Scripture Readings Associated With Passover


The Song of Solomon

The Song of Solomon is associated in Jewish thought with spring because of chapter 2, verses 11 and 12:

For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds has come, and the voice of the turtle dove is heard in our land.”

The rabbis interpreted this book of the Bible as an allegory of God’s love for His people, and saw the Passover redemption as the springtime of that love expressed in the words: “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away” (2:13). Besides that, Passover is chronologically a spring holiday. Therefore, the Song of Solomon is read at Passover in the synagogue and sometimes in Jewish homes after the seder service.

The Hallel

The Hallel, meaning “song of praise to God,” is recited during the week of Passover, including the seder service. It consists of Psalms 113 to 118; but for the last six days of the holiday, the first halves of Psalms 115 and 116 are omitted. This is done in order to show that the joy of the occasion is diminished by the fact that the Egyptians perished at the crossing of the Red Sea.

The Song of the Sea

The Song of the Sea, consisting of the song that Moses and Miriam sang as recorded in the fifteenth chapter of Exodus, is read on the seventh day of Passover. It is sung to a special melody. Because the parting of the Red Sea took place at night, some Orthodox sects of Judaism chant this song at midnight, preferably by the sea.