Hanukkah, a holiday commemorating the miracles surrounding the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in the second century BCE

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Do I need a menorah?

It's been common practice for a very long time (perhaps as early as 60 years after the Chanukah miracle) to use a menorah (aka "chanukiyah") to light the Chanukah candles with. Do I need a menorah to ...
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What was the volume of oil for one day's lighting of the Menorah?

Large jars for storing oil or wine were common in Judah. For 100’s of years, oil and wine were the commodities that were used to pay tribute and taxes. Many storage jars were standardized and may ...
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23 views

What's the point of a haftorah for Miketz if it's always Shabbat Chanukah?

I have heard that parshat Miketz always falls out on Shabbat Chanukah. If that's the case, why do chumashim print a haftorah for Miketz in addition to the one for Shabbat Chanukah? Should the Chanukah ...
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Is there a problem with two people lighting a double chanukiah?

Is there a problem with two people lighting from a chanukiah that has two Shamashes and 16 candles? Say, Shamash, 8 candles, Shamash, 8 candles, all on one structure?
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May a chanuka menorah be any shape? [duplicate]

This is a more specific asking of "what may a menorah look like", whose answer only regulated candle height. So long as the artist is mindful regarding the prohibition against idols, may a menorah ...
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What makes something a chag or not?

I have a friend who does not like it when people say 'chag sameach' on hanukah, claiming that hanukah is not a chag. What makes something a chag vs. not a chag?
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30 views

What may a menorah look like?

I'm designing a menorah to build for next Channukah. Are there anything about the Law on how a menorah should look, other than that it holds 9 candles? Must it exactly resemble the traditional ...
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Why a different list and different order in על הנסים and in הנרות הללו?‎

On Chanuka, we thank God in the amida (sh'mone esre) and grace after meals ועל הנסים ועל הפרקן ועל הגבורות ועל התשועות ועל הנפלאות ועל הנחמות ועל המלחמות שעשית לאבותינו בימים ההם בזמן הזה for ...
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Singular and plural in Maoz Tzur

In the first five paragraphs of Maoz Tzur, the first-person singular is used fifteen times. However, the first-person plural is used just once, in ושם תודה נזבח - and there a thanksgiving-offering we ...
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How big can a chanukia get?

I recently saw this story about students at YU who lit up their dorm windows to turn the entire building into a giant chanukia (just the form, not a real one). That inspired a question: Exactly how ...
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Variations on Al Hanisim

The song "Al Hanisim" is popularly sung on Hanukkah by many Jews everywhere. However, I've noticed a discrepancy: On this website it states that the lyrics are: עַל הַנִּסִּים, וְעַל הַפֻּרְקָן, ...
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348 views

Chanuka candles if missed the night

If someone, not on purpose, did not light chanuka candles at night, should he light during the day? With or without a brocho?
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44 views

If I said the blessings over already lit candles, have I fulfilled my hannukah mitzvah?

On the first night of Hannukah, I got home from work after dinner, and my wife had lit the candles and said the blessings with the kids. I said all three blessings over the already lit candles. In ...
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How to light when getting married on a night of Chanuka

A friend of mine is getting married on one of the nights of Chanuka this year. I do know that he has been in contact with his rabbi about this, but since I'm not sure what he said, I'll post this ...
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Is it permitted to face a Chanukiah when davenning?

Rabbi Yitzchok in the Gemoro Bovo Basro 25b advises אמר רבי יצחק הרוצה שיחכים ידרים ושיעשיר יצפין וסימניך שלחן בצפון ומנורה בדרום Someone who wants to become wise should turn to the south (when ...
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Should the menorah be empty between lightings?

When the menorah is on display between lightings, should it be empty or full (of candles)?
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In what sense is Hanukkah “a Yom Tov like other yamim tovim”?

The Machzor Vitry (§234) finds a scriptural source for Hanukkah in Leviticus 24:2. That the stipulation that Israelites should collect pure olive oil for the menorah should follow on from a ...
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Are the letters on a dreidel supposed to be in any particular order?

This is a little silly, but... Should the letters on a dreidel be in order? Like, if you turned it right to left, should it go nun - gimel - hey - shin, because of "nes gadol haya sham"? Or are there ...
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197 views

Is it true that it is 'Hiddur Mitzvah' to have the Hanukkah lights stay lit for longer?

Does it make a difference if the Hanukkah lights are lit for an hour or an hour and a half? Is it more of a 'Hiddur Mitzvah'?
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47 views

Does a Shomer help for Eating before Lighting?

The Mishna Berurah (672:10) says ואפילו ללמוד אסור משהגיע זמנה וכ"ש אכילה וש"ד ואפילו התחיל פוסק Even to learn is prohibited once the time of lighting Chanuka candles arrives. And all the ...
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Does a Sefardi Yeshiva Bachur need to light his own Chanukkiyah? [duplicate]

In Yeshiva does a Sefardi Bachur need to light their own personal Chanukkiyah or can they rely on their father lighting? And if they can rely, can one light one anyway?
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Flying During Channukah Candle Lighting

Obviously you cannot light candles on a plane, so if you can't light candles within the time frame is there any other activity one could do, which is permissible on an airline, that would fulfill the ...
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Is there anything wrong with messing with the rules of Dreidel?

In this article on Slate, Ben Blatt calls the classic rules of Dreidel "slow and unfair," citing simulation-based statistical analysis, and proposes his own modified rules to speed up the game. Given ...
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Is there a custom to use beeswax candles for Hannukah?

I have heard that there is a custom to use beeswax candles on Hannukah (at least for the shamash). Does this custom have a source? Why beeswax as opposed to other types of wax? Chabad.org notes ...
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What if I've sabotaged my Chanukah candles?

The halacha as codified in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 673:2 is that if your Chanukah candles go out before the time period of their burning has elapsed, you do not need to relight them. The Rashba ...
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52 views

Where does R' Ovadia Yosef write that women can contribute towards a Minyan for lighting the Menorah?

I know there is another question that discusses others sources: I am specifically looking for the source in יביע אומר quoted in ילקוט יוסף תרעא:טו בית כנסת שעדיין לא הגיעו המתפללים להתפלל מנחה ...
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Giving children presents on chanukkah [duplicate]

My parents give me and my siblings presents on chanukkah. Where did this custom come from?
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Why was the oil in the temple tamei at all?

Regarding the story of Chanukah and the need for tahor oil, I recall hearing in a shiur one time that there are 4 things which are not susceptible to tumah from the Torah; oil (a subset of mashkin) ...
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Is there an orthodox publication of the book(s) of the Maccabees?

I would like to know if any orthodox publisher has put out a version of the book(s) of the Maccabees.
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why does one make a brachah on a rabbinicaly ordained mitzvah? [duplicate]

why does one make a brachah on a rabbinicaly ordained mitzvah in the same manner as other mitzvas? for example chanukah candles... "Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has ...
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Why does a guest not have to contribute a perutah for other mitzvot?

The halacha (Orah Hayyim 677) is that a guest must contribute a perutah towards the fulfillment of the mitzvah of lighting Chanuka candles. I would like to know why we don't find a similar idea by ...
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Benefiting from channukah candles in a mirror

One is not allowed to "benefit" from the lights of the channukah candles. Rashi says the reason is in order that it should be recognizable that these candles are light for the mitzvah in order to ...
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Both husband and wife lighting the Chanuka candles separately

For Ashkenazi customs: I heard (not first hand) that Rabbi Soloveitchik's wife used to light her own candles (with a blessing). Does anyone know of a source that she may have had to support such a ...
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Why do we say “אשר ציוונו להדליק נר של חנוכה” while the decree is rabinical [duplicate]

The Hannuka blessing is saying "אשר ציוונו" but the decree is rabbinical. Isn't this mis-speaking and thus disregarding of "מדבר שקר תרחק"? Can you quote recorded debates (if any) over this issue, ...
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How often does chanukah start before v'tain tal?

