expression of Divine Will. They all wanted the Torah, the expression of Divine Will, to be given on them, for that is their only existence.


This paragraph of the Hallel reminds us of the Source of our existence, and celebrates and empowers our ability connect with that Source by acknowledging God’s Hand in our lives. (Mishnat Rabbi Aharon, Volume 3, page 238)

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