Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

Hallel in a Minor Key

This Hallel is for singing praises in times of struggle or sorrow. “Hallel in a Minor Key” is the name of both the liturgy and the opening song, music by Sue Radner Horowitz. The liturgy — a full alternative Hallel, including Hebrew from each of the Hallel Psalms — is available as a PDF download here, including the sheet music. Listen to the song by clicking on the triangle in the bar below. Follow along with the words, beneath the download link. For a deeper discussion of the development of this liturgy, click here to read an article on the CCAR’s RavBlog.

Hallel in a Minor Key
Praise God from the heights of rejoicing.
Praise God from the depths of despair.
Praise God from the places between.

Praise God when plague stalks our days.
Praise God when fear stalks our nights.
Praise God when the darkness descends.

We sing praises in a minor key,
The key of heartbreak,
With tropes of lamentation,
But still praises,
For beauty has not been lost
And hope has not been defeated,
And love still shines,
A beacon of tomorrow.

הַ֥לְלוּיָהּ הַ֭לְלוּ עַבְדֵ֣י יהוה הַֽ֝לְל֗וּ אֶת־שֵׁ֥ם יהוה׃
Hal’luyah hal’lu avdei Adonai, hal’lu et shem Adonai.
Hallelujah. O servants of Adonai give praise; praise the name of Adonai. (Psalm 113:1)

Praise God from joy and blessing.
Praise God from sorrow and pain.
Praise God from the places between.

Praise God when God feels distant.
Praise God when God feels absent.
Praise God when darkness descends.

We sing praises in a minor key,
The key of heartbreak,
With tropes of lamentation,
But still praises,
For beauty has not been lost
And hope has not been defeated,
And love still shines,
A beacon of tomorrow.

הַ֥לְלוּיָהּ הַ֭לְלוּ עַבְדֵ֣י יהוה הַֽ֝לְל֗וּ אֶת־שֵׁ֥ם יהוה׃
Hal’luyah hal’lu avdei Adonai, hal’lu et shem Adonai.
Hallelujah. O servants of Adonai give praise; praise the name of Adonai. (Psalm 113:1)

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Hallel in a Minor Key” lyrics, © 2021 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com, music © 2021 Sue Radner Horowitz.

Postscript: It was a thrill to work with Sue on this project. Check out her music here. Thanks to my publisher, CCAR Press, for creating the PDF and debuting it on RavBlog, as well as the many individuals who were part of this project. Portions of “Hallel in a Minor Key” were first presented during a Ritualwell online event, “Refuah Shleimah: A Healing Ritual Marking a Year of Pandemic,” and portions were shared in a breakout session at the 2021 Annual CCAR Convention held online. Thanks to both CCAR Press and Ritualwell for sharing the full liturgy. Individual thank yous are shown on the PDF.

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