כ״ח בטבת ה׳תשע״ב (January 23, 2012)

Arakhin 10a-b – Commemorating miracles

The Gemara on today’s daf (=page) lists the days on which a fullHallelis said – eight days of Sukkot, eight days ofHanukkah, the first day of Pesachand onShavu’ot(three days are added in Diaspora communities) – and discusses the days on which we do not say Hallel, their status as holidays notwithstanding.
From the discussion in the Gemara it is clear that there are different types of Hallel that are recited: Hallel that celebrates the joy and holiness of the day (pilgrimage festivals), and Hallel that commemorates a miracle that took place at that time (Hanukkah). One of the issues that is the focus of the Gemara is why the miracle of Hanukkah is commemorated in this way, while the miracle of Purim is not. Several answers appear in the Gemara.
  • Rabbi YitzhakHallel is not recited on a miracle that took place in the Diaspora.
  • Rav Nahman: The public reading of the megillah on Purim is considered the Hallel of the day.
  • Rava: While the miracle of the Exodus from Egypt was a full redemption, inasmuch as the Children of Israel left the service of Pharaoh and became the servants of God (see Tehillim 113:1), even after the miracle of Purim the people remained the servants of Ahashveirosh.

The Maharsha suggests that the idea that Hallel is not recited on Diaspora miracles stems from the passage in SeferDevarim (11:12), which describes the Land of Israel as “a land which the LORD thy God careth for; the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.” Thus, the miracles of the Land of Israel are performed directly by God and not by one of His messengers. The Minhat Hinukh suggests that it is because Hallel is only recited over a miracle that affected the entire Jewish People, and only a miracle that took place in Israel can be seen as fulfilling that requirement.