Tuesday, December 20, 2011

the nes of Chanukah

In his Moadim u'Zmanim (7:60), Rav Shternbruch asks why we commemorate the Chanukah miracle of finding the oil and lighting menorah with hallel and hoda'ah -- what's so extraordinary?  There were many other miracles that occurred on a daily basis in the Beis haMikdash.  One might even say that to not have a nes in the Mikdash would be something out of the ordinary, not the other way around. 

I don't understand his question.  True, when the Beis haMikdash was functioning properly, nisim were the norm.  But the Chanukah nes occurs against the background of "ba'u ba pritzim v'chililuha," the desecration and defilement of the Mikdash by the Greeks (Avodah Zarah 52).  To find an untainted remnant when the Mikdash was in a state of ruin is certainly an extraordinary nes.  It is the fact that we found ohr amidst choshech which we are celebrating.


  1. http://he.wikisource.org/wiki/%D7%99%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%A9%D7%9C%D7%9E%D7%99_%D7%99%D7%95%D7%9E%D7%90_%D7%93%D7%A3_%D7%9B%D7%96_%D7%90

  2. chaim b.8:53 PM

    I can't bring up the link -- what is it?

  3. Anonymous9:08 PM

    having just broken micha's manically coded comment above,
    the following message emerges:
    Honorable Readers, Rabbis, Erev Rav, maybe Rav Shternbruch means that since we don't today commemorate the many daily miracles of the 'functional' Beis
    haMikdash (with even one celebration of all of those nisim collectively), why then do we
    distinguish the chanukah nes?

    by analogy-- if a team of Bar Ilan
    researchers would tomorrow discover a handsome box-set of teshuvos from an unknown rabbi of
    the gaonic period, a set comprised
    of weekly writings spanning some 50
    years, but for one two-year period
    for which only one glowing page was
    found, would we expect that team to
    publicize only the single atypical
    page, to the exclusion of all the
    thousands of regular pages written
    during the decades of 'normal'

    (...can you confirm this decryption
    micha, by "99%_D7%aufruf.gong"?)

  4. Bob Miller12:50 PM

    Doesn't the language in our 3 times daily Modim encompass all daily miracles?

  5. Anonymous2:09 PM

    aren't the daily miracles of Modim contemporary, ongoing, rather than "bayamim ha'heim" (be that the time of the chanukah nes, or of the nisim of the up&running Mikdash)? Modim d'Rabbanan even asks "se'esof galuyoseinu l'hatzros kadshecha"-- at the time of daily miracles in the Temple, we weren't exiles; even to the extent that workaday miracles of the Temple are covered by Modim,
    they're all but lost in the generic
    reference, completely unspecified,
    in (questionable) contrast to the Chanukah nes...

  6. Bob Miller2:14 PM

    "She'b'chol eis" ought to include the past, no?

  7. Anonymous5:10 PM

    but the stress "chol EIS*" rubs up against "b'EIS tzarasam"-- if
    Chanukah is already spoken for by the first, why the second? because on Chanukah He acted 11 ways (from "amadta lahem" to "asisay t'shua"), but by the
    usual avodah only 10 (pirkei avos 5:7)?

    *"l'dor vador" is a more sweeping inclusion of the past than
    "she'b'chol eis" (quotidian), though it's less attached, true, to miracles & wonders; one could
    also distinguish these 2 as Hashem's general protection across (past)time, l'doros, to His particular influences in (past)time, b'eis (a difference that obviously applies to our case too: the Chanukah miracle(s) ran against chazakah, the avodah miracles soon ran with their own chazakah)...we trust He'll see us
    thru to the end, b'klal, but how exactly, pratim?