The Info List - Hallel

Hallel (Hebrew: הלל‬, "Praise") is a Jewish prayer, a verbatim recitation from Psalms
113–118 which is recited by observant Jews
on Jewish holidays
Jewish holidays
as an act of praise and thanksgiving.


1 Etymology 2 Holy days

2.1 Full Hallel 2.2 Partial Hallel

3 New Testament 4 Musical settings 5 Other Hallel sequences 6 See also 7 Further reading 8 References 9 External links

Etymology[edit] The Proto-Sinaitic
and Proto-Canaanite letters h are reconstructed to have been called hillul "jubilation", and were based on the hieroglyph:

It was replaced by a predecessor of the Hebrew letter He ה‬. The same word is used in Arabic: هَلِّلْ‎, translit. hallil, lit. 'praise!' (or تَهْلِيل, tahlīl, 'praising').[1] Holy days[edit] Hallel consists of six Psalms
(113–118), which are recited as a unit, on joyous occasions [2] including the three pilgrim festivals mentioned in the Torah, Pesach
(Passover), Shavuot, and Sukkot
(the "bigger" Jewish holy days), as well as at Hanukkah
and Rosh Chodesh (beginning of the new month). Many Jewish communities, especially those which identify with religious Zionism, recite Hallel on Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) and some also recite it on Yom Yerushalayim (the day commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem
in 1967). On those occasions, Hallel is usually chanted aloud as part of Shacharit
(the morning prayer service) following the Shacharit's Shemoneh Esreh ("The Eighteen", the main prayer). Hallel is recited during the evening prayers on the first (and, outside Israel, second) night of Pesach, except by Lithuanian and German Jews, and by all communities during the Pesach
Seder service. According to the Talmud,[3] there was a dispute between the school of Hillel and the school of Shammai regarding the reading of Hallel on Pesach. According to the school of Shammai, only the first psalm (Ps. 113) should be read before the meal, whereas the school of Hillel advocated reading the first two psalms (Ps. 113 and 114). The remaining Psalms
would be said after the Grace After Meals (as is usually the case, the halacha follows the school of Hillel).[4] Although Hallel generally refers only to the aforementioned psalms, the Talmud
also refers to Psalm 136
Psalm 136
as "the Great Hallel". Each verse of Psalm 136
Psalm 136
concludes with the refrain "for his mercy endures forever" and it contains mention of twenty-six acts of Divine kindness and sustenance for the world.[5] It is recited at the Pesach
Seder after the standard Hallel is completed. It is also said in the expanded Pesukei dezimra on the morning of Shabbat
and festivals. In the Talmudic era, if rain fell on the morning of a fast day that was declared in response to a drought, this was seen as a sign of Divine favor, in which case "the Great Hallel" was added in the afternoon prayers.[6] There is mention in some references that this Psalm may also be used antiphonally in Temple worship.[7] On Rosh Hashanah
Rosh Hashanah
and Yom Kippur, Hallel is not said at all, because as the Talmud
states (Arachin 10b): "Is it seemly for the king to be sitting on His Throne of Judgment, with the Books of Life and Death open before Him, and for the people to sing joyful praises to Him?" Pesach, like Sukkot, has the structure of "main holiday", followed by "Intermediate Days" (Chol HaMoed), followed by "main holiday". Since Pesach
involved only a partial redemption of the Jews
and the destruction of Egypt, and as the same sacrifice was offered in the Temple on every day of the holiday (as opposed to Sukkot), only "Half" (or Partial) Hallel is recited on all of the last six days of Pesach. Full Hallel is recited for the entirety of Sukkot. Partial Hallel is recited on Rosh Chodesh
Rosh Chodesh
because it was introduced at a much later time than the major holidays. No Hallel, neither "Full" nor "Partial", is recited on Purim, despite the fact that there was a miraculous salvation, for several reasons:

The miracle did not occur in the Land of Israel
Land of Israel
and, for "lesser" holidays, only those occurring in Israel
merit the recitation of Hallel. Even after the Miracle of Purim, the Jews
remained subjects of the Persian Empire, whereas on Hanukkah, as a result of the victory of the Maccabees, the Jews
gained their independence from the Seleucid
kings. Reading the Megilla (Book of Esther) is a substitute for Hallel.

Full Hallel[edit] Full Hallel (or הלל שלם‬ Hallel Shalem in Hebrew Complete Hallel) consists of all six Psalms
of the Hallel, in their entirety. It is a Jewish prayer
Jewish prayer
recited on the first two nights and days of Pesach
(only the first night and day in Israel), on Shavuot, all seven days of Sukkot, on Shemini Atzeret
Shemini Atzeret
and Simchat Torah, and on the eight days of Hanukkah. The sages have provided a "siman" (a way to remember) the days when full Hallel is recited. It is called "BeBeTaCh".[8] Full Hallel consists of Psalm 113, Psalm 114, Psalm 115:1–11,12–18, Psalm 116:1–11,12–19, Psalm 117, Psalm 118. Psalm 136
Psalm 136
was most probably used antiphonally in Temple worship. In Jewish liturgy, the Great Hallel is recited at the Pesach
Seder after the Lesser Hallel. All through the refrain is a repeated reference to the Lord's steadfast love (see Hosea 2:19). This psalm is a hymn that opens with a call to praise God because of God's great deeds in nature and God's gracious historical actions in the history of Israel. It continues expressing God's mercy toward all and ends with another call to praise God.[9] A blessing is recited at the beginning and end of Full Hallel. Partial Hallel[edit] Chatzi Hallel (חצי הלל‬ Half Hallel or Partial Hallel) (chatzi is 'half' in Hebrew) does not include parts of the "Full Hallel": The first eleven verses of Psalms
115 and 116 are omitted. It is recited on the last six days of Pesach
and on Rosh Chodesh. While Ashkenazi Jews
recite a blessing at the beginning and end of Partial Hallel, some Sephardi Jews
do not, particularly if the blessing they recite at the beginning of Full Hallel is ligmor et hahallel (to complete the Hallel) instead of likro et hahallel (to read the Hallel) as recited by Ashkenazi Jews. New Testament[edit] The New Testament
New Testament
accounts of the Last Supper
Last Supper
state that Jesus
and his disciples "sang a psalm" or "hymn" after the meal before leaving for the Mount of Olives
Mount of Olives
(Matthew 26:30, Mark 14:26), which was probably the hallel that was recited. The Last Supper
Last Supper
was the celebration of the Passover and Jesus
like any other Jew in the first century, would have known how to chant the Psalms
in Hebrew, especially the famous Hallel psalms which were an intrigal part of the Passover. [10] Musical settings[edit] In the Jewish tradition, there are well established and various melodies for the singing of Hallel. Some of the psalms are sung while others are recited silently or under the breath. In the classical tradition, psalms from the Hallel have been set to music many times, notably: Psalm 113

