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by Rabbi Ephraim Becker
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Pesachim 118


(a) Question: What is this (special) Birchas HaShir?
(b) Answer [R. Yehudah]: Yehalelucha.
(c) Answer [R. Yochanan]: Nishmas.
(d) The Bereisa teaches that we recite Hallel HaGadol over the fourth cup, and reports three versions of Hallel HaGadol.
1. Question: Why is it called Hallel HaGadol?
2. Answer: Because HaShem allocates sustenance from on high to all creations.
3. Question: What is the significance of the 26 praises of Hallel HaGadol?
4. Answer: The 26 generations (before the Torah was given) which were sustained entirely with Chesed.
(e) Question [R. Chisda]: What is the meaning of the verse "Praise Hashem for He is Good..."
(f) Answer: HaShem "collects" back His goodness as payment for a person's debts, each according to the property which He has granted (and thus spares the person from personal injury).
(a) A person's sustenance is more difficult than childbirth.
(b) A person's sustenance is more difficult than redemption.
(c) [Resh Lakish] Adam bemoaned the thought that he and the beast would eat the same food (wild growths), but was comforted with the thought that he could toil and make bread.
(d) [Resh Lakish] Fortunate are we... for we can eat wild grass (two versions).
(e) A person's sustenance is more difficult than splitting of sea.
(f) A person's ability to excrete is more difficult than the day of death and the splitting of the sea.
(a) One who disparages the festivals is as one who worships idolatry
(b) One who speaks or receives Lashon Hara or who testifies falsely is fit to be thrown to dogs.
(a) Question: Why do we recite Hallel on festivals, and not Hallel HaGadol?
(b) Answer #1: Hallel has five features (Yetzias Mitzrayim, Krias YamSuf, Matan Torah, Techiyas HaMeisim, Chevlo Shel Mashiach).
1. [R. Yochanan] Lo Lanu refers to Shi'bud Malchios.
2. Alternately, it refers to the battle of Gog-Magog.
(c) Answer #2: Hallel has the extraction of the righteous souls from Gehinom.
(d) Answer #3: Hallel has the descent of the righteous (Chananyah, Mishael and Azaryah) into the furnace and their ascent from it.
1. The various sections of Lo Lanu are attributed to each of these Tzadikim, upon their descent and their salvation.
2. Others attribute veEmes HaShem l'Olam" to Gavriel at the time that Avraham was thrown into Nimrod's furnace.
(i) Gavriel was denied the privilege of saving Avraham, which HaShem did Himself.
(ii) Gavriel was instead granted the privilege of saving Avraham's three descendants from the furnace.
(e) It was taught that Gavriel sang veEmes HaShem l'Olam when he successfully defended his right to save the three against the offer of the Sar Barad, by offering to make a miracle within a miracle.

(f) [R. Noson] VeEmes HaShem l'Olam was sung by the fish.
1. HaShem instructed the sea to demonstrate to the Jews that the Mitzrim were destroyed.
2. The ensuing discussion resulted in HaShem guaranteeing 150% replacement to the Sar Shel Yam.
3. The fish sang when this debt was paid by Nachal Kishon in the time of Sisra.
(a) "Moshivi Akeres HaBayis," we are like the Chuldah.
(b) "Ahavti Ki Yishma," we are beloved when you hear my cries.
(c) "Dalosi v'li Yehoshia," though poor in Mitzvos, I am Yours and fit to be saved.
(d) [R. Yishmael b. R. Yosi citing his father] "Hallelu es HaShem Kol Goyim," we are even more obligated than the Gentiles to praise.
(e) Further, Mitzrayim sends a gift to the Mashiach and it is received by HaShem (to their surprise); the other nations derive their ability to do the same except for Rome, (Esav) who is utterly excluded from Israel's redemption (three versions of the Pasuk Tehilim 68:31 excluding them).
(f) The rest of the Pasuk (ibid.) is interpreted:
1. Adas Avirim...
2. Misrapes Beratzei Kasef...
3. Bizar Amim Kravos Yechpatzu...
(g) A third citation from his father, 365 markets each with 365... each filled with enough food to sustain the world.
1. For whom is this wealth intended?
2. For you, the Talmidei Chachamim, as in Yeshayah 23:17.
(h) That Pasuk (ibid.) is fully expounded:
1. Ki LaYoshevim...
(i) One who recognizes his friend's regular place.
(ii) One who greets his friend...
2. V'limchaseh Asik...
(i) He who conceals that which HaShem has concealed.
(ii) This refers to the secrets of Torah or its rationale.
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