Thursday, December 06, 2007

Al Hanisim in Hashkafah and Lomdus

Being that it is Chanukah here are 2 vorts on Al HaNisim. One b'toras lomdus and one b'toras hashkafa

first the lomdus.

There is an interesting difference between the addition of Al HaNisim. and the addition of Ya'aleh V'Yova which we add for Rosh Chodesh and Yom Tov. When we say Al HaMichya we add in a line for Rosh Chodesh/Yom Tov but we don't add anything in for Chanukah or Purim. Why not?

Rav Shirkin in the Harirei Kedem explains that Al HaNisim is added as an extension of the berachas hoda'ah. It is not a separate tefilla but rather Chazal lengthened the bracha of hoda'ah in tefilla and in bentching by including this prayer. Ya'aleh V'Yova on the other hand is an additional tefilla which was added as a stand alone prayer.
Al HaMichya is a shortened version of bentching. Chazal took the words of bentching and condensed it into a short paragraph. As we said Al HaNisim is just an extended part of berchas hoda'ah and therefore when Chazal shortened this beracha amongthe words that they took out (or left out) was the Al HaNisim part. Ya'aleh V'Yavo or mentioning Rosh Chodesh and Yom Tov on the other hand is an additional tefilla. Just like it was added to bentching it also has to be added to Al HaMichyah. That is why we have a line in there about Rosh Chodesh and Yom Tov.

Stay tuned for the Hashkafa piece.

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