Wednesday, April 12, 2006

And now... For Something Completely Different...

A little change of pace.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for participating in this blog whether by just reading it or as a commentator. You have all helped to make it a success.

On this the day before Pesach, instead of my usual harangue, I am offering a short D’var Torah that anyone can use at the Seder. It is one of many that I hope to impart to my family this evening and tommorrow evening.

The following is taken from my favorite Sefer, Torah L’Daas by Rabbi Matis Blum Chelek #3, Moadim.

The Hagadah says, (loose translation):“In every generation we are required to see ourselves as though we were the ones saved through Yitzias Mitzrayim and therefore we are required to say Hallel. Let us say the Shira Chadsha, Hallelu-kah.”

Why is it important to consider it as though we ourselves were saved? And why is there this juxtaposition between this statement and Hallel?

Rabbi Yitzchak Zev HaLevi Soloveitchik provides us with an interesting answer. There are two kinds of Hallel: 1) Hallel Shel Kriyah and 2) Hallel Shel Shira. Hallel Shel Kriya is what was established for us by the “men of the great assembly” and is what we say 18 times a year during Shachris: The eight days of Sukkos, the first day of Pesach, Shavuos, and the eight days of Chanukah. Hallel Shel Shira is what we say when we experience salvation from excessive pain and suffering. But only the individual or individuals experiencing the salvation are the ones permitted to say Hallel, not anyone else even if they witness it. The Hallel that we say in the Haggadah is Hallel Shel Shira. The only way we are permitted to say it is we were the ones saved. So the Baal HaHaggada informs us that before we say Hallel we are required to consider ourselves as though we ourselves personally are saved. And only then are we permitted to say the Hallel of the Haggada which is the Hallel Shel Shira.

I wish everyone a Chag Kosher VeSameach