Passover, Freedom and the Hallel Prayers

April 5, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Passover, Freedom and the Hallel Prayers

Good Morning,
I would like to share with you some thoughts on Passover, freedom and the Hallel prayers.  Please let me know your thoughts or questions at

Hallel is the collection of psalms we joyously sing to celebrate a holiday or the beginning of a Hebrew month, on Rosh Chodesh.  Usually, we sing the psalms together as one unit during the day.

Earlier this week during the Passover Seder, we said Hallel at night and it was split into two sections.  This strange happenstance should be a bright flashing light, trying to teach us something. 

The way in which Hallel is split is symbolic.  The first part of Hallel focuses on our joined communal memory of our redemption from Egypt.  The second part of Hallel looks to the future and ends with our messianic hope of next year in a rebuilt complete and peaceful Jerusalem.

Both sections are part of one whole in the Haggadah. Yet the fact that they split into two sections is a metaphor for us, about human nature.  Just as we cannot complete the seder unless we sing both parts of Hallel, so too are we not complete unless we can recognize and even appreciate the parts of ourselves that are both enslaved and free, yearning for redemption.  

We are complete and flawed people.  We are free and still enslaved.  We, complex modern human beings, live in the balance between the two.

Without the idea of freedom, a slave will never know that they have potential to be anything but a slave.  Without the sense of servitude and oppression, a free person will never value what precious freedoms they have.  Without us seeing ourselves as if WE were slaves in Egypt, we cannot appreciate how we are free to serve God together as a community.

The recognition of this freedom also brings the burden of responsibility to use our time wisely, to pay it forward in a way that can somehow help to bring peace and justice to our fractured world. How will you use your freedom this year?

Chag Sameach,
Rabbi Metz

I hope everyone is having a nice Passover.  I would like to remind you of a few events.
Please join us for extra Shabbat and Passover services this Friday, April 6 at 8 PM.
Shabbat and Passover morning services with Yizkor 10 AM
Please help us make a minyan for both services so we all can remember our loved ones through saying kaddish.
Please join us for two wonderful events coming up:
Have you ever wondered WHO IS GOD?
Join us to explore and discuss this topic.
Thursday, April 12 & 19 7 p.m.
Celebrate Israel’s Independence Day with us at a Potluck Shabbat Dinner!
Friday, April 20 6:30 p.m Services and 7:30 p.m. Dinner

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal