Countdown To Chanukah 25 – Singing Hallel Celebrating God’s Invitation
“O my dove, in the cranny of the rocks, Hidden by the cliff, Let me see your face, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet And your face is comely (Song of Songs 2:14 – sefaria.org).”
Rabbi Eliyahu interpreted the verse as referencing those who went up to Jerusalem on one of the Major Festivals:
“Let me see your face,” can be homiletically read as God inviting us to, “Come to Jerusalem and let Me see your faces in the Beit Hamikdash.”
“Let me hear your voice,” refers to the sweet way the Hallel would be sung, for when Israel sings the Hallel, their voices rise to the Greatest Heights as is described in the saying, “There is a Pesach offering in the house and the Hallel rises and breaks through all ceilings and barriers!”
“For your voice is sweet,” refers to the song.
“And your face is comely,” describes the stage upon which the Levites would stand as they led the singing (Song of Songs Rabbah 2:14).
I would like to take the liberty of interpreting Rabbi Eliyahu’s interpretation as referencing all the Chanukah Mitzvot as follows:
The Miracle of the Oil was an invitation from God in response to their courageous efforts to, Come to Jerusalem and let Me see your faces in the Beit Hamikdash.”
The invitation itself is an expression of Hoda’ah – Gratitude for that which Infinitely expands my portion and place in God’s Creation.
“Let me hear your voice,” refers to the sweet way we sing the Chanukah Hallel, for when Israel sings the Hallel, their voices rise to the Greatest Heights.
“For your voice is sweet,” refers to the joy with which we sing this Hallel as a response to God’s invitation to celebrate our ability to use our potential to break through all ceilings and barriers.
“And your face is comely,” describes the stage on which the Chashmonaim stood to invite us to stand with them, “Who stands with God? Stand with me (Exodus 32:26)!” The same “stage” upon which we stand to light the Menorah.
Perhaps we can use the Countdown to Chanukah imagining having received an invitation to stand in Jerusalem, an invitation in response to our efforts over the past year to use our courage, to access our potential, and expanding our vision during challenging times to live with joy.
We can use our Rosh Chodesh Kislev Hallel as practice singing Hallel as a celebration of the invitation, picturing ourselves standing on a stage before the Almighty having achieved heights never before imagined.