Shiur #17: The Holiday of Chanuka Part III The Holiday of Bein Ha-shemashot

  • Rav Uriel Eitam
 
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Dedicated by Mr. and Mrs. Leon Brum for the Refua Sheleima of
Dana Petrover (Batsheva bat Gittel Aidel Leba)
and Marvin Rosenberg (Meir Chaim ben Tzipporah Miriam)
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In memory of six friends and family, 
strong pillars of the Montreal Jewish community, 
who have left us in the past 7 years. 
All were אוהבי עם ישראל, אוהבי ארץ ישראל, אוהבי תורת ישראל.
Joseph (Yosie) Deitcher
Avrum (Avy) Drazin
Rabbi Joseph Drazin
Leibel Frisch
Israel (Mutch) Yampolsky
Dr. Mark Wainberg
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The Mystery of the Unique Time
for the Mitzva of Kindling Chanuka Lights
 
 
III
“AND YOU SHALL BE AS GOD, KNOWING GOOD AND EVIL”
 
 
At the end of the previous shiur, we encountered the concept of kelipat nogah, the shell of brightness, and its connection to the period of bein ha-shemashot (twilight) and the culture of Greece (Yavan). Among those Torah scholars who deal with esoteric matters, kelipat nogah is associated with the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This is what we find, for example, in Sefer Ha-Tanya, in the context of the soul of a Jew:
 
For in the case of Israel, this soul of the kelipa is derived from kelipat nogah, which also contains good, as it originates in the esoteric Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. (Likkutei Amarim, Chap. 1[1])
 
The identification of kelipat nogah with the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, on the one hand, and with the kingdom of Yavan, on the other, may allude to a deeper connection that exists between the story of the Garden of Eden and the later spiritual struggle with the Greek Empire. Let us now examine this connection.
 
The point of pre-Creation is characterized by complete disarray: "Now the earth was without form and void" (Bereishit 1:2). The process of Creation transforms a world of chaos into a well-arranged and orderly world, through a series of processes of setting boundaries and making distinctions.
 
The whole process begins with a clear differentiation between light and darkness, between day and night. It is possible that during the first days, when light and darkness reign without the luminaries, the distinction between light and darkness is sharp, without the intermediate stage of bein ha-shemashot. The process of differentiation continues to the water, between the upper waters and the lower waters, and from there to the separation between sea and land. Based on this foundation, all of the created beings are situated, each one in its precise place.[2] During the Six Days of Creation, the phrase "And God saw that it was good" repeats itself several times. The orderly world, with its neat distinctions, is repeatedly defined as good, whereas the word "evil" is not mentioned at all in the entire Creation story.
 
The first creation that deviates from this order which gives everything a precise identity characterized as containing a mixture is the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.[3] As we have seen, the time which exhibits a quality parallel to that of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is the period of twilight. Bein ha-shemashot is located in the no man's land between light and darkness, just as the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is located in the no man's land between good and evil.
 
This is also reflected in the dilemma that Chava faces before she eats of the forbidden fruit. For the very first time she encounters a creation the quality of which is unclear to her, and she is torn between the possibility that it is evil and the possibility that it is good; between "for in the day that you eat thereof, you shall surely die" (Bereishit 2:17) and "that the tree was good for food, and it was a delight to the eyes" (Bereishit 3:6).
 
 
Man Supplants God
 
This indecision, however, is difficult to understand, as God teaches man the proper attitude to the things He created and warns him about the death that eating from the tree would lead to. Is it just desire — "it was a delight to the eyes" — that causes man not to think straight and to disobey the word of God? Or is there a deeper root to the sin?
 
The awakening of desire is not the starting point for the sin; it is preceded by the serpent's statement: "For God knows that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as God, knowing good and evil" (Bereishit 3:5). The serpent promises the woman much more than the tree and its taste, and even more than the knowledge that it bestows. The serpent promises the greatest promise of all: "And you shall be as God." This promise, which captivates the human heart, uncovers and develops man's desire to seize the place of God, to be in a position of absolute judgment, to become the yardstick by which everything is determined.[4]
 
This early psychological movement finds it historical-cultural expression in Greek culture, which places man at the center. This movement of anthropocentrism establishes a world which, as it were, does not need God; a world in which man, as it were, takes the place of God and supplants Him. This is the root of the culture that centers around humankind, which aspires to exhaust all of its faculties on its own, a culture that is founded on an outlook that attempts to establish full human life while severing any connection to God and taking His place. In this sense, the sin of Adam and Chava lies at the root of the sin of Hellenization.
 
