Countdown to Chanukah 10: Al HaNissim
“In the days of Matityahu, son of Yochanan Kohen Gadol, the Chasmonai, and his sons.” (Al Hanissim) Why do we mention the people of the time? The Maharsha (Megillah 11b) wonders about a list of miracles in the bible that does not include the exodus from Egypt.
He explains that the miracle of the exodus is different because it was completely and directly the Hand of God. However, all the other miracles were brought about through people.
That is the reason we mention Matityahu and his sons. They were the agents through whom God brought about the miracle.
We celebrate the fact that God brings miracles about through us. We can ready ourselves to serve as such agents by appreciating the power of a human being to make a difference.
Use Chanukah, not only to celebrate the miracles of the story, but the fact that God honors us by choosing us as His agents through whom He performs His miracles. Part of the Hoda’ah of Chanukah is the celebration of human potential.