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In Al Hanissim we say:

Vhidliku Neiros Bchatzros Kodshecha

Why in do we use the Plural form, was there more than one Chatzer?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

The various gradations of holiness within the Beis Hamikdash complex (listed in the Mishnah, Kelim 1:8ff) are each generally referred to in Tanach as a chatzer. The expression חצרות קדשך is borrowed from Isaiah 62:9 (בחצרות קדשי), referring to Jerusalem as a whole. And then we find, among others:

  • חצר החדשה ("the new courtyard," II Chron. 20:5; this is identified as the Har Habayis (Rashi to Zevachim 32b) or the Ezras Nashim (Rambam, Hil. Bias Mikdash 3:6))

  • חצר הגדולה ("the great courtyard") and חצר בית ה' הפנימית ("the inner courtyard of Hashem's house," both in I Kings 7:12), evidently referring to the Har Habayis and the Ezras Yisrael/Kohanim, respectively

  • 'שתי חצרות בית ה (II Kings 21:5), probably referring to the same two (or maybe to the Ezras Yisrael/Kohanim and the Ezras Nashim)

  • and numerous references to 'חצר בית ה and חצר החיצונה and חצר הפנימית in the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe's (zt"l) answer that I quoted here says that indeed they lit lamps and candelabra throughout the entire complex (in all of these "courtyards") in order to show their gratitude to Hashem for the miracles of Chanukah.

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