Succot Hallel Paragraph Seven
“All you nations; Praise God!
Sing compliments, all you peoples!
For His kindness overpowers us,
and God’s Truth is forever.
Rabbi Shimon, the son of Rabbeinu Hakadosh (Rabbi Yehudah HaNassi – The Prince), asked his father, “Which nations are meant by ‘All you nations; Praise God!’ and which peoples by, ‘Sing compliments, all you peoples!’?
Rabbi Yehudah replied, “The nations are all those who oppressed the Children of Israel, and the peoples are those who did not oppress them.”
All these peoples said, “If they who oppressed the Children of Israel sing praise to the Holy One, Blessed is He, we, who did not oppress them should sing all the more!” Hence it is said, “All you nations; Praise God! Sing compliments, all you peoples!”
The Children of Israel also said, “Even more should we sing His praise! And they went on to say, “For His kindness overpowers us, and God’s Truth is forever.” True to what? True to the covenant made with the patriarchs, as it is said, “Then will I remember My covenant with Jacob…” (Leviticus 26:42) – Midrash Tehillim 117:2
Rabbi Yehudah taught that this short psalm addresses the redemptions that have already taken place, i.e. ‘Those who have oppressed Israel,’ and the Final Redemption, i.e. ‘Those who have not oppressed the Children of Israel. All previous redemptions were in the merit of the Patriarchs and God’s covenant with them. We, who want to call on their merit and on the Covenant, must pray. This is the idea of “Praying before we are in trouble,” meaning we must constantly call on the Patriarch’s merit and the Covenant in order to be protected and saved.
We have just completed Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and hopefully experienced a level of Redemption and freedom. We sing this paragraph of Hallel as a prayer that the joy, redemption, and freedom we experienced over Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, will continue to showered upon us throughout the year.