Rosh Hodesh | Hallel

About the blessings

The table following summarizes the three main customs with regard to the opening blessing (OB) and closing blessing (CB) of Hallel on Rosh Hodesh and festivals. 

Hallel is said on Rosh Hodesh, Hannukah and the Pilgrim Festivals (Pesah, Shavuot and Succot). On the latter two it is said in full, and the blessing "Ligmor et Hahallel" (" complete the Hallel") is said. On Rosh Hodesh, and the intermediate days of festivals, two sections, and the closing blessing, are omitted. The opening blessing is changed to "Likro et hahallel" (" read the Hallel"). In this respect the S&P custom is like the Ashkenazi custom, and differs from the custom of other Sephardim, who omit both opening and closing blessings whenever Hallel is not read in full.

This page describes the basic Hallel for Rosh Hodesh. On Yom Tov and Hanukah special tunes are used for some psalms that are just chanted on Rosh Hodesh.


 ♫ Opening blessing ("Ligmor") [DH] 

 Opening Blessing ("Likro") [JC]

Ps. 113 [DH]

Ps. 114 [DH] 

-       ♫ Ps. 115 (first half) [DH] (omitted on Rosh Hodesh) 

Ps. 115 (second half) [DH]   

-       ♫ Ps. 116 (first half) [DH] (omitted on Rosh Hodesh) 

Ps. 116 (second half) [DH] 

For the next two psalms (117, 118) there are six or seven traditional melodies, chosen on any particular occasion partly at the discretion of the choirmaster or reader. Below are three examples. The first, known colloquially as "Hallel no. 1", is commonly used on the first day of festivals. The second  "La Despedida" ("The Farewell") is used only on the last days of festivals. The third uses the tune for the prayer for dew and would therefore be particularly suited to Passover, but is also often used on Rosh Hodesh.

Hallel No. 1

Ps. 117 (no. 1) Hallelu [JC]

Ps 118 (no. 1) Hodu [JC]

La Despedida

Ps. 117 (Despedida) Hallelu [JC]

Ps 118 (Despedida) Hodu [JC]

Lekh Leshalom Geshem

Ps. 117 (Geshem) Hallelu [JC]

Ps 118 (Geshem) Hodu [JC]

Ps 118 (Min Hametzar) [JC]

For the following two sections the same chant is used as was chosen for Ps. 117. Note that the sections for reader and congregation are reversed for Odecha.

 Ps 118 (no. 1) Odecha [JC]

  Ps 118 (no. 1) Ana [JC]

  Ps 118 Baruch Haba [JC]

Closing blessing [DH]