Hallel: Ma’ariv Pesach: Consecration I
“The Song will be yours like the night of the festival’s consecration, and heartfelt gladness like one who walks with a flute, to come to the mountain of God, the Rock of Israel (Isaiah 30:29).” “The Song will be yours like the night of the festival’s consecration,” refers to the Hallel they sang as they offered the first Pesach, the Hallel we sing after Ma’ariv, before the Seder. “And heartfelt gladness like one who walks with a flute,” refers to Hallel of the first day of Pesach, when they began to walk; their journey out of Egypt. “To come to the mountain of God, the Rock of Israel,” refers to the journey to Sinai, which they began to sing on the second day of Pesach.
We sing the first paragraph as the song that will make us free, as if we were singing while offering the original Pesach Offering, the mitzvah that earned us the merit to be freed:
Praise, you who serve God!
This song will transform us from slaves of Pharaoh into Servants of 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.
This is our response to Moshe’s first question at the Burning Bush: “Behold, when I come to the Children of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord of your forefathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His Name?’ what shall I say to them (Exodus 3:13).” We are answering, “We now know His Name.”
God is above all the nations. His Glory is beyond the sky.
This is our response to Pharaoh, who said, “Who is God that I should heed His voice to send out Israel? I do not know God, nor will I send out Israel (Exodus 5:2).”
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?
We sing over the plagues from heaven that struck the Egyptians, but, since God “drops down to us,” protected each of us from all the plagues.
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.
This is our song of empowerment, raised from lowly slaves to be with Moshe who, “was very great in the land of Egypt, in the eyes of the servants of Pharaoh and in the eyes of the people (11:3).”