Friday, December 18, 2009

Chanukah's last hurrah (prior to Shabbat)

This is my last opportunity to post some Chanukah fun before I shut down the computer for Shabbat/Sabbath. Enjoy!

More Chanukah music, courtesy of DovBear
Here's Basya Schechter and her group, Pharaoh's Daughter, singing and playing Maoz Tzur.

Making a short story long or a long story short, depending on your point of view
Yesterday, I was too exhausted to get up in time to hop the subway to morning minyan, so I davvened bi-y'chidut (prayed alone) at home. I davvened at my preferred nice slow pace, and included all the parts of P'sukei D'Zimrah that I say on weekdays when I have time. If I include the time it took me to put away my tefillin and tallit, it took me almost an hour and 25 minutes.

Today, my "kaddish minyan" did the entire Chanukah Rosh Chodesh (New Month) service, complete with Hallel, Torah reading, and Musaf (Additional Service) for Rosh Chodesh, in about half that amount of time.
It finally "clicked"
To paraphrase a quote from the Haggadah, I am a women of 60, but I never understood why the "Al HaNissim (For the Miracles)" text was placed in that particular place in the Amidah prayer until, well, my Hebrew and my knowledge of the siddur/prayer book were finally up to the task.

Rough translation and summary:

"For the miracles that are daily with us . . . "

"In the days of Matityahu (Mattithias) . . . the evil Greek kingdom stood against Your People Israel. . . And You, in Your great compassion, stood with them in their time of trouble . . . enabling the many to be defeated by the few . . . After that, Your children came . . . to purify Your sanctuary . . . and established a set eight days of Chanukah . . . to laud Your holy name.

For all this, praised and extolled be Your name . . . "

Oh, that's why Al HaNissim is recited right there!

Of course, that should have been obvious from the siddur's translation, but either I'm a slow learner, or I understand some things better when I figure them out for myself, or both. :)
Enjoy Shabbat Chanukah!



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