Today is the first of the two Rosh Chodesh days for the month of Tevet...
The Yaaleh V'yavo prayer is added to the Amidah and to Grace After Meals, and the additional Musaf prayer is said...
Because it is also Chanukah today, the "full" Hallel (Psalms 113-118) is recited (and not the "partial Hallel" said on the Rosh Chodesh days of other months).
The Ponovezher Rav, Rabbi Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman, once asked the following question. After having lit the Chanukah lights, we recite a prayer, "Al hanisim ve'al hamilchamos," for "the miracles and for the wars." Why should we thank G-d for wars? Are we bloodthirsty, do we live by the sword, that we are happy G-d provides wars for us? Wouldn't it have been more appropriate to highlight the victories in which we vanquished the enemy?
He answered that, in reality, it is premature to thank G-d for the victories because the fight that took place for the first Chanucah still continues today. The war against the Greeks was mainly a spiritual struggle, a war of sanctity against defilement that remains as yet to be won and so we thank G-d for the plain fact that we are fighting, that we strive, despite the most difficult conditions, for something better than our present situation.
One only has to read this article to realize that the spiritual battle continues to this day.
Click here to see the miracle of Chanukah updated.
Wishing you a gut Chodesh and a happy Chanukah.