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D''vrei Mordechai

by Reb Mordechai Rosen z"l
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What does Hashem Elokecha ask from you, but to fear Hashem Elokecha and to walk in His ways. (Devorim, Perek Yud, Pasuk Yud Gimmel)


"Ki Yesh Shever B’Mitzrayim" (Perek Mem Bais Pasuk Alef). The Chumash tells us that when the famine struck in Eretz Yisrael, Yaakov told his sons to go down to Egypt, where he heard there is corn. Rashi Hakadosh reads the word "Shever" as "Sayver" which means hope. He explains that Yaakov saw through Ruach Hakodesh that there was hope to be found in Egypt and that is why he sent the Shevatim. The word "Shever" is spelled Shin, Bais, Resh and can also be read "Shebar." The word "Bar" in Hebrew means son (for example Bar Kochba). Once can say that Yaakov saw through Ruach Hakodesh that there was a son in Egypt, Yosef, and that is why he sent the Shevatim there. This was their hope, Bar -- a son.

This next Vort for Chanukah was first said on the Seventh night of Chanukah, 5751.

The famous question of the Bais Yosef on Chanukah is why do we celebrate for eight days? If there was enough oil found for one day then the miracle was that it lasted for seven more so why don’t we celebrate for seven?

The Gemara asks, "My Chanukah?" What is the Nes of Chanukah? It continues by explaining that after the defeat of Antiochus, the Maccabees entered the Bais Hamikdash and found everything destroyed and made unpure. After searching for a while they found one pach of shemen with the seal of the Kohen Gadol untouched. It was enough for one day, but miraculously lasted for eight. This the Gemara explains is the miracle. However, if we read the Al Hannisim we find no mention of the pach, rather it mentions only our victory in battle. So which one is the miracle, the victory in battle or finding of the pach?

We would have to say the pach. While it may be rare for such a small group to be victorious over such a large army, it can happen. However, it is truly miraculous to find enough oil only for one day and have it last for eight.

So why eight days? The word eight in Hebrew is "Shemoneh"-- Shin, Mem, Vov, Nun, Hey. By changing the order of the letters we can read it "Shemen Vov Hey." In Shem Hashem - Yud Kay Vov Kay -- the Yud Kay is representative of Nistar -- that which is hidden. The Vov Kay is representative of Nigglah -- that which is shown. Finding the Shemen allowed them to see that the whole story of Chanukah was miraculous, including the battle. Until then they did not see their victory in battle as a miracle. When they found the pach and it lasted for eight days, they realized that everything that happened was a true miracle. That is why we celebrate for eight days.

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