Why isn’t the neis of the oil mentioned in the Al Hanisim that we say in davening?
Actually it is mentioned. והדליקו נרות בחצרות קדשיך – And they lit the candles in Your holy courtyard. That’s what it means; if Al Hanisim was referring merely to the rededication of the Beis Hamikdash, to the return of the avoda, so the tefillah would not be interested just in lighting the neiros. Why doesn’t it also say והקריבו קרבניך – that they brought karbonos? In the Beis Hamikdash the neiros are certainly important but the karbonos are maybe even more important. There are other things too that are important. And still it’s the neiros that are mentioned. And that’s because of the neis Chanukah.
Now, to say it ba’arichus, at length, that we have to supply the details from the gemara. תנו רבנו מאי חנוכה – that’s enough, that’s enough. All the details are in the gemara.
However there is another element here and that is hodaah, gratitude. You have to know that Modim, in which we say Al Hanisim, is for thanks. And the neis shemen actually is not a subject for thanks – it’s a subject for pirsumei nissah; we have to publicize the neis and make a big fuss about it. But when we are talking about thanks, although we thank for the neis shemen too, but most of our thanks are for the milchamos. ועל המלחמות שעשית לאבותינו בימים ההם בזמן הזה. And therefore they are mentioned most prominently because to be rescued from the wars, people appreciate that and they can say with more gratitude.
However, the nissim are there; Al Hanisim includes all the nissim and the neiros are mentioned; but it’s naturally easier for people to thank for physical deliverance than to thank for the neis shemen which after all is only a demonstration of the favor of Hashem.
TAPE # 391