Q: As Rosh Hashanah is a very important time of the year, one would think that we recite Hallel. Hallel, literally translated to “praise”, is a prayer that is added on certain holidays. Why is it that despite the fact Rosh Hashanah is a holiday, we don’t say Hallel?
A: Rav Natan writes that the sound of the shofar contains every single word of prayer and brachot that we will say this year. This includes the prayer of Hallel, but what does that mean? How could the shofar contain blessings, specifically Hallel?
We blow the shofar to wake us up and remind us to do teshuva, which Rav Natan defines as resolving your bad habits. However, part of it is also recognizing and praising your success and virtues. When you do this, you encourage yourself to continue this good behavior, ultimately overshadowing any bad habits you may have once had. This is the part of teshuvah that the shofar represents, the part where our success is celebrated. This is Rosh Hashanah’s Hallel.
By: Lily Reinberg (9th)