Outside of Israel, we start saying "v'tain tal oomatar livrachah" ("and provide dew and rain for a blessing") in the amida on the evening of December 4th or 5th (depending on the year). Chanukah ...
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101 views

Electric menorah and the timing of sunset

Assuming one has an electric menorah in their window, but will not be returning home until well after dark, what is the appropriate thing to do? Activate the next night's bulb in advance, so that ...
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When to light the Shamash when lighting Menorah?

When lighting my Menora, saying the relevant Brachot, and lighting the Shamash, what order should I follow? I think the best way is: 1. Shamash 2. Brachot 3. Chanukah-Lights But someone said, the ...
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How was Chanukah celebrated at the Beis HaMikdash?

In the centuries between the Maccabean Revolt and the destruction of the Bayis Sheni, how was Chanukah commemorated at the Beis HaMikdash (other than the addition of prayers like Al Hanisim)? Since ...
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Defining residence for purpose of candle lighting

Do you light Shabbat or Channuka candles in the place where you sleep/dwell or in the place where you will be spending the evening? Does it make a difference if you are going to be sleeping out of ...
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1answer
57 views

Beracha for public haannukah lighting

My office wants to light Hanukah candles. Who should/can light the candles? Beracha?
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152 views

Why are we required to light Chanukah lights only for about half an hour?

Since the miracle of the oil of Chanukah was that from one flask of oil they miraculously had enough oil for the menorah to burn all night for eight days, why did Chazal require us to light only for ...
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Ner Mitzwa (MaHaRa"L), Machon Yerushalayim Edition

Edited/Footnoted by Rabbi Yehoshua Hartman, the Machon Yerushalayim editions of many (most/all?) MaHaRa"L publications have been made available in recent times. If one investigates the Internet, one ...
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Greeks' gas lamps

I once heard that there is a source that says the Greeks invented gas lamps or some sort of street lights which enabled the Jews to roam the streets at night and not be with their families. The plan ...
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Different miracle-publicization strategies on Chanuka and Purim

There are two commandments during the year that are explicitly associated with "publicizing the miracle" ("פירסומי ניסא"): lighting Chanuka candles and reading Megilat Esther on Purim. These are the ...
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Chanuka Kaddish error after Hallel

Usually after Hallel the Chazan says Kadish Shaleim, however on Chanuka (not the Rosh Chodesh days, or Shabbos day) we say only Chatzi Kaddish, since there is no Musaf later. If a Chazzon said in ...
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When Chanuka begins on Shabbos and one lit the Menora prior to Davening Mincha

When Chanuka begins on Shabbos and one lit the Menora prior to Davening Mincha should he say Al HaNisim at Mincha for Erev Shabbos? (Sources)
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56 views

What are the parameters concerning the use of the menorah lights

In the song Haneiros Halallu we say that the Chanuka candles are holy and we don't have permission to use them only to view them. I'd like to understand what that means. Do they attain this status ...
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Celebrating Thanksgiving and Hanukkah together

As far as the permissibility of celebrating Thanksgiving with a formal meal, that has been discussed in another question. This year (2013), Thanksgiving coincides with Hanukkah. Some people have ...
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Chanukiyah height restriction and modern architecture?

I have learned that, to publicize the miracle, the Chanukah candles must be within 20 amot of the ground. Yet when I was in Jerusalem during Chanukah some years ago, I saw chanukiyot in windows of ...
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Should the Ten Tribes observe Chanuka and Purim?

Assuming we will, at some point, be reunited with some or all of the exiled Ten Tribes of Israel, will we expect them to celebrate holidays that are specifically Judaic in nature, by which I mean that ...