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Hallel: Rosh Chodesh Iyar: Approaching Again: Paragraph Two

When a human being recalls the letters he shakes the upper vitality. And when he wholeheartedly cleaves in his mind to the Name, Blessed be He, he really animates the vitality that has been emanating from the Highest Thought until it is ready to be spoken and put in the mouth of the human, and through the words of the prayer he yearns for the Name, Blessed be He, and by it he blows the letters back up to their source. (Rabbi Meshulam Feivush, Likutim Yekarim, 132b)


As we travelled toward Sinai during Iyar, we learned about God through His miracles, and constant care for us. We learned to connect to the “Upper Vitality,” and speak His language; the language of Creation, the words of Reality, and were able to speak and “blow the letters back up to their source.” It is with this same sense of awareness and connection that we open this paragraph of Hallel, with our words rising to the Heavens and creating realities:

“When Israel left Egypt, Jacob’s family from among a people who spoke a strange language, Judah became God’s Holy Place, Israel, His realm.”

We learned that He listened when we cried out to Him, and that He would change the physical realities we know to save and protect us, as the Midrash teaches:

“When Israel saw that they were surrounded on three sides, the sea was closing and the enemy and wild beasts were pursuing them, they turned to their Father in Heaven and cried out to God as it is written, “The Children of Israel cried out to God (Exodus 14:10).” Why did God cause this? Because He desired to hear their prayers.

“Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: What is this like? A king was traveling and heard a princess crying, “Save me from these robbers!” He heard her cry and saved her.

“Several days passed, and the king decided that he wanted to marry the Princess. He wanted to speak to her, but she did not wish to see him. What did the King do then? He hired robbers to attack her again, so that she would cry out and he would hear. As soon as the robbers attacked, she began to cry out to the King. The king later explained, “I desired to hear your voice.”

“The same is true of God and Israel. When Israel was subjugated in Egypt, they placed all their hope in God, and cried out to In. It is thus written, “In the course of those many days…they cried out (Exodus 2:23).” Immediately after this it is written, “God saw the children of Israel (2:25).” He then began to rescue them with a strong hand and an outstretched arm.

“God then wished to hear their voice again, but they did not want to call Him. What did He do? He sent Pharoah to pursue them again. It is thus written, “Pharoah drew close (14:10),” and immediately afterword, “the children of Israel cried out.”

“God said, “I desired to hear your voice.” It is thus written, “Oh My dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the covert of the cliff, let Me hear your voice (Song of Songs 2:14),” the same voice that He heard in Egypt. (Shemot Rabbah 21:5)”

“The Sea saw it and ran away. The Jordan River reversed course. The mountains danced like deer, the hills like lambs.

What’s with you, Sea, that you flee? With the Jordan, that you turn around? With the Mountains, that you dance like deer? With the hills, like lambs?

Quake, you Land, before your Master, before the Lord of Jacob!

Who turned the rock into a pool of water. Pebbles into a source of water.”

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