English Basic Explanation - Chapter 115
Chapter 115 is the third paragraph of the Hallel service; on Rosh Hodesh and the final five days of Pesah (final six days in the Diaspora), the first half of this Psalm is omitted.
This chapter essentially constitutes a prayer on behalf of Am Yisrael, asking God to bless and protect His people. This prayer is constructed on the basis of a contrast between the pagan nations and the Jewish people. The pagans deny God's existence and worship inanimate statues and the like, whereas Am Yisrael place their trust in the Almighty. On the basis and in the merit of our nation's unwavering faith in God, the Psalmist petitions God to bestow abundant blessing upon the entire Jewish people, young and old alike.
In the final two verses of this chapter, the author proclaims, "It is not the dead who will praise God… but rather we who shall bless the Almighty from now until forever – Halleluya!" According to some commentators, this verse refers to the idolaters, who are condemned and thus spoken of as "dead." Idol worshippers will never have the privilege of recognizing God's greatness and singing His praises. The Psalmist here proudly declares that we, who acknowledge the Almighty, indeed enjoy this privilege and will seize the opportunity we are granted to praise Him "from now until forever."
This chapter thus points to two basic differences between us and the idolaters. Firstly, the idolaters worship powerless deities, whereas we serve the Creator of the universe who has unlimited power over the world. And secondly, the idolaters will never be able to fulfill the destiny for which mankind was created, namely, to recognize and give praise to God, whereas we are privileged to devote our lives to this very purpose.