SAY­ING “HALF HAL­LEL” ON THE LAST DAYS OF PE­SACH

The Jewish Chronicle - - Judaism -

ON the last days of Pe­sach, we re­cite only half of Hal­lel (Psalms 113-8), even though we are cel­e­brat­ing awe­some mir­a­cles — the split­ting of the Red Sea and the end of Egyp­tian tyranny over Is­rael.

Why this sub­dued com­mem­o­ra­tion of such a lib­er­at­ing event? The Baby­lo­nian de­scribes the an­gels as burst­ing out in song af­ter the split­ting of the Red Sea (Megillah 10b). God, how­ever, re­bukes them and says, “My hand­i­work is drown­ing in the sea, and you are singing?”

The an­gels’ at­tempt at praise pained God, as it were. God ex­pected the an­gels to un­der­stand that, at that mo­ment, joy was tinged with sad­ness .

The mes­sage of the half- Hal­lel is that when your bit­ter en­emy falls, you may cel­e­brate, but with re­straint. We are all crea­tures of God — even those who wish us ill.

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