The human desire to put oneself and one’s own faculties in place of God stands in opposition to the idea of theocentrism, having God at the center, according to which man strives to cleave to God with the help of those very same faculties. The desire to be the yardstick for everything stands against the possibility of self-effacement before the source and listening to it and only afterwards digesting with one's own faculties that which one has taken in.
 
Anthropocentrism also establishes a new cultural agenda. The conceptualization of the human world as independent makes neutral human life the focus of mankind’s efforts, more so than any upward aspiration. Adam and Chava's eating from the Tree of Knowledge is akin to the sin of embracing Greek culture, a culture of bein ha-shemashot[5] — a culture founded neither on idolatrous impurity, nor on sanctifying oneself and emulating the Divine, but rather on seeing the human dimension and its realization as the pinnacle of life. Without a Divine compass, the human expanse reveals itself as a mixture of good and evil, regarding which the human race lacks the tools to separate the one from the other. Thus, man knows both good and evil, identifies with both of them, and is connected and attracted to both.
 
 
The Departure of the Divine Presence
 
In a short transitional period, and almost simultaneously on a historical scale, those things that characterize the events from the Exodus to the Destruction of the First Temple — miracles, overt Providence, the resting of the Shekhina, and prophecy — are removed one after the other. Supreme sanctity departs from the world, God's presence is no longer felt, and people no longer live close to God, as in the past.
 
It is under these conditions that the events of Chanuka occur. Even the great wonder, the miracle of Chanuka, which is a sensational historical occurrence, does not merit being recorded in Tanakh, which has already been sealed, allowing nothing new to enter its gates (Yoma 29a).
 
Those who recall the earlier period of great illumination immediately recognize its absence when darkness descends upon the world. In contrast, the children of later generations are born into the new reality, and in their consciousness this deficient reality is perceived more and more as normal, familiar and ordinary.
 
The new reality that establishes itself for the people of Israel influences not only the particular framework of the nation, but human consciousness in general. During the First Temple period, theocentric humanity absorbs the Divine presence in the world, though it translates it into idolatrous concepts. Now, in the early days of the Second Temple period, mankind feels the vacuum that is created by the removal of the Divine presence from the human sphere. As stated, over the course of time, in the absence of this presence, the image of man as the center of the world begins to take its place, inaugurating the era of anthropocentrism.
 
This is the background against which we may understand the growth of the Greek empire, which builds from its foundations a new culture based on placing man in the center, as a replacement of God whose Shekhina has departed. This culture, which grows in the wake of the removal of the Shekhina, completes the project of pushing aside the Divine presence from the world.
 
Greek culture, which reflects the new reality created in the world and deepens it, spreading across the globe, takes hold in Eretz Israel in the form of Hellenism and Hellenization, stirring up Jewish resistance and struggle against it as well. However, does the new historical-spiritual situation bring with it only dangers and struggles, or does it contain within it also the potential for new illumination?
 
IV
The holiday of Chanuka:
"The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord"
 
The new reality that provokes a spiritual crisis in the people of Israel is meant in its profound sense to give birth to something new in the Jewish nation. What is meant to appear in the people of Israel in this new situation? A reality in which the Divine source is hiding constitutes an appropriate basis for a new revelation. Man who, until now, has been the address for Divine appearance, turning to Him to receive, becomes now in Israel a source for revealing God in the world.
 
This stands in contrast to the pretense of Greek culture’s being an independent source that supplants God. The lamp of God — "The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord" (Mishlei 20:27) — during the daylight of the Shekhina’s appearance may be described by the phrase, "Of what use is a lamp in broad daylight?"[6] Its light is swallowed up in the intensity of the spiritual phenomena that accompany the days of prophecy and the First Temple. Now, as the sun of the Shekhina is setting and disappearing from humanity's skies, the light of the lamp becomes significant, and there is value in its illumination.
 
The content of the Chanuka holiday is deeply connected to the new reality — to the absence of the Shekhina from Israel, with all of its consequences. The most important thing that emerges from Chanuka is the revelation of the holiness that comes from below, by way of man, precisely at the place where the holiness that comes from above is no longer evident; Chanuka reveals the sanctity of the spirit of Israel. The removal of the overt Divine presence is what enables this phenomenon to develop in a clear and sharp manner.
 
