Hallel: First Day(s) Pesach: Walking with a Flute V
We can easily imagine that the joy of the song as the people gathered to begin their journey out of Egypt was exponentially greater than the song they sang as they offered the Pesach; it was an indication that their first Hallel actually changed them, and prepared them to rise even higher:
“And there was a great outcry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was no corpse (Exodus 12:30) There was total silence in the Jewish neighborhoods, “so that you will know that God will have differentiated between Egypt and Israel (11:7).” The difference was not that no one died; but that there was peace and quiet. The Egyptian cries over all the death was noise, not prayer. We experienced the difference between the two, and understood that the quiet meant that we could be heard. It was certainly a noisy gathering as close to a million people prepared to journey, but with all the noise of life and joy, they remembered the quiet; they remembered that God listens to each voice as it speaks to Him, not as noise, but as prayer, and they sang:
“I love that God hears the voice of my prayers, that I am listened to when I call!
Ropes of death strangled me and alleys of the grave found me; I discovered trouble and sadness.
So, I called out in the Name of God: Please God, rescue my soul!
God is proper and just. Our Lord shows compassion. God defends the simple.
I was lowered but then saved.
My soul, return to your place of comfort, for God weaned you with kindness.
For You saved my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my legs from tripping.
I walk before God in the lands of the living.
I kept faith even when I thought that I was destitute,
even when I rushed to say that all people are liars.”
Our Seder too is usually noisy, but we recall the “quiet” that God imposes when listening to our words of discussion, learning and prayer, and we can sing about prayer as on no other day of the year.