Friday, December 10, 2010

Chanuka - Hod and haddar

Normally the words hod and haddar occur together in tenach, “hod vehadar lephanav”, “hadar kevod hodechah” and so on. The exception to this is in the nevuah in Doniel perek 10, where Doniel was misnabe that Persia would fall and Greece would take over. The possuk says:

ח וַאֲנִי נִשְׁאַרְתִּי לְבַדִּי וָאֶרְאֶה אֶת הַמַּרְאָה הַגְּדֹלָה הַזֹּאת וְלֹא נִשְׁאַר בִּי כֹּח וְהוֹדִי נֶהְפַּךְ עָלַי לְמַשְׁחִית וְלֹא עָצַרְתִּי כֹּחַ... כ וַיֹּאמֶר הֲיָדַעְתָּ לָמָּה בָּאתִי אֵלֶיךָ וְעַתָּה אָשׁוּב לְהִלָּחֵם עִם שַׂר פָּרָס וַאֲנִי יוֹצֵא וְהִנֵּה שַׂר יָוָן בָּא.

(8) I was left by myself (when Doniel saw the malach, Chananya, Mishoel and Azaryah ran away and he was left alone) and I saw this great image and there was no strength left in me and my glory [הוֹדִי] was turned against me to destruction and I was left without strength…(20) And he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? And now I will return to fight with the sar of Persia and I will go out and behold the sar of Yavan is coming.”

Hadar is mentioned in perek 11, however, after the fall of Yavan:
יט וְיָשֵׁב פָּנָיו, לְמָעוּזֵּי אַרְצוֹ; וְנִכְשַׁל וְנָפַל, וְלֹא יִמָּצֵא. כ וְעָמַד עַל-כַּנּוֹ מַעֲבִיר נוֹגֵשׂ, הֶדֶר מַלְכוּת;

(19) He will turn his face toward the strongholds of his land; but he shall stumble and fall, and he will not be found. (20) Then will stand up in his place one who will cause an opressor to pass, and the beauty [הֶדֶר] of the kingdom.

Rabbi Yitzchok Hutner z”l explains this with a moshol:

It says in Avos d’Rebbi Noson (1:41):
לעולם יהא אדם רך כקנה ולא יהא קשה כארז. מה קנה זה כל הרוחות באות ונושבת בו הולך ובא עימהם דממו הרוחות חוזר הקנה עומד במקומו. ומה סופו של קנה זה זכה ליטול הימנו קולמוס לכתוב ספר תורה. אבל ארז אינו עומד במקומו אלא כיון שנשבה רוח דרומית עוקרתו והופכתו על פניו

“A person should always be soft like a reed and not stiff like a cedar. When the winds blow at a reed, it bends backwards and forwards. When the winds stop, the reed returns to its place. In the end, the reed merits that the quill to write the sefer Torah is taken from it. However a cedar does not stand in its place, rather as soon as the south wind blows it uproots it and it turns it on its face.”

First the reed submits to the wind, then the reed returns to its place. Although the reed seems to be weak when it bends, this is a strength.

Hod represents the strength and the ability to admit. However, after a person has admitted, they should not be bent but should return to an upright position, this is haddar, which also means to return.

The mishna says in Megilla 8b:
אין בין ספרים לתפלין ומזוזות אלא שהספרים נכתבין בכל לשון ותפלין ומזוזות אינן נכתבות אלא אשורית רשב"ג אומר אף בספרים לא התירו שיכתבו אלא יוונית:

“There is no difference between sifrei torah, tefillin and mezuzos with the exception that although sifrei torah can we written in any language, tefillin and mezuzos can only be written in ksav ashuris. Rabbon Shimon ben Gamliel says - sifrei torah can only be written in Greek.”

The gemara says:
א"ר אבהו א"ר יוחנן הלכה כרשב"ג וא"ר יוחנן מ"ט דרשב"ג אמר קרא (בראשית ט, כז) יפת אלהים ליפת וישכן באהלי שם דבריו של יפת יהיו באהלי שם ואימא גומר ומגוג א"ר חייא בר אבא היינו טעמא דכתיב יפת אלהים ליפת יפיותו של יפת יהא באהלי שם:

“Rebbi Avahu said in the name of Rebbi Yochanan, the halacha is like Rabbon Shimon ben Gamliel. And Rabbi Yochanan said, ‘What is the reason of Rabbon Shimon ben Gamliel, because the passuk says ‘יפת אלהים ליפת וישכן באהלי שם’- ‘Hashem will give beauty to Yefes and it will rest in the tents of Shem.’ The words of Yefes should be in the tents of Shem. But let us say this means the language of Gog and Magog (who are also descendants of Yefes)? Rebbi Chiya bar Abba said, this is the reason because it says ‘יפת אלהים ליפת’- the beauty of Yefes (the Greek language) should be in the tents of Shem.” This is hod ve’hadar, we acknowledge that yafyuso shel yefes can be used, but we elevate it and use it for avodas Hashem.

When Yavan attacked and influenced the benei yisroel, instead of using yafyuso shel yefes for kedusha, yafyuso shel yefes was used to trap the benei yisroel into their avoda zara. That is why there is hod without hadar at the beginning of Doniel’s nevuah. To the contrary, the hoda’ah to yafyuso shel yefes was nehepach lemashchis because it was used to pull in and destroy the benei yisroel. When the chashomonoim defeated Yavan, the hadar malchus was returned to the benei yisroel and the influence of Yavan was also defeated.

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