This element of the appearance of holiness from below by way of man finds expression in Chanuka, in its laws and in its concepts — in the mitzva of kindling Chanuka lights, in the miracle of the military victory, and in the addition of Al Ha-nissim (“For the miracles”) in the Amida prayer and in Birkat Ha-mazon after eating.
 
Chazal’s very establishment of the days of Chanuka is itself a striking example of man's power to be a source that reveals Divine holiness. In contrast to the holidays which are rooted in the Written Law and constitute biblical expressions of God's casting His light over us, the holidays established by the Sages — Chanuka and Purim — reveal earthly holiness, the sanctity that God implants within us, by virtue of which the Sages may add more holidays. The Sages are the source of establishing this day, but nevertheless it is a day which draws its power not merely from human law, but from the law of Torah and Halakha, from the word of God.
 
Beyond the mere establishment of the holiday, the various aspects and practices of Chanuka also express the same idea.
 
 
“These lights, they are holy”
 
The mitzva of kindling lights reveals that even "these lights" — which come from below, from each individual household — “are holy,” as the liturgical formula recited after the kindling reads, “and we are not permitted to make [mundane] use of them, but only to look at them.” The mitzva is fulfilled specifically by way of kindling a light, and specifically when it is becoming dark, a time when one presumably ought to derive benefit from its light, as opposed to daytime, about which it is said: "Of what use is a lamp in broad daylight?"
 
In the transition from the First Temple to the Second Temple, the Jewish people are transformed from recipients of Divine illumination to a source that shines Divine light into the public domain, to the world outside. Even though the light is immeasurably less than the light of the Shekhina of the First Temple, it has a unique virtue, being light that emerges from within the world and adapts to the Divine light, and not just from a world that stands in astonishment before the tremendous Divine illumination from above.
 
Already the Torah alludes to the Candelabrum's role as belonging to the light that illuminates from within the world — in an upward-directed movement, rather than a downward directed movement. In contrast to the Cherubim in the Holy of Holies, where the Voice that speaks appears from above, regarding the Candelabrum in the Holy, the kindling is described as rising from the bottom upwards — "When you light [literally: raise up] the lamp" (Bamidbar 8:2). As opposed to the Cherubim, whose essence is absorbing the Shekhina's illumination, the essence of the Candelabrum is shining outward.
 
In the kindling of the Chanuka Lights, man plays an even greater role: In contrast to the Candelabrum, which shines from the Temple, from the house of God, the Chanuka light shines from the house, the home of each member of Israel: "A light for a man and his household " (Shabbat 21b). Every home in Israel becomes thereby a mikdash me'at, a miniature temple, and merits radiating its light, teaching about the Divine forces that are planted in humanity and become revealed through it.
 
This principle is particularly pronounced in Chazal’s remarks regarding the blessing that is recited over the fulfillment of this mitzva, in Tractate Shabbat (23a):
 
What blessing is uttered? This: "Who sanctified us by His commandments and commanded us to kindle the light of Chanuka."
 
And where did He command us?
Rav Aviya said: [It follows] from: "You shall not turn aside [from the matter which they shall tell you]" (Devarim 17:2).
Rabbi Nechemya said: "Ask you father, and he will show you; your elders and they will tell you" (Devarim 32:7).
 
According to the wording of the blessing, the mitzva enacted by the Sages to kindle Chanuka lights is attributed to God: "Who sanctified us by His commandments and commanded us." These words emphasize that humanity, inasmuch as it is the source of the mitzva, is in fact a conduit for the Divine source, not pushing God out of His place, not anthropocentrism instead of theocentrism. This is one of the reasons that it is specifically in connection with the mitzva of kindling Chanuka lights that the Gemara teaches us the general principle, that in the rabbinic commandments there is a revelation of the Divine source, and therefore one may recite the blessing: "Who has sanctified us with His commandments."
 