Josquin des Prez

Psalm 114


Psalm 115

Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach
in Cantata BWV 196, Der Herr denket an uns, using verses 12–15

Psalm 117

Antonio Vivaldi Mozart

Psalm 118

Léonin Pérotin

American composer and conductor Michael Isaacson has composed a full Hallel for SATB chorus, entitled An American Hallel with interpolations of expressions of praise and gratitude by past and present Americans. It was premiered by the Carolina Master Chorale under the directorship of Tim Koch in the autumn of 2009. Composer/performer Sam Glaser has also set the Psalms
on his CD Hallel. Other Hallel sequences[edit]

This section needs expansion with: the other Hallel sequences, obviously. You can help by adding to it. (September 2017)

The name "Hallel" is normally applied to Psalms
113–118. For greater specificity this is sometimes called the "Egyptian Hallel". See also[edit]

Biblical poetry Takbir List of Jewish prayers and blessings Hallelujah Day to Praise

Further reading[edit]

Cup of Salvation: A Powerful Journey Through King David's Psalms
of Praise by Rabbi
Wolicki (Center for Jewish–Christian Understanding and Cooperation, Gefen Publishing, 2017) ISBN 978-9652299352 Anthems for a Dying Lamb: How Six Psalms
(113-118) Became a Songbook for the Last Supper
Last Supper
and the Age to Come by Philip S. Ross (Fearn, Christian Focus Publications, 2017) ISBN 9781527100879


^ [1] ^ Hallel - "Praise of G-d" - OU.ORG ^ Pesachim 116b ^ Shmuel Safrai and Ze'ev Safrai, Haggadah of the Sages (trans. Miriam Schlüsselberg; Jerusalem: Carta, 2009), 212. According to the Tosefta (Pes. 10:9[6]) ^ e.g., Berachot 4b, Pesachim 118a ^ Taanit 19a ^ Ryrie Study Bible-page 955 ^ Liadi, Zalman Siddur, "Seder Hallel" ^ Ryrie Study Bible page 955 ^ http://www.thesacredpage.com/2009/04/what-did-jesus-sing-at-last-supper.html

External links[edit]

Hallel text at Hebrew Wikisource Hallel PDF at opensiddur.org with English instructions Yemenite reading of the complete Hallel (mp3) by Aharon Amram Hallel public domain audiobook at LibriVox

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Jewish prayer

List of Jewish prayers and blessings



Birkot hashachar Akeida Offerings

Pesukei dezimra

Mizmor Shir (Psalm 30) Barukh she'amar Songs of thanksgiving (Psalm 100) Yehi kevod Hallel (Ashrei Psalms
146 147 148 149 150) Baruch Adonai L'Olam Vayivarech David Atah Hu Adonai L'Vadecha Az Yashir Yishtabach

Core prayers

Barechu Yotzer ohr Ahava rabbah Shema Emet Vayatziv Amidah Kedushah


Tachanun Torah
reading1, 2, 3 Ashrei Psalm 20 Uva letzion Aleinu Shir shel yom Kaddish Ein Keloheinu4


Ashrei Torah
reading1, 5 Amidah Kedushah Tachanun Aleinu Kaddish


Barechu Maariv
Aravim Ahavat Olam Shema Emet V'Emunah Hashkiveinu Baruch Adonai L'Olam Half Kaddish Amidah Full Kaddish Aleinu Mourner's Kaddish

/ Holiday additions

Extended Pesukei dezimra ( Psalms
19 34 90 91 135 136 33 Lekhah Dodi 92 93) Nishmat Shochen Ad Hallel Torah
reading Yom Tov Torah
readings Haftarah Yekum Purkan Av HaRachamim Mussaf Birkat Cohanim6 Anim Zemirot Tzidkatcha Al HaNissim Adon Olam

Seasonal additions

Psalm 27 Avinu Malkeinu Selichot

Other prayers

Amen Modeh Ani Ma Tovu Adon Olam Yigdal Al Netilat Yadayim Asher Yatzar Birkat HaMazon El Malei Rachamim Havdalah Kiddush Levana Tefilat HaDerech Birkat Hachama

1 On Shabbat 2 On holidays 3 On Mondays and Thursdays 4 Only on Shabbat
and holidays, according to Nusach Ashkenaz in the diaspora 5 On fast days 6 Daily in Israel

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Psalms תהילים Tehilim

By number

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Apocrypha or Anagignoskomena

151 (Eastern Orthodox) 152–155 (Syriac Orthodox) Psalms
of Solomon


Psalter Hallel Hallelujah Penitential Psalms Selah Song of Ascents They have pierced my hands and my feet


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