Vol 25.31 - Chanukah Spanish French Audio Video
(Vol 25, XXV Pg 235)
1. In the text of the V'al Hanissim prayer that we recite on Chanukah, it states:
“And afterward, Your children entered the shrine of Your House, cleansed Your Temple, purified Your Sanctuary, kindled lights in Your holy courtyards”
The question is known:
What is meant by “kindled lights in holy courtyards”? The location of the Menorah was (not in the courtyard of the Mikdash, but) inside, in the Heichal?
The Chasam Sofer answers this according to the ruling of Rambam, that,
“The kindling of the lamps (of the Menorah) is acceptable if performed by a non-priest. Therefore, if a priest cleaned the lamps and brought them outside, a non-priest is permitted to kindle them.”
And since the Greeks defiled the Heichal – “the Heichal was filled with abominations” (גלולים). Therefore, “until they cleansed Your Heichal and purified Your sanctuary . . they did not light the candles inside, but rather in the holy courtyards in the Azarah”.
(Therefore, the miracle was publicized to all the Yidden, as the Chasam Sofer continues:
“For all Yidden saw the candles burning for eight days”.
For if the Menorah was lit in the Heichal, only the priests would be able to see the miracle).
However, one must examine his answer:
(after the Greeks defiled the Temple)
Therefore, it comes out that the twenty-fifth of Kislev, and therefore the lighting of the candles (which began on the twenty-fifth of Kislev) was already after that which they “cleansed and purified” the Temple.
One cannot say that this was done solely to publicize the miracle (like the continuation of the Chasam Sofer, there, as aforementioned). For by lighting the Menorah (at least for the first time) one did not know that a miracle would occur.
This aforementioned explanation only answers the precise aspect why it says “courtyards” and not in the Heichal.
However, it remains not understood:
Why does it say “courtyards” – in the plural, and not “in Your holy courtyard” (meaning in the Azarah)?
Specifically that beforehand everything is said in the singular – “Your House, . . Your Temple . . Your Sanctuary”. Yet here, it changes to the plural – “courtyards”?
2. Seemingly it appears, that one could say, that “kindled lights in Your holy courtyards” does not refer to the candles of the Menorah in the Mikdash – but to other candles which were lit as a praise and lauding to G-d.
(As we find, that one of the ways to emphasize an aspect of praise for G-d, is through lighting candles. this is as it state “” (which is brought as Halacha regarding the candles of a Beit haKnesset). Also as we find (with regard to the Mikdash) at Simchat Beit HaShoe’va, that they would light golden candelabras in the Ezrat Nashim (women’s courtyard) (which would illuminate the entire city of Yerushalayim) because of the great happiness of the Simchat Beit HaShoe’va).
Therefore, they “kindled lights in Your holy courtyards” is not a continuation of the previous (“cleansed . . purified”) but rather this refers to later – “to give thanks and praise to Your great Name”. Namely, they “kindled lights etc. (and also) instituted these eight days of Chanukah (in order) to give thanks and praise etc.
According to this, the wording “in Your holy courtyards” (in the plural) is also answered:
For these candles were lit
(not (just) in the courtyard of the Mikdash (in the Azarah) but)
also in the Ezrat Nashim and the surroundings of the Mikdash in general.
However, it remains not understood:
According to this, it comes out that in the text of the “V’al Hanissim” prayer, it is not mentioned – even not as a hint – regarding the miracle of the oil of the candles!
It just mentions regarding the miracle of the victory of the war, as it states,
“You delivered the mighty into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few. . You effected a great deliverance and redemption etc.”
This puzzlement is even greater. The Talmud states in tractate Shabbat,
“What is Chanukah?” (Rashi explains, “In commemoration of which miracle was the holiday of Chanukah established”)
“When the Greeks entered the Sanctuary they defiled all the oils . . they found only one cruse of oil . . A miracle occurred and they lit from it eight days. The next year the Sages instituted those days and made them holidays with recitation of Hallel and thanksgiving”.
Therefore, it comes out that Hallel and thanksgiving (“V’al Hanissim” prayer, in thanks) was established (mainly) for the miracle of the oil. Therefore, how can it be that in the text of the V’al Hanissim prayer, the miracle of the oil is not mentioned, at all?!
