Today is אחרון של פסח. In Chassidic thought, this marks the day of the revelation of משיח, as Passover transitions from a celebration of the past redemption to the anticipation of the future redemption.
And it’s not just a Chassidic idea, since the haftorah of the day echoes that same theme:
Note what we will sing ביום ההוא: אודך ה׳, עזי וזמרת י־ה, הודו לה׳. They’re all allusions to saying Hallel:
ישעיהו is telling us that on the day of that future redemption, we will sing Hallel.
The irony is that of all the יומים טובים, the last day of פסח is the only one on which we don’t say Hallel now:
אחרון של פסח isn’t really its own יום טוב. In the future, it will be.
With that as an introduction, I want to look at the last פרק of Hallel, and the odd way we repeat the last 9 psukim:
But that’s not really right: אנא ה׳ הושיעה נא; אנא ה׳ הצליחה נא is one pasuk and it certainly looks parallel.
And what’s worse, is that not only we repeat the words, we split up the pasuk in order to do that. And that is wrong:
Mordy Goldenberg’s shiur for the Amud-a-week program deals with many of these sorts of issues, but a simple answer is brought by the חתם סופר:
The אתנחתא allows us to split up the pasuk, but doesn’t force us to. The מנהג that has developed in how we say Hallel treats the two halves of the pasuk as separate psukim, and not even parallel to each other.
Another point about אנא ה׳ הושיעה נא; אנא ה׳ הצליחה נא: If you look carefully at the way it is printed in the siddur, there is a difference between הושיעה and הצליחה: There’s a little line next to the חיריק under the ש of הושיעה:
That’s intentional. Most words in Hebrew have the stress on the ultimate, last syllable. משה is mo-SHEH, not MO-sheh. Some words have the stress on the penultimate, second-to-last, syllable: ויאמר is va-YO-mer, not va-yo-MER. Those are the only two choices. The Artscroll (and many other siddurim) assume ultimate stress, called מלרע, and indicate the penultimate stress, מלעיל, with the little line, called a מתג.
So it’s ho-SHI-ah and hatz-li-CHAH. Chazanim who are careful in their pronunciation will make a point of this. The טעמים in the Koren תנ״ך reflect this; there’s a ◌֣ under the יוד in הֽוֹשִׁ֣יעָה and there are two טעמים on הַצְלִ֘יחָ֥ה, and the rule is that the stress is on the second טעם.
However, it looks like the Koren is wrong. The manuscripts of תנ״ך all agree that the טעמים look like:
So both הושיעה and הצליחה look like they are מלרע. That’s odd, because in every other case in תנ״ך they are both מלעיל, for example:
And the only other example of הצליחה:
But the מנחת שי, a 17th century grammarian, noted the problem:
He seems to be the origin of the way the pasuk is printed now.
Rabbi Mordechai Breuer takes issue with the Minchat Shai (thanks to Phyllis Shapiro for bringing this to my attention):
I’m willing to accept that the Koren תנ״ך is wrong, and that the real טעמים are those of the כתבי יד. But that doesn’t necessarily tell us how the word is stressed (there are lots of טעמים that are written on the end of the word where the accepted stress is elsewhere) and I think the Minchat Shai’s argument from silence is very strong. I am going to continue to say Hallel with הוֹשִׁיעָה מלעיל, הַצְלִיחָה מלרע.
(There’s a technical reason for saying that Rav Breuer may be wrong: there’s a דחיק in נָּא, which implies the previous word is מלעיל. So either we have an error in the כתבי יד, or an exception to the rules of דחיק. ואכמ״ל)
But it makes the question stronger: we seem to be going out of our way to say the two halves differently, implying that they are in fact not parallel.
So we have two almost identical phrases, אנא ה׳ הושיעה נא and אנא ה׳ הצליחה נא that we go out of our way to separate, to pronounce differently, and to imply that they have different meanings. I don’t know why, but I can speculate. The perek as a whole is a dramatization of the act of saying Hallel: victory over our enemies and celebration that acknowledges ה׳'s role and culminates in offering קרבנות in the בית המקדש. But in the middle is our אנא ה׳:
This is the pasuk of אחרון של פסח. The Hallel we say today is the Hallel of the redemption that hasn’t happened yet. And the two halves of the pasuk are not only not parallel, they are mutually contradictory.
אנא ה׳ הושיעה נא is asking ה׳ to save us, to come down from heaven and make it all better. אנא ה׳ הצליחה נא is asking ה׳ to allow our own actions to succeed. And these are the two models of גאולה:
The גאולה will come. The question is whether that גאולה will be a הצלחה, the fruit of our own efforts, or a ישועה, when ה׳ finally decides that it’s been long enough. We pray that the Hallel of אחרון של פסח will be one where we celebrate the fulfillment of אנא ה׳ הצליחה נא: