Advanced Search

Why isn't Hallel Said on Rosh Hashana?


Question:

Since in addition to being the beginning of the New Year, Rosh Hashana is also the first day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, why don't we say Hallel on Rosh Hashana as on other days of Rosh Chodesh?



AskTheRabbi.org answered:

Good question.

Since Rosh Hashana is the Day of Judgment, each person should feel anxiety and awe. He should guard against levity and anything that distracts him from the awe of judgment.

So great is awe of judgment among Israel on Rosh Hashana that despite it's being a festival, they do not recite the Hallel song of praise recited on the New Moon or festivals. For Hallel is said only with a joy-filled heart, whereas during the days of judgment there should be more fear and trembling in Jewish hearts than rejoicing.

Thus our sages taught, "Said the angels before G-d, Lord of the Universe, why does Israel fail to utter song before you during Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur? He replied, When the King sits on the throne of judgment and the books of life and death are before him, can Israel utter song?" (Rosh Hashana 32).

Nevertheless, a person should not be saddened by fear of judgment. One should have a haircut, wash, and wear special clothes in honor of the festival. A husband should also give his wife a gift in honor of the day, and buy treats for the children. This demonstrates our faith that G-d will show us favor.

So we find that when Ezra the Scribe read the Torah before the assembly gathered on Rosh Hashana, and all the people wept on hearing the admonitions of the Torah, Ezra and Nehemiah said to them, "Do not mourn and do not weep. Go eat delicacies and drink sweet drinks and send gifts to whoever has no food, for the day is sacred to our Lord..." (Nehemiah 6:10).

Similarly, our sages taught: "Usually, a person who has a judgment pending against him dresses in black and neglects his appearance in worry of the outcome. Israel however is different. They dress in white, they eat, drink and rejoice in the knowledge that G-d will perform miracles in their behalf [and forgive them]" (Yerushalmi, Rosh Hashana, ch. 1).


Similar Questions
Holidays > Rosh Hashana
Rosh Hashana Greeting
Round Challah
Counting Jewishly
Festivals on Shabbat
Rosh Hashana Resolutions
Why is Rosh Hashana Two Days?
100 Shofar Blasts
Enlarged "Peh"
What is Rosh Hashana?
Appropriate Holiday Card
Shofar on Shabbos
Top Ten Reasons for the Shofar on Rosh Hashana
Blowing Shofar During Elul
Why Isn't Yom Kippur Before Rosh Hashana?
The Sweetest Apple in the World
Reasons for Blowing the Shofar
Happy Birthday to You (and Me)!
Never Too Late
A Time to Return
To Forgive is Divine
A National Holiday and National Identity
Rosh Hashana Torah Reading
The First Month of the Year
Setting an Alarm a Month Early
Elul–Month of Introspection
The Voice of the Shofar
Rosh Hashana - Tashlich
Elul — A Month of Great Meaning
Prayers and Blessings > Hallel
Hallel on Rosh Chodesh
Have a question?
 
Gateways - Your Key to Jewish Continuity

AskTheRabbi.org is a service of the Gateways Organization © 2022
Technical problems? Please contact the AskTheRabbi Support team