Introduction to Hallel for Rosh Chodesh Nissan and the Seder Hallel
Rav Yehuda said in the name of Shmuel: The Song in the Torah was said by Moshe and Israel at the moment when they rose from the Sea. Who said this Hallel? The prophets who lived amongst them established for Israel that they should say it on each chapter, and on each trouble that it should not come, and when they are redeemed from a trouble they should recite it over their redemption.” (Pesachim 117a)
Why do we need an Amorah (Rabbi of the Talmudic era) to inform us that Moshe and Israel sang the Song of the Sea when they exited the Sea? Why does Rav Yehuda bring this song into a discussion about Hallel?
Rav Yehuda asks, “Who said this Hallel,” yet doesn’t answer his question. He informs us when the prophets taught us to sing the Hallel, but that wasn’t his question!
What does, “on each chapter” mean? If we sing the Hallel so that a trouble will not come, why will we need to be saved from the trouble; did our Hallel not work?
“When they rose from the Sea,” is different than saying when they exited the Sea: It teaches us that Moshe and Israel sang their song as a way of stepping up to the next stage; it was a song of how the past prepared them for the “New,” the “Chadash,” the next stage, or, in Rav Yehuda’s words, “the next chapter” of their lives.
The prophets taught us to continue the Song of Moshe and Israel each time we sing the Hallel before what is the next chapter in our lives. We must sing Hallel to celebrate, empower, and prepare for the next stage in our lives.
If we do not sing Hallel over each new chapter as it begins, we will have to sing Hallel over a trouble that we see coming; singing Hallel as a Future Song that will elevate us so that we will not need the trouble to learn what God is teaching us. If we do not sing the Hallel before the trouble comes; we will only be able to sing it as a song celebrating redemption from the trouble we could have avoided.
How do we know when we are entering a new chapter so that we can sing our future oriented Hallel? Hachodesh; by celebrating the new, and by singing the Nisan Hallel over what is coming as a Song of Elevation; a Song of the Future.