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The Hallel

December 29, 2008

I have been reading through Jacob Neusner’s The Theology of the Oral Torah and today at lunch I read the following which I found very interesting. It is Neusner’s translation of Yerushalmi Tractate Megillah 2:I I:2

E. Since it is written, “From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is to be praised!” (Ps. 113:1). What do you derive from that verse of Scripture? [The Hallel must be read in proper order.]
F. Said R. Abin, “The matter of reading the Hallel in proper order involves the right order of the various sections thereof, thus:
G. “‘When Israel went forth from Egypt, [the house of Jacob from a people of strange language]’ (Ps. 114 – this refers to times past.
H. “‘Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to thy name give glory, [for the sake of thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness!] (Ps. 115:1) – this refers to the present generations.
I. “‘I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications’ (Ps. 116) – this refers to the days of the Messiah.
J. “‘[The Lord is God, and he has given us light.] Bind the festal offering with cords [up to the horns of the altar!’ (Ps. 118:27) – this refers to the days of Gog and Magog.
K. “‘Thou art my God, and I will give thanks to thee; [thou art my God, I will extol thee]’ (Ps. 118:28) – this refers to the age to come.”

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