I recently noticed in גמ' מגילה כא עמוד ב a possibility that there was some point where Targum accompanied the public recitation of the Hallel, due to the line:

"ובהלל ובמגילה אפילו עשרה קורין ועשרה מתרגמין"

Rashi there does not include מתרגמין in the girsa but Tosafos and other rishonim still include it.

There is also the possibility that "קורין" refers to both Hallel and Megilla while "מתרגמין" would only apply to Megilla (less unusual as we normally associate the old practice of a meturgeman with a public reading from a written Hebrew portion of כתבי הקודש).

While the Rambam makes no mention of Targum for Hallel, in הל' מגילה וחנוכה ג:יב-יד, the way he presents the original way of reciting Hallel in shul is a responsive interaction between shliach tzibbur and kehilla which makes it easier to imagine how a Targum might have possibly fit in.

Does anyone out there know of a place or time where a there was an actual minhag to translate a recitation of Hallel to Aramaic (or even merely sources which discuss this)?

  • 1
    Rashba there sides with Tosafos but still takes Hallel out of the Gemara. Rif's girsa also doesn't have hallel.
    – N.T.
    Apr 12 at 21:38
  • You are correct in that our גירסא isn't a consensus and that the answer I seek requires the גירסא we have in front of us which includes Hallel and Targum. So far the rishonim I've seen that maintain our גירסא are: On our gemara, ר' חננאל. (the דיבור המתחיל in our תוספות is unclear since leaving out Hallel as the first word may have been left out to maintain brevity). On שבת קטו. תוד"ה ובידו ספר איוב תרגום . On ר"ה כז. : תוספות רי"ד ומאירי . In מגילה ג עמוד א the רשב"א there is actually גורס both Hallel and Targum when referring to the later gemara.
    – EraserX
    Apr 13 at 1:54

1 Answer 1


I noticed the following comments by the Rogatchover which begin to answer my question.

In צפנת פענח - מהדורא תניינא, דווינסק, תר"ץ when discussing the Rambam in הל' עבודה זרה ג:ג, he writes:

ולקמן בהל' חנוכה אבאר בזה דיש ב' גדרים הלל א' בגדר קריאת פרשה וא' בגדר שירה ועי' במגילה דכ"א ע"ב דהיו מתרגמין את ההלל וזהו בגדר קריאת פרשה ועי' עירכין ד"י גבי אין אומרים שירה על נס שבחו"ל ותוספו' סוכה דמ"ד והך דפסחים דקי"ז דגם יחיד אומר שירה זה רק בגדר שבח ופרסומי ניסא

He indicates that at the time of the Tannaim (since it appears as a ברייתא) that they would actually do Targum for the Hallel. He defines two aspects of Hallel: that of קריאה and that of שירה. He writes that the very fact that a Targum was done for Hallel flows from the Kria aspect, as Targum was something typically done for an obligation to read something from inside a sefer.

One can see the original where it's in the right column of דף ט (page 16 of the PDF)

And here is the relevant section:

enter image description here

You can view the digitized text here - you would need to scroll down a bit to get to the relevant section.

I first noticed the צפנת פענח being quoted here in section ט where Rabbi Zvi Ryzman quotes a ספר ברכת מועדיך which quotes and discusses the above comments of the Rogatchover.

Also see the interesting relevant comment here, of an observation that in the Lederman shul in Bnei Brak the shliach tzibur leads Hallel by reading the sections of Tehillim from a klaf.

I wouldn't be surprised if this inyan is discussed elsewhere so I would still be looking for other input on the issue. It would be interesting to see whether other relevant comments are found in sefarim and whether communities that carried on the tradition of a מתורגמן would also use one for Hallel.

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