Personalizing The Hallel
Maharal: Gevurot Hashem: Chapter 64: All good that is done by God is organized according to the highest level of efficiency. Any good that happens to you is yours. God wants you to have it. Therefore, if you have benefited from any good that rises above the natural course of events obligate you to sing Hallel.
If God would appear to you, and there is no question that it is God, and God says, “What can I do for you?” we would be ecstatic. What would your reaction be if God came over to you, put His hand on your shoulder and said, “Here, take this? It’s yours from Me”? Hallel is the song we sing when we realize that God does this for us all the time! Everything we have is a gift from God. Everything good that happens is God “putting His hand on our shoulder” so to speak, and assuring us that He loves us. The feeling that comes with such an expression of God’s care and love is the essence of Hallel. When we experience something spectacular we celebrate not the spectacular thing, but the expression of love inherent in that extraordinary thing.
When good things happened to David he expressed his joy with “I thank You because You have answered me and become my salvation.”
All of the expressions of joy and praise expressed by all the participants in the story were their individual song over their individual experience of all that happened that day.
Once again we see that Hallel must be an expression of my individual joy over the love that I experience in all the good that God does for me. The main aspect of Hallel is an individual expression of joy and praise. (This is why Hallel must be recited in a language that I understand.)
I could not even begin to thank God for all the good that He has done for me. That idea too is in the Hallel: “What can I say in response to what God has done for me, with all the good that He has done for me?”
Hallel must be personalized.
Hallel is an expression of what is unique about me and my relationship with God – How I experience God.
We must prepare before singing Hallel. We should evaluate where we are, how we have grown and all the loving goodness we have received from God.
We must experience joy before singing Hallel.
Choose one phrase of the Hallel that resonates with you personally before beginning the Hallel.