In most traditions, the communal recitation of Hallel includes some sections that are said only by the ḥazzan and responses that are said by the ḳahal. For example, in many minhag Ashkenaz communities, verses 2–4 of Psalm 118 are said only by the ḥazzan, and the ḳahal repeats verse 1 after each recitation (see for example the Koren minhag Ashkenaz siddur); in some Yemenite and Sepharadi communities, the ḳahal says הללו יה after almost every half verse of Hallel, and otherwise says almost none of Hallel (see for example here and Tiklal Tefillat Kol Peh); and there are other minhagim.

If you are not with the ḳahal for Hallel (on the days when even an individual says Hallel), you obviously do not do the call and response, but say all of Hallel yourself. I am wondering about the in-between situation, where you arrive join the ḳahal late, when they've already started saying Hallel. In this situation, if you catch up silently to the ḳahal, can you then join in the call and response (and not actually say several verses of Hallel), or since you started as an individual, must you finish as an individual? Does it matter when you arrived and caught up, eg. if you only missed the ḥazzan's blessing, but none of Hallel, or you only missed a section that doesn't have any call and reponse?

  • For everyone who never knew about the referenced yemenite practice, and everyone else too, I highly recommend watching this recording of it youtu.be/K376d3zTt7I it's not short but to once in your life experience this ancient practice it's well worth it. Edit here's another link youtu.be/ayfCiHWLiSU
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 25, 2021 at 16:28
  • If it's all shomea keoneh then I don't know what would be wrong with joining halfway through. Is there another proposed mechanism you were thinking of?
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 25, 2021 at 16:40
  • @DoubleAA Similar to this question then. I'm not sure it's just shome'a ke'oneh, though. The communal responses are things you wouldn't normally say when saying Hallel by yourself, so perhaps communal Hallel has a different character than individual Hallel.
    – magicker72
    Commented Apr 25, 2021 at 16:48
  • Your link only could possibly apply to the yemenite custom, since the ashkenazi custom always does that
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 25, 2021 at 17:04
  • @DoubleAA I'm not certain I understand, could you please explain further? In the Ashkenazi rite, if I'm alone, I say 118:1–4 out loud in order, but if I'm בציבור, I say/hear verses 1, 1, 2, 1, 3, 1, 4, 1. I know that verse 1 isn't something "you wouldn't normally say", but it's surely out of place in a Hallel said individually.
    – magicker72
    Commented Apr 25, 2021 at 17:15


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