Vol 30.30 - Chanukah 1 Spanish French Audio Video
1. Regarding the time of the victory of the war, in the miracle of Chanukah we find two views:
“When the Jews overcame their enemies and destroyed them, it was on the twenty-fifth of Kislev. They then entered the Sanctuary etc.”
It is known that there are two views with regard to the scope of the days of Chanukah.
In Rambam words:
“These eight days, which begin from the (evening of the) twenty-fifth of Kislev, should be commemorated to be days of happiness and praise (of G-d)”.
Seemingly, one could say that this is connected with the aforementioned debate (namely, which day the victory of the war occurred).
This can be explained by prefacing that which is written in another place. Namely, that the debate whether the days of Chanukah are days of happiness, is dependent in the reason for the establishment of the days of Chanukah:
According to this, one could say that the two aspects that Rambam writes:
For according to his opinion the establishment of the Yom Tov of Chanukah is to remember these two aspects that occurred on that day.
Whereas, according to the view that the primary establishment of the Yom Tov of Chanukah
(That began on the evening of the twenty-fifth)
is because of the miracle of the candles, and not because of the victory of the war – one could say that this follows the view that the victory of the war was on the previous day (the twenty-fourth of the month). However, on the twenty-fifth of Kislev (just) the miracle of the candles occurred.
According to this, the words of the Me’iri are precise, as he explains the essence of the celebration of the first night (which seemingly did not possess any miracle in the oil).
“We make a blessing on the redemption and on thanks for finding the cruse”
In other words, it is not sufficient that we make a blessing “on the redemption” (the victory of the war) but he also adds “on thanks for finding the cruse“. For due to the Geulah itself, they established the Yom Tov on the twenty-fourth day (the day of the victory of the war). Therefore, he adds that the reason for the first day of Chanukah is also because of finding the cruse (that is connected with the lighting of the Menorah on the eve of the twenty-fifth).
2. However, when this is properly examined, the matters are not certain.
For on Purim we expressly find that the Yom Tov is because of the victory of the war, as it states: “the Jews should rule over their enemies”. Nevertheless, the Yom Tov was established (not on the day of the victory, but) on the day that they rested, as it states : “They rested on the fourteenth thereof . . the fifteenth thereof, and made it a day of feasting and joy“. Therefore, even regarding Chanukah, one could say the same. Namely, that even though the victory of the war was on the twenty-fourth day of the month, nevertheless the Yom Tov was established (on this victory) on the following day, the twenty-fifth of Kislev. For that was the day that they rested (as is also known regarding the allusion in the name Chanukah – “they rested on the twenty-fifth (בכ״ה חנו)”. In other words, the twenty-fifth was the day of rest).
Indeed, the Alter Rebbe also maintains that “the Yom Tov of Pesach is on the day that the miracle occurred, whereas on Chanukah and Purim, (the Yom Tov) is on the day that they rested” (as will be explained in Par. 4).
According to this, we find that according to Rambam‘s view, who maintains that the victory of the war was on the day of the twenty-fifth, and who also maintains that the establishment of the Yom Tov was for the victory of the war, as aforementioned,
(In addition, according to the view of the Pri Chadash, who explains Rambam’s view, the first day of Chanukah is only for the victory of the war) –
the Yom Tov of Chanukah is (not on the following day that they rested, like Purim, but rather) on the day of the victory itself, like Pesach.
Whereas according to the view of the Me’iri, namely that the victory of the war occurred on the twenty-fourth, the establishment of the Yom Tov (which is also for the Geulah) is on the day that they rested (like Purim).
One could say that the debate - whether Chanukah was on the day that they rested or whether it was on the day of the victory - is dependent on the explanation of the connection of the victory of the war to the Yom Tov of Chanukah.
In other words, according to all opinions, the Yom Tov of Chanukah is related both to the victory of the war, as well as to the miracle of the candles.
The debate, however, is
(Therefore, according to the view that the victory of the war is just a preface and preparation, and the Yom Tov of Chanukah was established for their purifying the Temple and lighting the candles – the miracle of the candles, the days of Chanukah are not days of happiness. Whereas, according to Rambam’s view, that the victory of the war is equal in strength as a reason for the establishment of the days of Chanukah, Chanukah possesses two aspects, even “days of happiness”).
3. The explanation of this is:
Festivals that were established as a remembrance for the miracle that occurred for Bnei Yisroel, at a certain time, contain two manners and parts:
One could say that, according to the view of Rambam, this is one of the differences between Purim and Chanukah. For although in both of them there was the salvation and Geulah of Yisroel from the hands of their enemies and foes
(And on the contrary, the main salvation and Geulah of Yisroel, that visibly occurred, was on Purim. For at that time, they were saved from the decree of Haman who “sought to destroy, to slay, and to exterminate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, on the same day“.
Therefore on Purim the main establishment of the Yom Tov was on the outcome (התוצאה), the salvation and Geulah of Yisroel The reason for the matter is, because the salvation and victory of the war itself was not through a visible miracle, but rather through a miracle that was enclothed in natural means ( הטבע בדרכי ). Whereas on Chanukah, the establishment of the holiday was not just on the outcome, saving and salvation of Yisroel, but also on the manner of the miracle as it states, “And (we thank You) for the miracles. . You delivered the mighty into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few”.