3. One can understand this by prefacing an explanation in the well-known question (in the words of the aforementioned Talmud) the “main miracle was the victory of the war as it states,
“The many into the hands of the few, the mighty into the hands of the weak etc.”
Why then were the days of Chanukah established (not on the miracle of the victory of the war and the salvation of the Yidden from the Greeks, but rather) on the miracle of the cruse of oil?
Seemingly, “how did they make from the secondary, the primary”? (איך עשו מן הטפל עיקר).
The explanation of this is that the main decree in the days of Chanukah was not on the bodies of the Yidden, but rather on the Jewish religion. (דת ישראל). “They abrogated their laws” as it states, “to make them forget Your Torah and violate the decrees of Your will”
As the Sages state, “Write on the horn of an ox that you have no share in the G-d of Yisroel”.
(The physical wars were a result of the decrees against the Jewish religion. (דת ישראל).
Therefore, they made the primary aspect, not of the miracle of the victory of the war (the salvation of the body) but rather after the miracle of the oil – the miracle that is connected with a fulfillment of a Mitzvah in the Beit HaMikdash. And in this itself – with candles of the Mikdash, which alludes to the general aspect of Torah and Mitzvot, as it states, “A mitzvah is a candle, and the Torah, light”. This is connected with the spiritual salvation.
However, it requires explanation:
When the Talmud explains, “what is Chanukah” – “In commemoration of which miracle was it established”, it just tells about the miracle of the oil. However, the miracle of the victory of the war is entirely not mentioned.
The Talmud states just:
It is not understood:
It is indeed true that the main aspect of Chanukah is the spiritual salvation. However, there was also a physical salvation. Moreover, it was in a completely miraculous manner. Moreover, the spiritual salvation came just through (and only) the physical salvation.
Therefore, at least, as an aside, the Talmud should have also mentioned the miracle of the victory of the war?
4. One could say that the explanation of this is:
It has already been mentioned many times, regarding the war of the Greeks. Namely, that it was not just a (spiritual) war against the Jewish religion, but the precise aspect of this was “to make them forget Your Torah (Your Torah) and violate the decrees of Your will”
The Greeks were not so concerned about the Yidden studying Torah. The focus of their decree was “to make them forget Your Torah” – to make forgotten that the Torah is “Your Torah”, G-d’s Torah which is higher than intellect. Similarly, “to violate the decrees of Your will” means that Yidden should not fulfill the statutes (חוקים) – those Mitzvot which are higher that intellect and their fulfillment is just with Kaballat Ol, for this is Your will – G-d’s Will.
The war of the Greeks was against that which, for Yidden, G-dliness is entirely higher than the boundaries of Creation, and it cannot be grasped with (human) intellect.
5. This is also one of the explanations in that which the miracle of Chanukah (with regard to the spiritual salvation) was specifically connected with the candles of the Menorah:
For seemingly, the Greeks defiled the entire Beit HaMikdash and the Altar - and all the holy vessels had to be re-dedicated. Therefore, why did G-d make it that the miracle should be specifically related to the candles of the Menorah?
The explanation of this is:
We find that when one wants to emphasize a spiritual aspect, it is common to use the metaphor (and parable) of “light”. In the words of the verse, “A mitzvah is a candle, and the Torah, light”.
One of reasons of this is:
“Light” is distinguished from all creations in that although light is also a creation in this world, nevertheless it is not (so much) manifested (נתפס) in the physicality of the world.
This is similar to the difference between sound, sight and smell (קול מראה ריח):
For this reason, spirituality is expressed with the name “light”. For from all the things in the world, light is the most spiritual creation.
6. The aforementioned explanation with regard to light, also lends an explanation in the statement of the Sages with regard to the candles of the Menorah,
“It is testimony to mankind that the Divine Presence rests among Yisroel”
(Due to the miracle which occurred with the westernmost light – “he would light the others from it each day and with it he would conclude”).
Seemingly it is not understood:
Why is this miracle of the westernmost light distinguished from the other “Ten miracles (that) were performed for our forefathers in the Temple“? Namely, that specifically this miracle was a testimony “that the Divine Presence rests among Yisroel”?
