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My understanding is that Hallelujah (or Alleluia) is a compound word from the Hebrew ‘hallelu’, meaning “to praise joyously,” and ‘yah’, a shortened form of the unspoken name of G-d. It is an active imperative, an instruction to the listener or congregation to sing joyful praise to Hashem.

Hallelujah appears in 15 different Psalms, between 104-150, and in almost every case at the opening and/or closing of the Tehilm/Psalm. These passages are called the "Hallelujah Psalms." A good example is Psalm 113: Praise the Lord!

However, I can't help but think there is more behind the combining of these two Hebrew words; that if the heavenly, angelic hosts were to praise and worship Hashem by crying out "Hallelujah" or "Alleluia" then it would be something sacred and special, that heaven would reverberate to the concert of heavenly music, as the voice of many waters and of mighty thunderings.

May I respectfully enquire if "Praise the Lord" (as used in the Tehilm/Psalms) has a deeper, a more significant and spiritual meaning than simply singing joyful songs of praise?

I saw this related question, but it does not address my specific question: Why should other nations praise G-d because of His mercy towards us?

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    Praise the Lord is a good literal translation. The quality of the praise depends on who does the praising. As to what it is like when angels praise G-d, I'm not sure the human brain can really grasp it. – N.T. May 9 at 17:28
  • @N.T. Thank you for your comment. Any idea why my question was down-voted? – Lesley May 10 at 7:28
  • Apparently one person did not like the question. Off the top of my head I don't see why. – N.T. May 10 at 8:25
  • @N.T. - Yeah, I guess so. Pity people don't explain why they felt the need to down-vote. Thanks for your input (: – Lesley May 10 at 12:33
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When does Torah first abbreviate HaShem to יָ֔הּ "Yah"? - In הַשִּׁירָ֤ה The-Song of Exodus 15:2 (rejoicing Yisrael's deliverance from מִצְרָ֑יִם Mitsrayim)

Shemot | Exodus 15:2

"YaH is my strength and might; He is become my Deliverance. This is my-God and I will enshrine Him; The God of my-father, and I will exalt Him." ( עָזִּ֤י וְזִמְרָת֙ יָ֔הּ וַֽיְהִי־לִ֖י לִֽישׁוּעָ֑ה זֶ֤ה אֵלִי֙ וְאַנְוֵ֔הוּ אֱלֹהֵ֥י אָבִ֖י וַאֲרֹמְמֶֽנְהוּ )

The allusion to half of HaShem establishes that not all ג֖וֹיִם nations "fully" recognize HaShem. - As stated in Shemot 17:16 by Moshe, and by David in Tehillim 9.

If His enemies do not turn to Him from bowing down to Khnum/Dagon/Baal, then how can they fully recognize HaShem?

David sings (1/2 of HaShem) הַֽלְלוּ-יָ֨הּ to turn our hearts towards fully understanding HaShem. "Praise-YaH" may be blindly sung by nations, since the full meaning of YaH is revealed in Torah's account of the Exodus.

Tehillim | Psalm 113

"Hallelu-YaH! Praise, you servants of YHVH, praise [the] Name of YHVH." ( הַֽלְלוּיָ֨הּ | הַֽ֖לְלוּ עַבְדֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֑ה הַֽ֜לְלוּ אֶת־שֵׁ֥ם יְהֹוָֽה )

David sings Tehillim 113 to help us develop our understanding of the concealed YaH to the revealed YHVH. - The half becomes Echad.

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  • Please add sources to your answer. – N.T. May 10 at 18:43
  • Rabbeinu Bahya - Commentary on Exodus 17:16 "The name י-ה represents G’d’s incomplete name here on earth, i.e. the attribute of Justice in the terrestrial domain. On earth, the fight against G’d and His representative the Jewish people, is aimed at preventing His name from becoming the four-lettered tetragram." [sefaria.org/… – חִידָה May 10 at 19:03

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