Therefore, on Purim, the victory of the war is considered just as a preparation and preface to the main aspect – the salvation of Yisroel. Therefore, the holiday was established, not on the day of the victory of the war, but rather on the day that they rested. For then it emphasized the salvation of Yisroel. Whereas on Chanukah, where even the victory is an essential part of the miracle and is related to the Yom Tov, the establishment of the Yom Tov is on the very day of the victory.
4. It was cited above, that the Alter Rebbe follows the view of the Me’iri, and explains that Chanukah is not like Pesach. For Chanukah was established on the day that they rested (and victory was on the preceding day). Whereas on Pesach, where the Yom Tov was established on the day that the miracle occurred.
(The Alter Rebbe explains the reason there, according to Pnimiyut, that when the victory and the Yom Tov are on two days, this shows that the victory over the enemy is a separate aspect from the Yom Tov itself (and it is just a preparation to it). Whereas on Pesach, the miracle was through G-d, the King of Kings, who revealed Himself to them, in His glory and by Himself, which is above differences of levels. Therefore, the two things are together, without division between the plague to the Egyptians and the healing of Yisroel (נגוף למצרים ורפוא לישראל))
However, one could say that the essence of the Alter Rebbe’s explanation also fits with Rambam’s view (namely that the victory of the war was on the twenty-fifth). For Chanukah is not similar to Pesach. On Pesach there were the two things – the punishment of the Egyptians (the plague of the Firstborn) and the healing (Geulah) for Yisroel – at the same time, as the Alter Rebbe writes.
(And he adds “And although it is written in Sefarim that this was before midnight and that was after midnight, it is not so. Rather everything was at the same time“).
Whereas on Chanukah, even though the victory of the war was in included in the miracle, for which the Yom Tov was established, nevertheless the main miracle of Chanukah was for the miracle of the oil and the candles. For in this, it was truly an open miracle (הי׳ נס גלוי ממש). For “It contained enough oil to burn for merely one day. They lit the arrangement of candles from it for eight days”. Moreover, the miracle of the candles depicts the salvation of the Jewish religion (דת ישראל) (the opposite of the nullification of their religion etc.). Therefore, here, there were two different miracles, that occurred in two different times. There was the victory of the war as well as the miracle of the cruse of oil (which was the completion of the salvation and Geulah of Yisroel).
(One could say that the essence of the debate between Rambam and the Me’iri, namely whether the victory of the war of Chanukah was on the twenty-fourth or on the twenty-fifth is:
even though with regard to Purim, the victory of the war of Chanukah is included in the miracle, nevertheless the main victory of Chanukah is the victory of the Jewish religion
(and especially since the victory of the war was not an open miracle like the miracle of the cruse of oil, for this victory had a grasp in nature).
Whereas the miracle of the victory of the war is considered just as a preparation to the main aspect. Therefore, he maintains that even on Chanukah, the Yom Tov is (not on the day of the victory of the war, but rather) on the day that they rested like Purim.
(According to this, it is understood why the Me’iri precisely writes that on the first night “We make a blessing on the redemption and on thanks for finding the cruse”, as aforementioned).
According to this, it comes out that:
According to Rambam‘s view – there are three divisions in the matter:
As has been explained in many places (in Pnimiyut HaTorah) that the scope of Yom Tov, is that it is a special day where there occurred (and contained) the revelation and drawing down of (additional) holiness into the world. Therefore, one could say that these three manners depict the three manners in the revelation of G-d’s holiness in the world:
5. All of these things also exist in Avodat HaAdam. For the order of one’s Avodah is “turn from evil and do good” (סור מרע ועשה טוב). In this Avodah of “turn from evil” (the victory of the war) there are three manners:
So too is this also in spiritual Avodah:
One must first “eradicate the evil (as it states) and you shall eradicate the evil from within you” so that there is no dirt and filth, G-d forbid. This is the aspect of “turn from evil”. Afterward it is possible to fulfill Positive Mitzvot which “similar to fixing and arranging it with beautiful articles. Through this there will be an abode in the lower realms” through drawing down G-d’s Holiness into the world.
Even when a person is clean from all filth, and the aspect of “turn from evil” within him is in a manner of bending and bitul. Therefore, through this, he is not in a level of an independent self and being, nevertheless there is still a difference within him between the Avodah of “turn from evil” and the Avodah of “do good” (עשה טוב). For in “doing good”, one feels that he is fulfilling the Supernal Will, and that with this he is drawing within him G-d’s holiness. In “turn from evil” he feels the negation of the impediment (שלילת המניעה), for he bends and nullifies himself. For if he does not do so, this contradicts the resting of the Shechinah.
However, there is even a higher level in Avodah, where his nullification to the Supernal Will is so absolute (מוחלט), that he does not feel the difference between the paths that bring the resting of the Shechinah. In other words, whether this is through the removal of the negative or through the drawing down of holiness, since he bitul to the Supernal Will and fulfills it without any accountings (חשבונות)
(This is similar to the statement of R’ Akiva that (at Matan Torah, Bnei Yisroel responded to each commandment) - to a Positive in the affirmative; and to a Negative (also) in the affirmative. (רבי עקיבא אומר: על הן – הן ועל לאו – הן).
For whether it was a Positive or Negative Mitzvah, they felt the (general) command of G-d).
And specifically through this absolute bitul, which is above accounting, the drawing down of holiness that comes about through this, is at the epitome of completeness.
M'Sichas Shabbat Parshat Vayeshev, Erev Chanukah 5727, 5743
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