 
“And about the wars which you waged for our fathers”
 
The special character of the miracle of the military victory is another expression of the holiness that is revealed from below, as we may learn from the text of Al Ha-nissim. This miracle of "You delivered the mighty into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few," is a hidden miracle, a miracle that comes about by way of nature, from below. This miracle is a miracle of the might of the spirit, and it grows by virtue of the inner traits of the Chashmona’im: "and impure into the hands of the pure, and wicked into the hands of the righteous."[7]
 
Here is the place to distinguish between a hidden miracle of this type and the concept of a miracle hidden in the laws of nature, according to which nature behaves in accordance with man’s spiritual state, and not in accordance with natural law in itself.[8] We refer here not to a hidden miracle in nature, but rather to a hidden miracle in man, in the human world, a miracle that appears in history, a miracle in which people seemingly act with their natural powers, but in essence God is acting through them.
 
The miracle of the military victory of Chanuka belongs to this type. This is a hidden miracle, as it may be explained in natural military terms, such that one cannot point to something that clearly breaks the conventional laws of nature. Indeed, it is impossible to point to a particular event in the entire process that goes beyond nature. However, the overall end results, the triumph of the few over the many, and the correspondence between the physical results and the spiritual level, the victory of the righteous over the wicked, reveal a miracle that operates secretly by way of the natural world.
 
Compared to overt miracles, a hidden miracle enjoys a unique advantage. It is precisely in the case of a hidden miracle that we can point to that which stands behind the scenes, behind the natural world. An overt miracle, on the other hand, because of the way it breaks into the natural world in such a striking manner, may not bring us to the recognition that behind all of the orderly world lies a hidden God.
 
When it comes to an overt miracle, perhaps even the Greeks, who examine all matters based on appearances, would concede. The main argument with them relates specifically to hidden miracles, to seeing the natural world as a Divine manifestation. In addition, this miracle reveals the forces planted within man, and in this humanity itself become the source of the revelation of the Divine miracle. Regarding a hidden miracle, it is possible to err and say: "My power and the might of my hand has gotten me this wealth" (Devarim 8:17), but human beings must go deeper when contemplating their power and recognize that it is God who gives them the might to amass their wealth.[9]
 
We will now address the ramifications of the miracle of the military victory for the laws of Chanuka.
 
 
Thanksgiving: The Al Ha-nissim Prayer
 
The basic enactment of Chanuka is described in the Gemara as follows:
 
The following year, these [days] were appointed a festival with [the recital of] Hallel and thanksgiving. (Shabbat 21b)
 
What is the meaning of the phrase "with Hallel and thanksgiving"? We are familiar with Hallel from the other festivals, namely a collection of six psalms (Tehillim 113-118), but what is meant by "thanksgiving"?
 
Rashi (ad loc.) writes:
 
There is no prohibition to work, for [these days] are designated only for the reading of Hallel and the recitation of Al ha-nissim in the thanksgiving blessing [of the Amida and Birkat Ha-mazon].
 
The recitation of Hallel is connected to all of the festivals, and it does not have a special formula for Chanuka. Chanuka's special imprint on the liturgy is found in the Al Ha-nissim paragraph that is recited in the thanksgiving blessing in the Amida and in Birkat ha-Mazon. For what do we offer gratitude in this prayer? In Al Ha-nissim, we offer gratitude for the military victory.
 
Why is this addition inserted specifically in the thanksgiving blessing? It would appear that that the main spiritual test of Chanuka relates to the issue of gratitude: As long as we are dealing with an overt miracle, there is no difficulty to give thanks for it, for its Divine source is manifest and incontestable. It is precisely a hidden miracle, which may be explained naturally, that necessitates another step — the spiritual work of thanksgiving.
 
With this thanksgiving, the people of Israel, who have seemingly defeated the Greeks with their military might, come and thank the true source of the victory, the Hand of God. Giving thanks is not just the personal moral duty of someone who merits miraculous deliverance, but also what establishes the event as a miracle for all generations. Without the thanksgiving, the event would be perceived as a natural event, even if it could not be fully explained.
 
In the new spiritual situation, in which man become the source that reveals God, giving thanks is the critical factor in people’s consciousness — is this event a natural phenomenon or a hidden miracle? Therefore, at this time of the struggle against the Greek Empire and its view about man, everything depends upon thanksgiving. Offering gratitude for the good is also a recognition of the truth, the inner truth, which reveals the unadulterated inner face of reality.
 
