Weekly Tefilah Focus

Hallel 2

M’kimi mei’afar dal, mei’ashpos yarim evyon. He (looks even to the lowest and) raises up the...

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Ha’yam raah va’yanos, haYardein yisov l’achor.

The Yam Suf saw klal Yisrael going in and fled (split), (and at that time) the Yarden River (and all the waters in the world miraculously) turned backwards.

In the last two segments, we discussed the difference between our emunah and that of the nations of the world who believe in G-d. We believe that Hashem is not just exalted above, higher than all, but rather that He has designed our lives precisely in every detail and is intimately involved in every aspect continuously. Our belief in hashgachah pratis is what sets us apart from the rest of the world and is the component of emunah that the Rosh calls the “y’sod (foundation) of the entire Torah.”

Haysah Yehudah l’kodsho, Yisrael mamsh’losav.

Then the tribe of Yehudah became His holy nation (for jumping into the threatening Yam Suf first), and klal Yisrael became under Hashem’s rule (and no longer under the Egyptians’ rule).

M’kimi mei’afar dal, mei’ashpos yarim evyon.

He (looks even to the lowest and) raises up the extremely poor from the dust, (and) He lifts up the destitute from the garbage dumps.

B’tzeis Yisrael miMitzrayim, Beis Yaakov mei’am lo’eiz.

When klal Yisrael [the men] left from the land of Mitzrayim, (and) Beis Yaakov [the women] left from a people of a foreign language (that they did not understand)

There are numerous opinions in the Gemara, in Maseches P’sachim, as to who authored these chapters of T’hilim (113-118), which comprise what we refer to as “Hallel.” It has been suggested that there is really no dispute in the Gemara. The basic framework was established by the early Prophets and later enhanced by successive generations. Eventually, David HaMelech organized these chapters into the final form we have today in T’hilim (T’shuvah MeiAhavah, Vol. II, responsa 264).