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Hallel •  is collection of six psalms: 113-118. The Jewish tradition remembers that King David wrote the Psalms.

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•  is said on the three festivals: Pesah, Shavuot, and Sukkot. It is also said on Hanukkah (but not Purim), and most Jews also say it on Yom ha-Atzma’ut (Israel’s Independence Day) and Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day). •  is also said as part of the Passover Seder. •  is the oldest part of the siddur—a cycle of prayers that goes all the way back into the service in the Temple. •  is a group of psalms with really good melodies that are a lot of fun to sing. The Talmud (Pesahim 117a-118a) helps us understand the . It teaches that: •  is said when Israel is in danger and  is said when Israel has been rescued. This teaches us that we can call on God when we need help because God has been there for us in the past when we have needed help. •  traces the history of the Jewish people. It has five themes: (1) the Exodus from Egypt, (2) the crossing of the Reed Sea, (3) the giving of the Torah, (4) the giving of eternal life, (5) the coming of the Messiah. • We cannot change the order of the  because it tells a story that starts in the past, leads to the present, and has faith in the future. We believe that God will take care of us—because God has taken care of us in the past. 1


 Praised are You

 .1

ADONAI our God, Ruler of the Cosmos

 .2

Who made us HOLY with the MITZVOT

 .3

and made it a MITZVAH for us

 .4

to read the HALLEL.

  .5

HALLELUYAH (Sing praise to God)

 .6

HALLELU (Sing praise) God’s workers

 .7

HALLELU God’s name

 .8

Let God’s name be BLESSED

 .9

from now and beyond forever.

 .10

Psalm 113

Psalm 114

When Israel went out of Egypt

 .11

The House of Jacob

 .12

went from being a nation with a strange tongues

 .13

Judah became God’s Holy One

 .14

Israel became God’s domain.

 .15

The sea saw it and fled,

 .16

the Jordan turned backwards.

 .17

The mountains leaped like rams,

 .18

the hills (leaped) like young sheep.

 .19

What’s with you sea that you flee?

 .20




Jordan why do you turn backwards?

 .21

Mountains why do you leap like rams?

 .22

Hills why (leap) like lambs?

 .23

The earth quakes at the presence of the Master

 .24

at the presence of the God of Jacob.

 .25

The One who turned the rock into a pool of water,

 .26

Turned the flint into a fountain of water.

 .27

Psalm 118: 19–20

Open the gates of righteousness for me

 .28

I will come in and give thanks to God

 .29

This is ADONAI’s gate,

 .30

the righteous will come in through it…

… .31

Please ADONAI save us!

 .32

Please ADONAI save us!

 .33

Please ADONAI give us success!

 .34

Please ADONAI give us success!

 .35

Psalm 118: 25

There are many traditions about the times that  was first said. These include: (a) Moses and Israel sang it when they came out of the Reed Sea; (b) Joshua sang it when the Canaanites threatened the people; (c) Deborah and Barak sang it when they faced Sisera; (d) Hezekiah sang it when Jerusalem was attacked by Assyria; (e) Hananiah, Misha’el, and Azariah sang it when Nebuchadnezzar threatened them; (f) Esther and Mordechai sang it when Haman wanted to destroy the Jews (Pesahim 117a). How can all of these moments be “the first time”? When else in Jewish history would be a good -saying moment? On the last six days of Passover we say only a shortened . A midrash explains why. After Israel crossed the Reed Sea safely they started singing . The angels joined in. God yelled at the angels, “How can you sing when my creations are drowning?” The angels stopped. During the seder we take drops of wine out of our Kiddush cup when we remember the suffering of the Egyptians during the plagues. We shorten the  on Passover for the same reason. How can we both celebrate and feel bad about the same victory?




ROOT AnALYsIs Can you see the letters  in these words?

 



Prayers of Praise =  Let us praise =  Praise the Eternal! = 

Practice these phrases and circle all the words that contain the root .





.1





.

TRAnsLATIOn Review the vocabulary and make your best guess at the meaning of this blessing..















   Words

_______________________________________________________________________

Who = 

_______________________________________________________________________

mitzvah = 

_______________________________________________________________________

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Practice Practice Psalm 113.



.1





.2





.3





.4



   

.5





.6





.7





.8





.9





.10





.11


TRAnsLATIOn Review the vocabulary and make your best guess at the meaning of this part of Psalm 113..

Words workers of =  let =  name = 

Take your best guess at the meaning of this text. Your teacher will help you with your translation.



now = 



until = 





Words Parts from =  and = 





______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________

To Talk About One strange thing about this psalm is that it talks about “God’s Name” and not “God.” The Dubner Maggid told this story to explain why. Once there was a queen with a huge empire—it was too big for her to visit every place. One day an impersonator dressed up like a queen and visited a part of the empire where the real queen had never been. The people all treated her warmly with great respect and honor. When the real queen heard about this everyone expected her to be angry, but she wasn’t. They thought that she would punish the people for worshipping the wrong queen, but she said, “They thought that they were honoring me, not the imposter. They just need to be introduced to the real me.” The Dubner Maggid explained, “Many different people see the things that God does in the world, but not all of them figure out which Power was responsible. God says the same thing as the queen. ‘They need to learn My Name. They need to be introduced to the real Me’” (Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, Prayerfully Yours). Why does the psalmist talk about “God’s name” and not just “God”?