This explains another matter as a continuation of the previous one: it turns out that it is not only the very victory in battle that is achieved by the hands of the Jewish people; even the perception of the meaning of the war for future generations, as a natural event or a miraculous event, depends entirely on our own powers, our ability and desire to acknowledge the source — and offer gratitude.
 
 
The Return of Sovereignty to Israel
 
The practical result of the victory is the return of political independence to the Jewish people: "And sovereignty returned to Israel for more than two hundred years" (Rambam, Hilkhot Chanuka 3:1). The return of sovereignty to Israel is also profoundly connected to the idea of revealing holiness from below, as we will explain further on.
 
At the spiritual core of the issue of human sovereignty lies the question of who stands at the center of the world. A nation's organization as a kingdom expresses taking full responsibility from a long-term perspective for all aspects of the people's life. Assuming this responsibility requires the realization of all the faculties that lie in the people, and one of a king's key duties is to direct the nation to realize its powers in the fullest and most exhaustive way. Therefore, when the people of Israel are governed by an independent kingdom, they are governed by their own powers, and by a king of flesh and blood, such that their lives ought to be perceived as being led from below rather than from above.
 
This independence, in which the people of Israel lead their lives with their own powers and leadership, is liable to appear, God forbid, as a replacement of the previous reality in which God leads the people of Israel (as is fully the case in the wilderness, and to a lesser degree also during the period of the Judges). The king himself who heads the people is liable to be, God forbid, a substitute for the kingdom of heaven, a substitute that disassociates the people from God, that is anthropocentric rather than theocentric.
 
During the days of the establishment of the monarchy in Israel, when the people ask the prophet Shemuel for a king, God explains to Shemuel that the hidden objective of the people is to detach themselves from dependence on God: “For they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not be king over them" (I Shemuel 8:7). The people want their fate to depend on their physical powers and realistic deployment: "That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles" (ibid. 8:20).
 
This issue, which arises sharply during the period of the founding of the monarchy, is the fundamental spiritual issue relating to the royal institution in Israel. This issue clarifies that the monarchy in Israel is a new mode of God's revelation. From now on, God will appear precisely from the nation's inner forces and through the king's leadership. The more that the king and the people become filled with talent, power, initiative and independence, provided that this comes from walking with God, God's revelation in the world will be deepened and strengthened — by way of the king and the people themselves. This way requires deep humility in standing before God, not humility that erases man, but humility of fullness, which constantly recognizes that all individual and national powers originate in God.
 
The monarchy stands at a crossroads at all times, on the fine line between pridefulness and humility. On the one hand, there is a danger that the exploitation of power will lead to arrogance and detachment from God, to a kind of idolatry with a king who perceives himself almost as a god, or to a kind of apostasy with a king whose kingship conceals the kingship of God from him.
 
On the other hand, in the institution of the monarchy lies the possibility of profound faith and effacement before God who is revealed through the king, to the point that it can be said of kingship in Israel that "there if nothing in it of itself," and that it can be said of the king: "And Shelomo sat on the throne of the Lord as king" (I Divrei Ha-yamim 29:23).
 
In the days of the First Temple, alongside the king stands a prophet of God, making it easier for his kingdom to be the kingdom of God. During the Second Temple Era, when a prophet no longer stood at the side of the king, the question of whether the kingdom reveals God, or whether it replaces Him, became more acute. The return of independence during the war of the Chashmona’im, emerging from the cry, “Whoever is for God, follow me," in which the Jewish people devote themselves to God and their loyalty to Him and do not seek anthropocentric independence, is what turns the kingdom into a revelation of Divine kingship.
 
 
Summary
 
We have seen, then, that the element we have identified as the root of the struggle between Yisrael and Yavan is reflected in various aspects of Chanuka.
 
We have seen that the root of the struggle lies in the attitude toward the light of bein ha-shemashot, the light of the human world at a time when the Divine source of that light has already become concealed from view.
 
We have seen that the root of the spiritual struggle regarding bein ha-shemashot is in the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, in the mixing of the good and the evil, the light and the darkness. We have further seen that the root of the temptation to be drawn into that very mixture is found in the serpent's temptation of Adam and Chava to be as God, to know good and evil by themselves, and thus, in effect, to take the place of Gd.
 
In the time of the historical bein ha-shemashot, the profound spiritual question arises, whether man's seemingly natural faculties are independent, human light, or perhaps they themselves are a revelation of that Divine light which is now hidden from our eyes.
 
