5

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?

  • 3
    Does this answer your question? Who Commanded Us, and For What? – DonielF Dec 18 '19 at 17:40
  • @DonielF Isn't that answer for Rabbinical commandments in general? – Kazi bácsi Dec 22 '19 at 19:41
  • @Kazi So this is a subset of that question. What's the problem? – DonielF Dec 22 '19 at 19:45
  • @DonielF Would you link all rabbinical commandment questions to that single one? This answer below features valuable information that wouldn't be relevant there. – Kazi bácsi Dec 22 '19 at 20:03
  • @Kazi Since when do we judge questions' duplicity based on the answers provided? If the question had asked, "What is the source for the Mitzvah of Hallel," or "I know that according to authorities XYZ Hallel is Biblical in nature, so what is their source?" I'd be fine leaving this open. But from the fact that this is asking predicated on וצונו in the bracha, I'd think it should be linked to the question which asks about such inconsistencies in general. Arguably, a complete answer to that question should include a footnote which says Hallel may be different. – DonielF Dec 22 '19 at 20:05
6

The mainstream approach (as stated forcefully by Rambam his Sefer HaMitzvot as well as in his Mishneh Torah) is that 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).”


With all that being said, Behag includes the recitation of Hallel in his count of the 613 commandments, implying that it indeed has a biblical source. Various explanations of his viewpoint have been offered, including:

  1. Ramban: Reciting Hallel on the biblical pilgrimage festivals may be a halacha lemoshe misinai, or it could be a fulfillment of the biblical requirement to rejoice on those days.

  2. Chatam Sofer: Reciting Hallel on Chanukah is mandated by a biblically binding argumentum a fortiori: If we are commanded to praise G-d by recounting the miracles of the Exodus on Passover (which only involved a redemption from slavery), then we are certainly, biblically, commanded to praise G-d for saving our very lives on Chanukah.

1

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.

  • 1
    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 '18 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 '18 at 4:19

You must log in to answer this question.