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Hallel: Pleasure In Praising

In the future, The Holy One, Blessed is He will make a feast for the righteous. After having eaten and drunk, Abraham will be given the cup to lead the grace after the meal.
He will decline and say that he won’t because Ishmael came out of him. Isaac will be asked to bless, he will refuse because of Esau. Jacob will be asked to lead, he will turn down the honor saying that he married sisters which the Torah would eventually prohibit.

Moses will be asked to bless, he will refuse since he didn’t merit entering the Land of Israel. Joshua will be asked to lead the blessings, and he will decline because he never merited a son.

Then, David will be asked: “Take the cup and bless”, and he will tell them: “I will bless, and to me it is ‘naeh’, it is fitting to bless”. As it says (Psalms 116: 13) “The cup of salvations I will rise, and the Name of God I will call out” (Pesachim 119b).

All these great men looked at their lives or at their direct descendants, and saw that something was missing. They felt that it wouldn’t be appropriate for them to lead the blessings at God’s very own banquet while bearing those imperfections.

King David wasn’t more perfect than they were. At that moment, though, he didn’t focus on the mistakes he had made, or on the weaknesses found in some of his children.

He took the cup of salvation, raised it up high, and said: “to me it is ‘naeh’ to bless”. ‘Naeh’ means fitting, but it also means pleasant.

We sometimes feel burdened by our faults; the choices we have made and the consequences they lead to might make us feel inadequate.

However, when we recite the Hallel, it is not about celebrating our perfection. We recognize our flaws, we are aware of our lapses. Yet, despite all of our limitations, we take pleasure in praising God. 

We say: “This is me. Yes, I have shortcomings. But I am rejoicing in the knowledge that I can still raise the cup and bless You by singing ‘Kos yeshuot esa uv’shem Hashem ekra’”.

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