Countdown to Chanukah 24
There is a difference between Hallel and Hoda’ah – thanks. The latter applies for things that, from a natural perspective, were impossible without God’s extraordinary help. The person should be
Modeh – acknowledge God’s help. This is the explanation of the law that there are four experiences that demand a Korban Todah – A Thank You Offering: 1) Recovering from a serious illness, 2) Traveling over the seas, 3) Traveling through the desert, and 4) Upon being released from prison. Each of these demanded Divine assistance and would be impossible to survive without the help. This is why the Sages decreed Hoda’ah for our victories in the Chanukah story.
Hallel is recited in gratitude over something extra that God does for us that increases our love for Him and our joy in living, such as the miracle of the Menorah. It was not necessary for our survival. It added to our joy and our love of God. (Sefat Emet – Chanukah)
Application: Make two lists based on the above, one of experiences that deserve Hoda’ah, which you can keep in mind when reciting Al Hannissim. The second list should be a Hallel list that you can keep in mind when singing Hallel and when lighting the candles.