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

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December greeting responses

How do you respond when greeted, during the Winter "holiday season" by a non-Jewish acquaintance with each of the following? Happy Chanuka (in proximity to Chanuka) Happy Chanuka (not in proximity ...
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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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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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35 views

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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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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55 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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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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2answers
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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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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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Lighting at a Chanukah Party

If I am eating at A Chanukah Party in a different place then my home may I light the Menorah at the location of the Chanukah Party and be Yotzeh?
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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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4answers
247 views

First time lighting Chanuka candles is on second night

If one didn't light Chanuka candles until the second night, how many candles should he light? According to the reason that we add a candle a night is "Maalin Bakodesh" (we always add in holiness), ...
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1answer
178 views

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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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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51 views

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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What's the best way to make wick-and-oil work for Chanukah?

I've tried lots of fancy fluffy cotton wicks that just burn out. Some people have those little metal holder-thingies to keep the wick in place; some use bobby pins as holder thingies. If your oil ...
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2answers
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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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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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3answers
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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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How do you get oil residue off of a menora?

When you light olive oil in a metal menora, some of the oil invariably finds its way into the cracks between parts of the menora. How do you remove this residue?
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Third blessing on the second night of Channukah

If someone didn't light Channukah lights on the first night, does he/she then say the third blessing (Sh'hecheyunu) on the next night?
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“m'nora” on Chanuka

My kid came home from school one day insisting that the thing we light on Chanuka is not a m'nora but a chanukiya. I replied that that's the word most Israelis use now but that m'nora is a perfectly ...
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What is the story of Yehudit which takes place during the Chanukkah Story?

I have heard many varying and conflicting stories about Yehudit and her effect on the war with the Greeks at Chanukkah time and was wondering if anyone has sources for her story and what it truly is. ...
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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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Chanuka - what was the real miracle?

Was the miracle the fact that they found the oil? Was it that the oil lasted all 8 days? Was it that they won the war over the mighty greeks? From the fact that we light menorah, it seems that the ...
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1answer
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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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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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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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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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What took 8 days

What took the Jews 8 days to produce new oil when rededicating the Temple in the Chanuka story? It seems the process of oil-making takes a lot less time (I have done it in Israel on one of the tourist ...
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Chanuka Succos connection

What connections does Chanuka have with Succos?
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Lighting the menora in shul and at home. How many brochos need be said?

Our shul has a minyan for mincha before sunset and for maariv after sunset. Between the two, the chanuka lights are kindled. There is a later maariv minyan; the chanuka lights are again kindled before ...
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1answer
99 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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1answer
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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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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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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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1answer
184 views

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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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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1answer
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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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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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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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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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Why doesn't Al Hanisim Mention the Miracle of the Oil?

Why is there no mention of the miracle of the candles burning for eight nights in Al Hanisim?
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Chanuka lighting: BeZman (at the best time) or Pirsumei Nissa (publicization of the miracle)?

Is it better to light candles at bezman, or later when there will be more pirsumei nissa? I find 4:30 (approx candlelighting time in NYC this year) to be too early to catch the regular "rush hour." Is ...
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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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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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473 views

Chanukah and Miketz

What is the connection between Chanukah and Miketz — as, in most years, Chanukah falls out in this Parsha?
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Preferable time to light Chanukah Menorah

What is the preferable time to light the Chanukah Menorah: after dark or before?
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Were the Books of Maccabees found in the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Were there copies of any of the Books of Maccabees (and/or Megillas Antiochus) found amongst in the Dead Sea Scrolls?