Hallel Overview Part Two
Eight Paragraph: Fearless : It is impossible for me to fear anything once I understand the role that God’s kindness and generosity have played in the world.
“Give thanks to God Who is good, for His kindness is forever! Let Israel declare that His Kindness is forever! Let the House of Aaron declare that His kindness is forever! Let those who are in awe of God declare that His kindness if forever! I called to the Creator of Worlds from a tight spot, and He answered me broadly. God is with me, I have no fear; what can people do to me? God is with me to help me, so I can confront my enemies. It is better to depend in God than to trust people. It is better to depend on God than to trust people in power. All the nations surrounded me but I survived them in God’s Name. They surrounded and encircled me but I survived them in God’s Name. Though they surrounded me like a swarm of bees, they were snuffed out like burnt thorns. I survived them in God’s Name. I was pushed to fall but God helped me. The Creator of Heaven and Earth is my Help and my Hammer, and became my Savior. Song and victory sound in the tents of the just. God’s Hand makes victory. God’s Hand is supreme. God’s Hand makes victory! I will not die but live, and tell of the doings of the Creator of Worlds. The Creator afflicted me to direct me but did not destroy me. Open the gates of justice for me, I will enter and thank the Creator. This is the gate to God, the just may enter here. I thank You for answering me, You became my salvation. The stone rejected by the builders became the cornerstone. This happened because of God; it is wondrous in our eyes. This is the day God made; let us sing and be happy with it. Please God; Save us! Please God; Make us successful! Bless those who come in God’s Name; we bless you from God’s House. God is The Power and gave us Light. Wave your holiday branches up to the corners of the altar. You are my Power and I thank You, My Lord and I will exalt You. Give thanks to God Who is good, for His kindness is forever!”
The world existed for 26 generations before God gave the Torah to Israel. The 26 verses of the Hallel Hagadol – The Great Hallel – (Psalm 136) correspond to the 26 generations in which the world existed entirely on God’s kindness. (Pesachim 118a) God asked for nothing in return for His generosity. The key phrase of the Great Hallel is: “For His Kindness endures forever.” This paragraph begins with a repetition of this phrase in order to connect us to the Great Hallel and its message of Infinite mercy and compassion. We remember that the world existed entirely on God’s kindness. We do not have to fear that our failures and weaknesses will cause us to forfeit all the kindness expressed in the first part of the Hallel. “Give thanks to God for He is good; His kindness endures forever.”
Therefore: From the straits did I call upon God; God answered me with expansiveness. God is with me, I have no fear.”
Once I appreciate the promise and security of God’s mercy and I do not fear failure, I begin to grasp that His kindness will also protect me from danger: “It is better to take refuge in God than to rely on man. You pushed me hard that I might fall, but God helped me.”
God does not only protect me, He empowers me as well: “God is my might and praise.”
When I fail to learn a lesson, I get to take it again and again! Once I have learned the lesson, I move on to the next one: “God has chastened me exceedingly, but He did not let me die. Open for me the gates of righteousness, I will enter them and thank God.”
Rabbi Shmuel bar Nachmani said in the name of Rabbi Yonatan: David said, “I thank You, for You have answered me and became my salvation,” when the prophet Samuel anointed him. He could look back on all his suffering with clarity. His dreams had been realized, and his prayers, answered.
Yishai said: “The stone the builders despised has become the cornerstone,” when he realized that his youngest and least appealing son had just be anointed as the next king of Israel. He understood that all his perceptions about David were wrong. He had not seen the beauty of his son who would become the cornerstone of Israel.
David’s brothers, who were shocked that their youngest and insignificant brother had become king, said, “This emanated from God; it is wondrous in our eyes.”
Samuel, who had experienced the failure of King Saul and who now understood how intertwined the future of Israel was with this young man, said: “This is the day God has made; let us rejoice and be glad on it.” Samuel’s greatest failure led to his greatest accomplishment.
The brothers, frightened for the future of Israel if their younger brother would be in charge, said: “Please God, save (us) now!”
David, who appreciated the opportunity and challenge, cried out: “Please God, bring success now!”
Yishai turned around and greeted Samuel: “Blessed is he who comes in the Name of God,” to which Samuel responded, “We bless (all of) you from the House of God.”
When Samuel, Yishai, the brothers, and David realized what had happened, they exclaimed: God is the Power: He illuminates all for us.”
Samuel wanted to offer a Shelamim – Peace Offering – to mark what happened, “Bind the festival offering with cords until the corners of the altar.”
David, who recognized the Hand of God, how it had guided all events up to that moment, and how necessary it would be for the future, said; “You are my Power and I will thank You.”
All joined together and said, “My Lord, I will exalt You!” (Pesachim 119a)
God’s Providence was so obvious in their lives and in ours that we close the Hallel, by returning to the opening of this paragraph: Give thanks to God, for He is good; His kindness endures forever.”