Hallel as Shirah: Paragraph One “This”
“Rav Yehudah said in the name of Shmuel: Regarding the Song that is written in the Torah, it is clear that Moshe and the Israelites first recited it when they ascended from the Sea of Reeds. But regarding this Hallel, who said it? (Pesachim 117a)” The Talmud is comparing the Song of the Sea, Shirah, to Hallel. On the final day(s) of Pesach, the day of the Splitting of the Sea, we have an opportunity to sing Hallel as they sang the Shirah. We offer these kavanot for the Hallel of the Last day(s) of Pesach as Shirah:
Rabbi Eliezer says, “From where do we derive that a maidservant was able to see at the Sea what Isaiah and Ezekiel, and all the other prophets were not able to see? “Through the prophets I conveyed allegories (Hosea 12:11).” “I saw visions of the Lord (Ezekiel 1:1) We can compare this to a King of flesh and blood who is coming to visit a city, and who is preceded and surrounded by noblemen and warriors. People don’t know which of the people dressed in elaborate clothes and uniforms is the King. This is because he is a person, just as are the warriors and nobles. However, when the Holy One, Blessed is He, revealed Himself at the Sea, no one needed to ask, ‘Which is the King?’ Once they saw, they knew, and were able to point and say, ‘This is my Lord, and I will glorify Him.’ (Mechiltah, Beshalach)”
The emphasis of the opening paragraph of this Hallel is a celebration of our ability to point and say, “This,” with full awareness of how God is manifest to His servants.
- Review moments and insights of Pesach when you experienced heightened awareness of God’s involvement in your life; when you were able to point at something specific and say, “This is my Lord.”
Praise, you who serve God! Praise the Name of God.
Let the Name of God be blessed from now and forever.
From sunrise to sundown, the Name of God is praised.
God is above all the nations. His Glory is beyond the sky.
Who is like God, our Lord, Who lives up high, but drops down to see what happens (to us) in the (lower) heaven and earth?
Who lifts up the lowly from the dust, raises the destitute from the garbage dumps to be seated with leaders, the leaders of their people.
Who Makes a home for the childless woman and joy for the mother of children. Hallelukah!”