By Rabbi Pesach Wolicki – On Tuesday evening, Dec. 12, Jews the world over will light a candle to begin the eight days of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. One candle on the first night, two on the second night, three on the third, and son on, culminating in eight candles on the final night of the holiday. The lighting of the Menorah on each of the eight nights of Hanukah is the best known and most public observance of the holiday. However, there is another ritual that is practiced daily in our morning prayers during this holiday— the recitation of Psalms 113-118, known as Hallel.
These six psalms of Praise—are joyously sung as part of the synagogue worship service on all major Jewish holidays; Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles, as well as on the first day of every month, the celebration of the new moon. Why these six psalms? The Talmud records the instruction that these six psalms are to be recited on the biblical feasts as well as on any occasion of the redemption of the collective people of Israel. More specifically, for Hallel to be sung, the event that is commemorated must constitute a step towards the ultimate redemption of Israel. READ MORE