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Shabbat Prayers: Pesukei d’Zimrah: The Final Six

I can’t help it: Purim gets me thinking about Pesach. At the Seder we keep half the broken matzoh with the whole to remind us that we can live with completeness in the shadow of the incomplete.


We actually act this out every morning in our Pesukei d’Zimrah: we will read the final six paragraphs of Psalms every day and we referred to it as completing Psalms.

This is similar to what we do at the Seder: we recite only the beginning of Hallel before the second cup of wine and yet we refer to it as completing the Hallel; incomplete, yet complete.

There are significant lessons we can derive from this incomplete completion. It is rare that we can finish our prayers and feel that they were whole, complete, perfect, as they should be. And yet, we do not need a complete prayer in order for it to be considered complete. It is the broken matzoh with the whole. It is the first two paragraphs of the Hallel being considered, “Completing the Hallel.” It is the final six paragraphs of Psalms being considered completing Psalms.

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