6


ROOT AnALYsIs Can you see the letters  in these words? sometimes the  drops out.

 he left =  when leaving =  The One Who =  takes out

 

Practice these phrases and circle all the words that contain the root .





.1





.

Leaving Egypt In Hebrew the Exodus from Egypt is called .  is the Hebrew word for Egypt. It is built around the three- letter root . A  is a “pit.”  is plural. That makes Egypt “the pits.” The word  is built out of the two letters , which means “narrowness.” A rabbi named the Sefat Emet taught, “We each have our own Egypt, our own ‘narrowness,’ that we have to escape.” Another rabbi, Isaac of Gur, taught the same lesson in a different way. He said, “In every generation there is a new understanding of leaving Egypt. Egypt is inside of us. We all have our own Pharaohs. Not only in every generation, but in every person there is a point of freedom. To touch that point is to exit the inner Egypt. That point can only be found individually by each person.” Explain the idea of a personal Egypt in your own words. _______________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ 7


TRAnsLATIOn

Psalm 114

Review the vocabulary and make your best guess at the meaning of this part of Psalm 114..

 Words Parts from =







Words







nation = 



strange =  language

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To Talk About There are two stories about the first time that  was sung. One version says that Israel sang it once they successfully crossed the Reed Sea (and while the Egyptians were drowning). The other says that King David was studying about . David learned that there were many reasons that God found the Families-of-Israel to be worth saving. There were four: (1) They kept their Hebrew names, (2) they did not give up Hebrew as their language, (3) they did not tell each others’ secrets, and (4) husbands and wives were good to their partners. And there were some more reasons: because they celebrated a Passover on their last night in Egypt, because they passed the Covenant with God onto their children, and because in the future they would accept the Torah and would build the Tabernacle. When David learned about all of these good things that Israel did because of their faith in God, he just had to sing. Out came  (Midrash Tehillim 114.4). Can both of these stories be true? What can we learn from each one?

8


ROOT AnALYsIs Can you see the letters  in these words?

 



justice =  righteous person =  righteous giving = 

Practice these phrases and circle all the words that contain the root .



.1



.2



.3



.4

 

.5



.6

  

.7



.8

9


Psalm 118

TRAnsLATIOn

Review the vocabulary and make your best guess at the meaning of this part of Psalm 118.

Words I will come =  in them =  I will thank = 



God =  this =  in it =  for me = 



 

Words Parts from = 



________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

To Talk About One big question about this psalm is “What gates are we talking about?” Rashi, a famous medieval biblical commentator, said, “This is a dream of the future. In the future, after the Messiah comes, the Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem. In that Messianic future, all good people will gather and enter and come close to each other and to God.” Rashi lived around the year 1000. Today, not all Jews believe that it would be wonderful to rebuild the Temple. So Rashi’s comment could be understood to mean “the gates to a time when all people live in peace, safety, and prosperity.” This is just one interpretation of . What do you think “Gates of Righteousness” means?

10


King David Learns About the Meaning of Life

A

midrash teaches:

King David learned that when a person is ready to enter the life after this life, she will be asked, “What was your work?” If she answers, “I fed the hungry,” they will say to her, “This is God’s gate,” and let her in. If he answers, “I gave drink to those who are thirsty,” they will say to him, “This is God’s gate,” and let him in. If she answers, “I gave clothes to those who need them,” they will say to her, “This is God’s gate,” and let her in. If he answers, “I took care of orphans, gave tzedakah, or performed other deeds of lovingkindness,” the same will happen. David said, “I do all of these things, so let all the gates be opened for me.” He then wrote, “.”

Questions 1. According to this midrash, what are the Gates of Righteousness? What does it take to open them? 2. The  starts with the Exodus from Egypt, moves on to crossing the Reed Sea, and then takes us to Mount Sinai. How is this psalm connected to those events? 3. In the Talmud we are told about a number of “spiritual gates”, the Gates of Prayer, the Gates of Weeping, the Gates of Repentance, the Gates of Paradise, and the Gates of Wounded Feelings. What other unique gates may there be? 4. How does knowing this story of David help you know where to point your heart when you say this part of ?

11


Practice these words.

 

.1

 

.2

 

.3

Practice these phrases.

 

 

.4

 

 

.5



 

.6

 

 

.7

 

.8

 

.9

 

.10



.11

Copyright © 2008 Torah Aura Productions. Published by Torah Aura Productions. All Rights Reserved. Illustrations © Lane Yerkes & Christine Tripp. Torah Aura Productions • 4423 Fruitland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90058 (800) BE-TORAH • (323) 585-7312 • fax (323) 585-0327 • e-mail <misrad@torahaura.com> website WWW.TORAHAURA.COM • manufactured in malaysia.

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