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Al Hanissim: Alufei Yehudah

“When the wicked Greek kingdom rose up against Your people Israel to make them forget Your Torah and compel them to stray from the statutes of Your Will.” Why did the Greek

focus on the Chukim – the statutes?

We can understand this based on the Midrash that teaches that the Greeks wanted the Jews to, “Write on the horn of an ox that you do not have a portion in the Lord of Israel.” The Greeks argued that when we sinned with the Golden Calf, we forfeit any portion in the Lord of Israel. We exchanged the Infinite for an ox that grazes on grass.

The Greeks understood that if they could successfully convince us that our sins had destroyed our connection to God we would lose Torah and all that comes from Torah study.

There is one Chok – Statute – that reminds us that we can rise above the sin of the Golden Calf – The Parah Adumah – The Red Heifer. “Let the mother come and clean up the mess of her calf!” (Rabbi Moshe HaDarshan)

The fact that we can rise above our finite reason and above this statute is proof positive that we are still connected to the Infinite. Therefore, the Greeks stressed breaking our connection with the Chukim – the Statutes – that are beyond our finite reason.

When we say, “This commandment does not make sense,” we are doing exactly what the Greeks wanted, we are writing on the horn of the ox that we have forfeit our connection to the Infinite.

Al Hanissim is our expression of gratitude for the miracle of living lives that go beyond any measure of this world and can attach to a much higher level of existence. (Rabbi David Yehudah Friend – Alufei Yehudah)

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