There are two distinct mitzvos that we perform on Chanukah, the mitzvah of hadlakas neiros and the mitzvah of krias Hallel. It is not surprising that Chazal instituted two different mitzvos to commemorate the events of Chanukah, since two miracles occurred that we are celebrating. The miracle of the oil is commemorated by lighting Chanukah candles, whereas the victory of the battle against the Yeavnim is marked by reciting Hallel. Chazal tell us (Megillah 14a) that we recite Hallel when we are saved through a miracle. As great as the miraculous events of the menorah in the Beis Hamikdash were, these events would not cause us to recite Hallel. Only the events of the battlefield preceding the restoration of the Beis Hamikdash should warrant the recitation of Hallel.
Each day of Succos we complete the Hallel, whereas on Pesach we recite an abridged form on Chol Hamoed and the concluding days. Chazal (Taanis 28b) explain that this difference reflects a basic distinction between Succos and Pesach. Each day of Succos is a separate yom tov since the korbanos that are offered each day differ from the previous day. On Pesach the identical korbanos are offered each day, therefore the entire week of Pesach is viewed as one yom tov. Therefore, once a complete Hallel is recited on the first day there is no need to repeat it on subsequent days. Tosafos raises the problem that according to this criterion we should only complete the Hallel on the first day of Chanukah. Why do we view each day of Chanukah as a separate entity? Tosafos concludes that the miracle of the oil was renewed each day. Since each day the oil lasted was a new miracle, we commemorate each miracle with a daily completion of Hallel. The solution of Tosafos seems difficult – since the recitation of Hallel relates to the victory on the battlefield, why is the daily nature of the miracle of the oil relevant? It would seem that the complete Hallel should only be recited once, since we were only saved once.
Those of you who have read my previous post on this issue already know the factual answer to this question. However, Rabbi Sobolofsky chooses to answer the question with a new myth:
When the war ended, it was obvious that the Chashmonaim were victorious on the battlefield. However, it was not apparent who had won the spiritual conflict. Perhaps the Chashmonaim had defeated their enemies with their swords, but it still had to be determined who would emerge victorious in the battle between Torah and Yavan. Hashem performed a second miracle that would prove that the spiritual battle had also been won. Chazal associate the light of the menorah with the light of Torah. If pure oil could burn for eight days despite the defilement of the Beis Hamikdash by the Yevanim, the pure light of Torah had emerged victorious from the darkness of Yavan. The miracle of the oil was not distinct from the miracle on the battlefield, but rather it was the completion of the physical struggle that occurred. The Chashmonaim emerged victorious on the physical and spiritual battlefields. Lighting the menorah in the Beis Hamikdash was not just a mitzvah, but rather the victory in the spiritual war. Being saved from spiritual annihilation warrants reciting Hallel just as a physical deliverance does.
Tosofot did not have the resources we have. They had no history books, no archaeological digs, no Josephus, no 1 and 2 Maccabees, no Philo, etc. Their mistake is understandable.
But we must be clear – there is no record of a "miracle of oil" in any ancient source. The first mention of it is in the Talmud, written at least 600 years after the events took place. In contrast, 1 and 2 Maccabees were written by Jews within a few years of the events of Hanukka, and only the military victory is mentioned – no "miracle of oil." Josephus, written just over 200 years after Hanukka has no mention of the "miracle of oil." I repeat, nowhere in any ancient source, rabbinic or otherwise, is a "miracle of oil" mentioned.
Full Hallel is said each day of Hanukka because Hanukka was both a rededication of the Temple/victory celebration and a replacement for the recent Succot festival the Jews had missed because of the Greeks. That is exactly what Judah Maccabee said when he instituted Hanukka. It answers Tosofot's question without tortured logic and sleight of hand. And it is the truth.