בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְותָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לִקְרא אֶת הַהַלֵּל

You are blessed, O God, our God of the world who hath commanded us his mitzvot to read the Hallel.

Where in any of our literature are we commanded?

Hallel is a rabbinic commandment. As such there is no mention of it in the Torah (Pentateuch). There is also no (explicit) mention in the rest of Tanach.

What we do have is the Talmud in Arachin 10a which tells us on which days we are obligated to recite Hallel.

The Talmud in Shabbat 23a asks (with reference to the similarly rabbinic commandment to light Chanukah lights) how we can say in the blessing that G-d commanded us to perform this commandment, when it is rabbinic in nature?

Two answers are given:

רב אויא אמר מלא תסור רב נחמיה אמר שאל אביך ויגדך זקניך ויאמרו לך

Rav Avya said, “From ‘You shall not depart’ (Devarim 17:11).” Rav Nehemiah said, “‘Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders and they will say to you’ (Devarim 32:7).”

  • Wasn't it instituted by the prophets? – robev Nov 8 at 19:28
  • Rambam calls it midevrei sofrim. I mean rabbinic as opposed to מדאורייתא – Joel K Nov 8 at 19:33
  • Notwithstanding that Behag does include it in his count if the 613. – Joel K Nov 8 at 19:42
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    You expanded on explaining the "generalities" of how we can say that G-d commanded us to do Rabbinical mitzvoth. That's a "derivative" answer to the question. Can you summarize where / how the rabbis commanded Hallel and how they learned this is a mitzvah? – DanF Nov 8 at 19:58
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    Somewhat, but, let's leave it at what it is. As for "no mention in the rest of Tanach", seriously, David Hamelech wrote the "Hallel" in Tehillim. So, there definitely IS "mention" of it ;-) Dr. Shmuels' answer is more in line of what I was seeking. Yours and his actually combine to answer the full question, I believe. – DanF Nov 8 at 23:08

Pesahim 117a

והלל זה מי אמרו נביאים שביניהן תקנו להן לישראל שיהו אומרין אותו על כל פרק ופרק ועל כל צרה וצרה שלא תבא עליהן ולכשנגאלין אומרים אותו על גאולתן

The prophets enacted for Israel to say Hallel (Psalms 113-18) at every event and at every calamity.

Sefer Hamitzvos

כל מה שצוונו חכמים לעשותו וכל מה שהזהירונו ממנו כבר צוה משה רבינו ע"ה בסיני שהוא צונו לעשותו

Anything the sages commanded [or instituted] to perform, has already been commanded by Moshe Rabeinu, at Sinai.

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    Your quote from Sefer HaMitzvos is a little misleading. Where you’ve ended it could imply that Moshe explicitly made reference to every individual derabannan, which is the opposite of Rambam intent. Maybe add his next few words? – Joel K Nov 9 at 4:10
  • It’s not clear cut that your quote from Pesachim applies to Hallel as we recite it on chagim. Check out Maggid Mishneh here – Joel K Nov 9 at 4:19

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