The singing started spontaneously somewhere, I don’t think it was with the shaliah tzibur, but pasuk by pasuk more and more people joined until the final pasuk there was a crescendo and the whole beit knesset was singing, “V’anachu nevarech Yah, ma-atah va’ad olam, Halleluyah!”
As I looked around Yahalom (the beit knesset at the school my son attends) I couldn’t help but be deeply touched by what I saw. Let me explain the pasuk in reference to the experience.
“V’anachnu” starts with a “vav” which means “and”, and anachnu means “we” – so, the simple meaning is, “and we”.
“And” is like links in a chain, meaning that there is a continuous experience. Just like we were singing Hallel today, so too our fathers, and our father’s fathers before us, sang Hallel on Rosh Hodesh. The experience is linear in time. It did not change, there is nothing new – they sang Hallel and so do we.
“Anachnu” or “we” speaks of the present and in today’s experiece there was a broad spectrum of “we“. There were Ashkenazim, Sephardim, Chasidim, Charadim, Yeminites, Bnei Menashe (from India), children (sixth graders) singing with their high pitched voices, IDF soldiers, rebbes and teachers, principals, baal habatim, yeshiva students, kollel avreichim, retirees, some wore a kippa sruga, others wore black velvet, there were curly bobbing peyot and behind the ear payot, some in tee-shirts and others in black suits, the list goes on – but at that moment we were “anachnu” – a cross-section of Jewry, a unified unit, lev ehad, doing the same thing that has been done for thousands of years!
“Nevarech Yah” means, ” will bless G-d”. Truly the function of a Jew – what more can be said.
“Ma-atah va’ad olam” means “from now until eternity”. Once again we have the time line continuation where our praise/blessing of the Creator does not stop with us but will continue for further generations. Since G-d is eternal, so too will we have the sublime pleasure of singing praise and blessings to Him.
“Halleluyah!” – “Praise G-d!”