My friend Jeno Gal asked me "Why was the miracle of the oil necessary by Chanuka; they could have pressed less than an egg's volume at a time?!" As the Gemorah brings a Mishna "Tomei Mes Shesochat Zeysim Veanovim...the juices extracted are Tohar!"
Alex Lebovits, Canada
Here is what we've come up with so far.
1. The Beis Yosef says Tahor oil was only available after 8 days since it would take 7 days to remove Tum'as Meis.
2. The process of pressing only small amounts of oil is problematic because:
a. If even one drop is touched by the Tamei person it will ruin all the oil.
b. To press such a small amount of olives in a regular-size olive press technically would not allow for collection of the oil- it would barely grease the receptacle.
3. There is a well-known question: Why wasn't Tamei oil used since Tum'ah Hutrah b'Tzibur. The answer is that even if it was permissible, they wanted to be extra zealous. Perhaps here too, since if the olives were already Kodesh before pressing, and pressing would cause Tum'ah for the Menorah, they did not consider this process.
4. According to the Ran, they needed 8 days to get new oil, 4 days going and 4 days to come back. Manufacturing the oil was not considered at all. It seems the olives were not readily at their disposal.
All the best,