Halleluyah! As I hear the word in its original or English, I conjure up a person with eyes upward or closed and proclaiming the word with intensity, prompting the exclamation point. The word literally means, “Praise Yah!”
Praise is different than thanks. Thanksgiving is for what God has done for me. To praise is to exclaim “wow” for the goodness that we witness.
Yah is among the many names for God. In the Hebrew, there is a dot in the final letter, called a mapek in Biblical Hebrew, which is pronounced with added exhale. Yah conveys that God is the source of breath, the source of life.
Psalms 146-150 is a unit. Each opens and closes with Halleluyah. We do not know if the editor of Psalms put in the words or grouped them together due to shared style. What is clear is that the Psalms culminate in praise. Psalms have many moods, often reflecting crisis and even despair, but concludes with unbridled celebration of the Creator and enduring Caregiver.
As a rabbi, I have learned that the congregation retains how they felt at the end of a sermon. The trajectory of these poems to God is of uplift toward the Most Present.
Please join me for the celebration of Psalm 146
Our study will honor Dr. Jonathan Spitz