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Seder Hallel: Sha’ar HaRachamim: Paragraph One

We find four forms of Hallel in the first paragraph: “Hallelukah! Give Hallel, you servants of God. Give Hallel to the Name of God!” “From the rising of the sun to its setting, God’s Name is praised.” These four are similar to a verse we say in our Shabbat prayers: “There is no comparison to You, “there is nothing except for You there is nothing without You, for who is like You?” Four phrases that are explained in the following phrase; “There is no comparison to You, God, our Lord, in this world; and there will be nothing except for You, our King, in the life of the World to Come; there will be nothing without You, our Redeemer, in Messianic days; and there will be none like You, our Savior; at the Resurrection of the Dead.”


Just as in that prayer each phrase represents a different stage of existence, so too, the four mentions of Hallel in this paragraph correspond to four stages of existence: “Hallelukah:” in this world, the time of exile, when God’s Name is not yet whole in creation.

“Give Hallel,” in the Upper World, the Soul World, which is called, “Life in the World to Come.” It will only be at that point that we will be called, “servants of God,” for we will not be distracted by physical needs, and will be completely focused on our service of God.

“Give Hallel to the Name of God,” during the messianic era when God’s name will be complete through out His creation.

“From the rising of the sun to its setting, God’s Name is praised,” referring to the Resurrection of the Dead, when this setting of the sun will no longer be seen as an end, or the beginning of darkness, but only as the preparation for new light. (Sha’ar HaRachamim/Maggid Tzedek)

These four stages of Hallel corresponded to the Four Cups of wine that we drink at the Seder, and our perspective at the conclusion of Maggid, that we have not only been discussing the story of Pesach but the story of the unfolding of all history. We are celebrating that the song that we will sing at this point will flow from one stage to the next and will join at the great song at the end of history.

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