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The Foundation Stone Haggadah: Themes of the Haggadah 9: Hallel

Before Hallel, we say in Magid “In every generation a person should see himself as if he is going out of Egypt…therefore we have to thank God …we should say in front of G-d a “shira chadasha”, a new song.” Asks Tosafot: we first refer to the new song as “shira chadasha,” which conjugated in the feminine. But the song we actually sing is called a “shir chadash,” which is conjugated in the masculine. Tosafot answers that when we sing a new song on something that is temporary, we refer to it in the feminine because it can be compared to a pregnant woman. We are concerned that something bad can happen. When the event is permanent, the song that is sung about it is referred to in the masculine. For example, Shir Hashirim is in the masculine tense, but Shirat Hayam, is in the feminine, as it betrays a degree of uncertainty.

The Shalah HaKodesh (Shnei Luchot Habrit) is very bothered by this. How is it that we say “shir chadash,” which is masculine in our Haggadah? Shir Chadash would suggest that we are celebrating something that is permanent. But we know that many bad things have happened to the Jewish people since. Therefore the Shalah says that we must say “Shira Chadash,” or that when we will be redeemed, we will say “Shir Chadash.” But we cannot sing a Shir Chadash on an event that is happening now.

Another Haggadah, the Emek Bracha, disagrees with the Shalah. On Pesach night we’re supposed to see ourselves as if we are presently leaving Egypt. This year we are fully expecting to see ourselves redeemed. In other words, we are in the process of being redeemed. That means that

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