Seemingly, it is the opposite. The Menorah stood in the Heichal where not all could enter. In contrast, a part of the ten miracles were in the Azarah, and so much outward that they were (more) “known to all”.
According to the aforementioned, it is understood:
For light (even physical light) is more of a receptacle to the light of the Shechinah. Therefore, when the light of the Shechinah (which is higher than the world) becomes connected with a (physical) light, it has a stronger effect in illuminating the world with the light of the Shechinah. Therefore, specifically this miracle (that took place with the light of the Menorah) affects (בא-איינפלוסט) “those who came into the world -mankind” that they should recognize that the “Shechinah rests among Yisroel”.
With this, it is also understood why the spiritual salvation of Chanukah was connected with the miracle of the cruse of oil, of the Menorah. This is not a side miracle (זייטיקער נס). Rather in this, the victory of the days of Chanukah was manifested.
This recognition of “Your Torah” and “the decrees of Your will”, namely, (as aforementioned in Par. 4) that the G-dly light, which is higher than human intellect (and the boundaries of Creation) illuminates within Yidden, - came out visibly in:
Therefore, “It is testimony to mankind that the Divine Presence rests among Yisroel”.
7. According to all of the aforementioned, one can also understood why the Talmud asks, “what is Chanukah”, in commemoration of which miracle was it established. And it just mentions the miracle of the cruse of oil, and completely does not mention the miracle of the victory of the war.
For when one is speaking regarding the essence of Chanukah (“what is Chanukah”), it is the miracle of the candles of Chanukah, which depict the spiritual light (the candle/light of the Mitzvah) which illuminated through the spiritual victory.
And even though this physical miracle was the preface and cause of the spiritual miracle,
(For without the victory of the war, there could not have been the dedication of the Mikdash and therefore, also not the miracle of the candles).
nevertheless, after that which the spiritual miracle transpired, the physical thing (and miracle) was not significant (תופס מקום).
(This lack of significance here, is not like the statement of the Sages,
“What use is a candle in the middle of the day” (שרגא בטיהרא מאי אהני).
Namely, that the light of the candles is nullified with regard to the light of the sun. For there, although the light of the sun is not just a greater light in quantity. Rather it is also different in the quality of the light. However, the light of the candle is an entity of light, but it is just, “What use is it”
Whereas, in our case, compared to the spiritual light which illuminated during Chanukah (through the miracle of the candles) – which is connected with the G-dly light which is above the dictates of Creation. This entity of physical victory, has no place).
Therefore, it is similar, on the other hand, with regard to the text of the V’al Hanissim prayer:
When one wants to give thanks to G-d, for the miracle of the victory of the war, one cannot, at the same time (בחדא מחתא), give thanks for the miracle of the oil. For then the entity (and dearness) of the physical victory of the war is “nullified”.
Therefore, it is divided into two times:
8. From each aspect one must take an actual lesson in Avodat HaShem.
The lesson here simply, is:
From Chanukah, Yidden take the power that the light of the soul should illuminate within them. So much so, that it is in a manner that the aspects of one’s body should not matter to him (תופס מקום).
For even though the soul in enclothed in a body and is here, in this world, the soul cannot serve G-d without the intermediary of the body. For all Mitzvot are specifically with physical things and even the intellect and Middot of the soul are revealed through the physical limbs - a physical brain, and physical heart.
Chanukah teaches us that it is within the power of a Yid, to effect that physicality is insignificant to him (תופס מקום).
One is not speaking of physicality which is not connected with the Avodah of the soul. For such a physicality must, from the very onset, not be, as it states,
“In all your ways (your own ways) know Him (G-d).
But even with regard to physicality which leads to spirituality,
(Similar to the victory of the war in the days of Chanukah which brought spiritual salvation),
one must effect within himself, that this “physicality” should not matter to him.
The entire being (מציאות) of physicality should just be this – namely, that through it, one accomplishes the (spiritual) Avodah of the soul.
MSichas Shabbat Parshat Miketz, Shabbat Chanukah 5727, 5734
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