On both Purim and Chanukah we recite the Al HaNissim, and conclude with thanks and
praise to Hashem. However, the Birchos Shivim points out a major distinction between
the two holidays. On Chanukah there were revealed miracles, nissim gluyim. The many
and strong army of the Greeks was defeated by the few and weak army of the
Chashmona’im and the small cruse of oil, which was only enough to burn for one day,
remained lit for eight days. In contrast, Purim is represented by nissim nistarim, hidden
miracles, whereby Hashem brought the salvation for the Jewish nation through seemingly
natural occurrences. As a matter of fact, the name Esther is derived from the Hebrew
word for “concealed.”
HaGaon Rav Meir Shapiro of Lublin, the founder of the Daf HaYomi, suggests that this
is the basis for the specific mitzvah of each holiday. On Chanukah it is a mitzvah to light
candles, whereas on Purim the mitzvah is to listen to the reading of the Megillah.
Rav Shapiro cites the pasuk in Mishlei (20:12), “A hearing ear and a seeing eye, Hashem
made both of them.”
The Malbim notes that the senses of hearing and seeing are key components in benefiting
man’s comprehension. Hearing precedes seeing, because the person must listen first;
then, when he observes it with his eyes he can truly grasp the matter. If he did not
initially lend an ear, he will be unable to understand what he is seeing.
Rav Shapiro explains that Hashem conducts His world in two ways. When events are
revealed, then it is easy for us to understand how Hashem is benefiting us, as the Torah
promises (Vayikra 26:3), “If you will follow My decrees …” However, when Hashem
conducts Himself in a hidden way, it requires a deeper understanding to acknowledge that
everything emanates from Hashem’s will. “When things are good for the wicked, and the
righteous suffer” it is the individual’s tikkun and intended for the person’s ultimate
“A hearing ear” alludes to the unrevealed conduct of Hashem that is not visually
apparent. Our sages tell us, “Hearing cannot be compared to seeing,” for the visual
experience is much clearer, and much easier to conceptually grasp, than the aural one.
“A seeing eye” implies the unveiled way that Hashem conducts Himself in this world
because it is apparent to all, as the navi says (Yeshaya 52:8), “With their own eyes they
will see Hashem return to Tzion,” i.e. there will be a revelation.
The hearing ear and the seeing eye, that is to say the revealed ways of Hashem and the
undisclosed ways of Hashem, both are made by Hashem.
According to this explanation, we can understand why we light candles on Chanukah.
Since the miracles were apparent to the eye, we offer our thanks to Hashem with that
which we can see, the candles. On Purim the miracle was hidden and therefore we give
praise to Hashem by utilizing our ears to listen to the Megillah. All the miracles emanated from Hashem. The Turkish sultan once visited the home of Dr. Rachamim on the eighth night of Chanukah. The sultan was fascinated by the flickering lights and asked the Jewish doctor, “Tell me, what is the story of these little candles?” The doctor proceeded to relate the story of the decrees of the Greeks against the Jews, the tremendous self-sacrifice of the Chashmonaim, the war that was fought, the rededication of the Bais HaMikdash, and the miracle of the small cruse of oil whose light burned for eight days. “Therefore,” concluded the doctor, “we are commanded to light the menorah for eight days, adding a candle each day.” “What is the story of the ninth candle?” asked the sultan. “That’s just an ordinary candle that we use to light the others,” responded the doctor. The sultan rose from his seat, glared angrily at Dr. Rachamim and said, “That candle is raised above the others and placed in the menorah after it has been used to light the other candles, and you call it ordinary? You are keeping something hidden from me, that you don’t want to reveal to a heathen. I will not talk to you again until you are prepared to divulge the secret of the candle.” The sultan left his home in a rage. The doctor was deeply upset and walked out into the dark streets to calm down. There was no lack of enemies who hated the Jews and the doctor was fearful of serious repercussions. On his walk, Dr. Rachamim encountered an elderly man with a shining countenance. He greeted the doctor who perfunctorily returned his greetings and was ready to walk on when the man said, “It seems that something is troubling you. Our sages tell us (Yuma 75a), ‘Worry in the heart one should remove or speak it [to someone else].’ If you are not able to put it out of your mind, I am prepared to listen.” The doctor thought to himself that perhaps this man had been sent to him from heaven, and he related the events of that evening and the sultan’s angry demand to know the secret of the shammash. The elderly man was attentive and then said, “The shammash stands taller than the other candles and disperses its light. It speaks to us and says: I was stored in the fruit of the olive and grew plump until the oil was dripping from the fruit. But that is not my purpose. I was plucked from the tree and sent to the olive press, where my oil was excruciatingly squeezed out to the very last drop. Now I spread my light to the creations of the world and dispel the darkness. Look at me and learn from me. It is worthwhile to even suffer pain in order to light up the world for others.” The doctor was amazed at the wise man’s remarks and said to him, “You have enlightened my eyes. I now have my answer for the sultan. Indeed the shammash has an important lesson for us all.” I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our Jewish Press family a very happy and meaningful Chanukah. May the Yom Tov be a source of light and inspiration for us all.


This article was downloaded by: [Murphy, Tom]On: 2 December 2009Access details: Access Details: [subscription number 917025991]Publisher Taylor & FrancisInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UKHuman and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International JournalPublication details, including

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS on the mid term review of the Strategy on Life Sciences and Biotechnology {SEC(2007) 441} 1. PREPARING THE EU FOR 2010 Life sciences and biotechnology 1 is a fast-evolving area with direct or potential significance for Europ

Copyright © 2010-2014 Drug Shortages pdf