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

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Channukah and Bal Tosif

There are questions on the site which deal with saying Hallel on Channukah but my question seeks a more fundamental insight: The Ramban writes on Devarim 4:2 that a violation of Bal Tosif is creating ...
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Why no argument between Bet Shamai & Bet Hillel regarding how to count the Omer?

For Chanukah, Bet Shamai says that on the 1st night we start with 8 candles and each successive night one less. Bet Hillel says we start with 1 and increase each successive night. Why was there no ...
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1answer
28 views

Why no addition to me'ein shalosh for Purim (and Chanukka)?

We add a paragraph to birkat hamzon for Purim (and for Chanukka). Why is there no phrase added to the me'ein shalosh (the bracha acharona) for Purim (and Chanukka)?
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What did “נ ג ה ש” stand for before the Hanukkah miracle?

A well known reason we play dreidel on Hanukkah is this: Before the miracle of Hanukkah, when those who controlled the land severely restricted Torah study, Jewish children would gather to study Torah ...
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24 views

Which Way To Light Candles On Chanukah

If Hillel and Shammai (as individuals) disagreed on only a few cases (which way to light is NOT one of them), then they must have agreed on this issue. One lights candles each year. How is possible ...
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What's the takeaway message for Chanuka?

One of the oft-cited teachings of Rav Hirsch is that every Jewish holiday contains an infusion of kedusha (holiness) and a lesson, both of which aren't only important in and of themselves, but rather ...
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157 views

Why is the Miracle of Oil mentioned so much later than records of Chanukah celebrations?

The miracle of oil isn't really mentioned until the Talmud, and is absent from all earlier sources for Chanukah like the Books of Maccabees, Josephus, and others. I have seen historians claim that ...
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41 views

Menorah with uneven spacing

The following assumes lighting an additional candle for each day of Chanukkah: Two may light in a single Menorah for the first three days of Chanukkah; each in his end of the Menorah. This does not ...
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321 views

What can I do if I don't have a Chanuka menorah?

There are opinions that hold that one needs a menorah, some sort of kli (vessel) to light Chanukah lights with; but even according to the contrary opinions, it's certainly easier to light when one has ...
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1answer
115 views

Lighting the Chanuka menorah in my moving trailer

If I live in a trailer, can I light the menorah by the window of the trailor while it's moving (driving down the highway, lets say) and fulfill the mitzvah of lighting the Chanuka lamp?
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64 views

Chanukah Bushes?

Every year, I hear people (typically heterodox or jokers) talking about "Chanukah bushes" (likely a parallel to Christmas trees). Now, beyond the obvious of this not being a traditional practice, ...
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Different Versions of Haneirot Hallalu

My father ususally lights the hannuka candles and reads the blessings from the Authorized Daily Prayer Book (aka the Singer Siddur). This year he is away and I read the blessings from the Artscroll. I ...
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Whence the minhag to light in shul by day?

In pretty much every shul and yeshiva I've been in has lit Chanukah candles by shacharis, the same number of candles that were lit the night before. What is the source for this custom, and why is it ...
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2answers
185 views

Can one use Chanukkah lights/candles for a mitzvah?

One is generally not allowed to benefit from the light of the Channukah candles (see discussion here) but does that include using the light to perform a mitzvah? Note: I'm pretty sure that this is ...
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1answer
211 views

Could the minhag of lighting menorah in Shuls have developed from when guests would stay in Shul?

Could the minhag (=custom) of lighting menorah in synagogues have developed from when guests would stay in the synagogue? Does anyone bring this as a source for the minhag? If so, would it not apply ...
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2answers
57 views

Why Does the Rambam Assert That It Took Eight Days To Obtain Pure Oil? [duplicate]

Background In a previous post regarding the quantity of oil sufficient for one day’s lighting of the Menorah the answer given was the quantity of oil is more than one liter, but not more than two ...
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202 views

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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118 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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1answer
29 views

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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1answer
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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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108 views

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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36 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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40 views

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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355 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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52 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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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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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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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96 views

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, ...