Various aspects of the holiday of Chanuka reveal that the lamp of the human soul is itself the lamp of the Lord: the mitzva of kindling lights is enacted by the Sages, but we see it as God's commandment and recite over it the blessing: "Who sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us.” Moreover, the lights in each Jewish home are seen as lights of holiness.
 
Finally, sovereignty returns to Israel via a kingdom founded on the cry, "Whoever is for God, follow me," a kingdom that embodies human independence, but at the same time is a revelation of the name of God.
 
 
(Translated by David Strauss)
 

[1] There he notes that his source is Etz Chayim, Gate 49, Chap. 3. See also Derekh Mitzvotekha, p. 90; Sha'arei Ha-leshem 2, 2, 3. Similarly, the Zohar writes about the serpent's tempting the woman to eat of the Tree of Knowledge: "With this nogah it seduced the woman." This is brought in Etz Chayim, Gate 49, in several places.
[2] Based on the wording in Tanakh, according to which the earth "brought forth" the plants and the animals, even the continuation of the Creation process is essentially a process of differentiation, separation and arrangement (see Rashi, Bereishit 1:14 and 24).
[3] The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil seems to be the first creation that contains an actual mixture. If may be suggested that even earlier we find man, who by his very creation contains opposing elements: "Then the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life" (Bereishit 2:7). This tension between the two poles holds the potential for eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
[4] The Maharal of Prague explains this matter in depth, saying that man's capacity to stand as an independent being is itself a consequence of the unique Divine quality implanted in man, which paradoxically detaches humanity from its Divine source:
But humanity, which is created in the image of God, enjoys this quality of standing on its own, just like God, Who does what He wants. Similarly, human beings have the authority to do what they want; they have a choice. The Torah alludes to this in the verse: “And you shall be as God, knowing good and evil” (Bereishit 3:5). We may ask: How is it that when they sin they become as God, knowing good and evil?...
 
Know that this is the explanation. Adam, before he sins, by virtue of his very Creation, is not fit to be as God, knowing good and evil, because God knows good and evil, but not man. Because man has a cause above him, and he must cleave to his cause, which is the good. Thus he is removed from knowledge of evil. He knows only the good, which is his cause, because his cause is the good, and the caused must always cleave to his cause, it being the good itself. Man by virtue of being created in the image of God is certainly fit for knowing good and evil, but because he must cleave to his cause which is the good, he knows the good, but not the evil. But when he does not turn to his cause, as was the case after the sin, then he knows good and evil. (Derekh Ha-chayim, p. 148)
 
[5] In the words of the Arizal (Sha'ar Ma'amarei Rashbi, Parashat Kedoshim, s.v. Ve-ata neva'er ha-bechina ha-sheinit), there is an allusion to the connection between Adam and Chava’s and the period of bein ha-shemashot itself, but this is not the forum in which to elaborate.
[6] The source of this expression is on Chullin 60b.
[7] The miracle of the cruse of oil, which is an overt and supernatural miracle, is performed in a hidden place, inside the Holy, thus teaching us that during the Second Temple Era, overt miracles are gradually disappearing.
[8] Another example is the idea of rain’s being dependent on our devotion to Torah and mitzvot, even though it seems to depend upon the laws of meteorology (see Ramban, Shemot 13:16).
[9] See the words of the Ran (Derashot Ha-Ran, 10):
Even though this power is rooted in you, remember who gave this power to you and from where it comes. This is what is stated: “But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He that gives you power to get wealth” (Devarim 8:18). He does not say: But you shall remember that the Lord your God gives you wealth, for if so, this would mean that the power implanted in man is not the intermediate reason for the amassing of wealth. However, this is not the case. Rather he says that even though your power makes this wealth, remember Him who gives this power, may He be blessed.
In the miracles performed for the generation of the wilderness, the breaching of nature is manifest, and thus the degree of Israel's participation in them is less. Something of the process of transition to hidden miracles, in which man has a part, appears already in the transition from the miracles of the wilderness to the natural life in Eretz Israel. This takes another step in the transition from the period of the Judges, in which God's governance is more manifest, to the days of David and Shelomo, in which the governance is more natural (as will be explained at length later). However, even during this period, we find overt miracles. In the time of Chanuka, there are no longer overt miracles, and the focus turns to hidden miracles, which are performed through man’s very actions.