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

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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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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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Going out on Channuka or Shabbat night, where does one light?

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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Beracha for public haannukah lighting

My office wants to light Hanukah candles. Who should/can light the candles? Beracha?
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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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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 ...
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Bircas HaMazon of Channukah after the last day

In OC Siman 695 Sif 3 that if one starts their Purim seudah by day and finishes by night they should still say "Al Hanisim" in Bircas HaMazon. The Machaber brings an opinion that says to not say it; ...
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What does the word לאַטקעס (latkes) mean?

לאַטקעס is the Yiddish word used for the potato pancakes commonly eaten on Chanukah. Where does the word לאַטקעס come from originally? What exactly does it mean?
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Relighting Chanukah lights that extinguish

In light of this answer (no pun intended) which directs you to never pass your hand over a light without lighting it, what happens when the lights extinguish before you've lit fully. There are ...
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Why by the mitzvah of chanukka we must light at both doors so other wont be suspicious

The Halacha is: That if one has more then one door at his house, he must light the menorah at all doors... The reason is because others might think that someone lives here but didn't light the ...
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When lighting Chanukah candles on both entrances to courtyard, can I use only one candle?

In Hilchos Channukah OC Siman 671 Sif 8 we learn the halacha that if someone has 2 entrances to their courtyard they must light Chanukah candles by both of them. This is so that passers-by won't see ...
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Do Jews believe the content of Maccabees (I-IV) is true?

This related question touches on the book of Maccabees. I was wondering if Jews believe the content of Maccabees (I-IV) is true, even though it is outside the canon. If any of the Rishonim or ...
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What's done on Zos Chanuka?

I know people call the last day of Chanuka "Zos Chanuka" (taken from Bamidbar 7:84, read on that day). How is it specially commemorated if at all? I've heard it is, but know no details. I'm not ...
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Making a Seudah into a “Seudas Mitzvah”

The Rema in Hilchos Channukah Siman 670 Sif 2 writes that if zemiros and shvachos (songs and praise) are said by a Seudah on Channukah it becomes a "Seudas Mitzvah" (without this it only has in it ...
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What exactly happened on the 25th of Kislev?

What historical event (if any) actually took place on the 25th of Kislev to cause that date to be the commencement of Chanukah?
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Using Havdallah Candle for Ner Channukah

The M"B in Siman 681 Sif-Katan 1 brings from the Bach and Ateres Zakanim that one may use the "Ner Channukah" first for Havdallah, put it out, then light it again for Channukah. This is even better ...
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Why did it take so long to make new oil?

The miracle of Chanukah that we commemorate was that the oil burned for 8 days, until they were able to replenish it. Why did it take 8 days to make new oil for the menorah? The normal process for ...
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Making Bracha on Channukah Candles in Jail

Someone who is in jail and is able to light Channukah candles, can/should he make a bracha? I don't know if being in Jail is considered to be like having a home that someone would have a chiyuv to ...
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Rambam in Mitzvah of Ner Channukah: why “Shemen and Neros”?

The Rambam writes in Hilchos Channukah Perek 4 Halacha 12: אפילו אין לו מה יאכל אלא מן הצדקה שואל או מוכר כסותו ולוקח שמן ונרות ומדליק What is the reason the Rambam wrote to take "Shemen and ...
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Rambam and Mitzvah of Ner Channukah (Chaviva hi ad ma'od)

The Rambam writes in Hilchos Channukah Perek 4 Halacha 12 מצות נר חנוכה מצוה חביבה היא עד מאד The Mitzvah of Ner Channukah is very "chaviv"/"dear" mitzva (please correct this translation.) What ...
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Celebrating the Hashmonaim as part of Hanukkah

The Hashmonaim are an integral part of the Hanukkah story. BUT after the story of Hanukkah the Hashmonite family did some very terrible things (wars between Jews etc) during their reign. Why do we ...
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Does the order of lights in a menorah face the house or the street?

I have always been taught that lights in a chanukiah should be inserted from right to left. So on the first four nights, only lights to the right of the shamash are lit (assuming a shamash in the ...
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Does the Kohen Gadol place his seal on oil used for the Menorah?

The Gemara in Shabbat 21b says: ...For when the Greeks entered the Temple, they defiled all the oils therein, and when the Hasmonean dynasty prevailed against and defeated them, they made ...
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How is the menora lit in the synagogue?

The menora in the synagogue is normally situated on the south side of the synagogue (O Ch 671 (7)). On which side of the menora is it lit: The person lighting faces south and the first candle is as ...
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Why don't we light the full menorah all 8 days?

If the reason we light candles on Chanukah is as a commemoration for the fact that the lights of the menorah burned for 8 days on fuel that was only sufficient for 1, why don't we light our menorahs ...
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We are Christian but have been invited to celebrate with friends tonight

We are invited to dinner tonight with some Jewish friends. I am excited that my six year old has such an opportunity to learn about another holiday, and the traditions taht accompany it. We've read ...
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“Prepare your Menora before Shabbat!”

In this recent "Halocho a Day" blog post, Danny Schoemann leads off with This week, Shabbat is also Erev Chanuka; prepare your Menora before Shabbat! This sounds like a nice idea for reducing ...
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Who is “the blaspheming foe” of Maoz Tzur?

In the song Maoz Tzur it says לְעֵת תָּכִין מַטְבֵּחַ מִצָּר הַמְנַבֵּחַ - which the OU translates as - When You will have prepared the slaughter for the blaspheming foe. Who is this ...
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Are you yotzei by lighting candles through a grama?

Does one fulfill the mitzvah of lighting candles (sabbath or chanukah) if done by a grama (indirect action)? Example
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Are there mystical underpinnings to Maccabi?

One of the explanations I have heard for the title מכבי is that it is an acronym for the pasuk 'מִי-כָמֹכָה בָּאֵלִם ה (Shemos 15:11). Is there any reason, mystical or otherwise that that pasuk (or ...
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Mitzvah of Ner Channukah — not until after churban habayis?

Someone said over today (in then name of the Sfes Emes) that the mitzvah of Ner Channukah didn't officially "start" until the 2nd Beis HaMikdash was destroyed, since it was established as somewhat of ...
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Chanukiyot inside or out?

Shabbat 22a says that the halacha is that we should place the chanukiyah outside, within a hand-breadth of the door, to the left. In Israel I've seen people do this, placing the chanukiyah in a glass ...
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Calculation methods for intermediate time of chanukah lighting

We know that there are those who light chanukah candles at sunset and other at tzeis but there are some poskim lighting between at an intermediate time, for example : Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav ...
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Why aren't Purim and Channuka considered a violation of לֹא תֹסִפוּ?

It says in Devarim 4;2: לֹא תֹסִפוּ עַל הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם וְלֹא תִגְרְעוּ מִמֶּנּוּ לִשְׁמֹר אֶת מִצְוֹת יְ־הֹוָ־ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם ...
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Splitting up the rosh chodesh reading when another follows it

Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 684:3 says (in my own translation): If rosh chodesh Teves comes out on Shabas, we remove three Torah scrolls, and six people read in the weekly section and one in that ...