Hallel: Rosh Chodesh Tammuz: Paragraph One: Jeremiah
The opening paragraph of Hallel is always the invitation to the Hallel that follows. It is the call to sing Hallel, and sets out the parameters of the Hallel to be sung:
Jeremiah: The Hallel of a Child Reconnecting to a Parent
Praise, you who serve God! Praise the Name of God.
Let the Name of God be an expansive source of blessing from now and forever.”
The people of Jerusalem are convinced that they can manipulate the Angels by their names to come and protect Jerusalem. They are focused on the Angels, but not on the God the Angels serve, the God Who created them. Jeremiah called on the people to reconnect to God, not His Angels. He wants the people who are so aware of God that they can’t believe that He will allow His city and Home to be destroyed, to become active participants in expanding God’s Name in the world. “If you are counted among those who serve God, as do the Angels; Praise His Name. Choose to actively expand His presence in the world, rather than passively wait for His Presence to save you!”
“From sunrise to sundown, the Name of God is praised.”
Nature itself praises God. Nature’s praises are passive and programmed. If you desire to become an active participant in expanding God’s Presence, acknowledge and sing:
God is above all the nations. His Glory is beyond the sky.
God controls all nations, even the Babylonians who are attacking you. Acknowledge that even the siege and all that ‘may’ follow are an expression of His control beyond our immediate understanding, “His Glory is beyond the sky.” That is an essential step in becoming active participants in expanding God’s Name.
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?
You can’t believe that God will miraculously save Jerusalem and His House unless you believe that He is actively involved in all that happens here on earth. What you do, how you respond matters! He is not only interested in what happens ‘on high,’ to His city and House, but in what happens to you as individuals as well.
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.
See yourselves as nobility. Know that He wants you to live as nobility; that your choices matter to Him, and He will lift you up from your current circumstances. The choice is yours.
Who Makes a home for the childless woman and joy for the mother of children.
“As long as we are disconnected from God,” says Jeremiah, “His Shechinah is as a ‘childless mother,’ whose children have abandoned Her. When you reconnect as a child to a parent, God will ‘make a home,’ meaning, He will protect Jerusalem and the Beit Hamikdash.”
It is not difficult to place ourselves in the context of the people listening to Jeremiah’s call to sing Hallel. Jerusalem and Israel are under political and media siege. The President of the United States is establishing relationships with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, all in the name of peace. Europe is telling us to surrender. Many Jews are joining the siege. Jeremiah is telling us that our response must begin with Hallel, attaching to the potential greatness that can be ours if we become active expanders of God’s Presence in the world, not passive observers of God’s commandments waiting for God to save us. Jeremiah calls on us to sing Hallel and acknowledge that God Who is ‘above all nations,’ is guiding this process, that He is actively involved in history and in our individual lives, and that our choices matter to Him. Jeremiah wants us to sing this Hallel as children reconnecting to a parent from Whom we are disconnected.
This is not a Hallel that is an escape from reality, sung with hope in its magical powers. It must be sung in response to the call of one of the greatest prophets of God. I will post Jeremiah’s words.