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

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What is the origin of the claim that they played games to hide Torah learning prior to Chanuka

This question makes a very commonly heard claim: "Before the miracle of Hanukkah, when those who controlled the land severely restricted Torah study, Jewish children would gather to study Torah in ...
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5answers
120 views

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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0answers
46 views

Rav Moshe's Chanuka additions to Baruch Hashem Yom Yom

This morning in Shul I saw a pamphlet that said as follows. The song Boruch Hashem Yom Yom, the sixth stanza is referring to Chanuka. It said in this pamphlet that Rabbi Moshe Feinstein Zatzal would ...
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0answers
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Why don't we say al hanissim in al hamichya? [duplicate]

Al hanissim (על הניסים) is a short addition to shemoneh esrei and birkas hamazon on Chanukah and Purim; however, there is no corresponding bit that's added to al hamichya, unlike retzei (for Shabbos) ...
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2answers
68 views

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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2answers
109 views

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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8answers
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How are Spartans the son of Abraham?

I was reading the Book of Maccabbees (I and II) over shabbat and in it there is a letter written to Sparta to ask for peace, goodwill and friendship. In the reply letter back from Sparta, they affirm ...
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2answers
55 views

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 ...
5
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3answers
132 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
44 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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1answer
206 views

Eating out Friday night of Chanukkah

If one is lighting Chanukkah candles inside (for whatever reason) relying on the publicization to himself and his family, then what should he do on Friday night if he is eating out? Must he make the ...
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2answers
76 views

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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1answer
26 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 ...
3
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3answers
330 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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4answers
603 views

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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3answers
113 views

What's the significance of “a loved Mitzvah”?

The Rambam In Hilchos Chanukah (4:12) says: מצות נר חנוכה, מצוה חביבה היא עד מאוד (Loose translation) The commandment of the lights of Chanukah is a commandment that is very much adored. ...
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2answers
57 views

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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3answers
375 views

Which Yochanan Kohen Godol is in Al Hanissim?

In Al Hanissim we mention a Yochanan Kohen Gadol. Since there were several kohanim gedolim named Yochanan which one is this, historically?
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2answers
133 views

Burden of proof for birkas “she'Asa nisim”?

The law is recorded in Shulchan Aruch et al. that one who sees lit Chanuka lights and has not lit his own should say the b'racha of שעשה נסים לאבותנו ("...she'asa nisim la'avosenu..."). Could he say ...
5
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1answer
160 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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0answers
44 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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3answers
99 views

Electric Menorah

Are electric menorahs good for lighting on Chanukah? To remove some of the more obvious issues, let's assume that: It runs on batteries It's an incandescent bulb There are separate physical ...
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1answer
117 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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5answers
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Were Haman's possessions hung on a tree?

In Maoz Tzur we say: רב בניו וקנייניו,‏ על העץ תלית His many sons and his possessions, You hung on a tree Were Haman's possessions really hung on a tree?
4
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1answer
66 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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2answers
90 views

Why are the words כהיום הזה mentioned in Al Hanisim for Chanukah and nowhere for Purim and Pesach?

Why are the words כהיום הזה mentioned in Al Hanisim for Chanukah and not in Al Hanisim for Purim or at another appropriate place (in say the brocho of אשר גאלנו) for Pesach? Credit to Alex for ...
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0answers
36 views

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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2answers
113 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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4answers
126 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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8answers
815 views

Why are there eight days of Chanukah if there were only seven miracles?

There is a famous question asked by the Beis Yosef (R' Yosef Karo): Why do we celebrate eight days of Chanukah if the miracle lasted only seven? The jug of oil contained enough to be lit for one day, ...
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2answers
135 views

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
186 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 ...
3
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1answer
214 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
60 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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2answers
83 views

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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2answers
204 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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0answers
81 views

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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2answers
151 views

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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1answer
41 views

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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1answer
31 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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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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3answers
274 views

Which Talmudic source for Ḥanukah is the real source?

What is the Talmudic source for Ḥanukah? In discussing candles for Shabbath, the Talmud (Shab. 21b) goes into a discussion about candles generally, touching upon Ḥanukah candles, and ultimately asks, ...
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1answer
96 views

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? I can think of two options: The person lighting faces south ...
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1answer
24 views

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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0answers
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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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0answers
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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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1answer
358 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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2answers
214 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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2answers
59 views

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, ...
3
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1answer
55 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 ...