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

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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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299 views

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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260 views

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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86 views

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? I can think of two options: The person lighting faces south ...
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152 views

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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279 views

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 ...
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Maccabees and God's interaction

I looked over this answer Why isn't the book of the Maccabees part of the Jewish canon?, but I had further questions. I understand why its non canonical, i think its easier to understand when an ...
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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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Blowing out channukah candles before leaving the house

I know that as long as channukah candles are lit and the candle goes out by itself, you already did the mitzvah. I also know that you should have the channukah candles lit for at least 30 minutes. ...
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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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Proper bracha on Chanuka candles: lhadlik ner (shel) Chanukah

Why do some people have the custom to say, in the blessing on the Chanukah lights, the word "Shel" before "Chanukah" and some do not? And I have been told some people put the words together as ...
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Theoretically speaking, would a Dreidle be Muqse on Shabbat? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are dreidels muktzah? Would there be any problem with Dreidels on Shabbat? I discussed it with some people and we couldn't find any Halachic issues with it.
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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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Why are a couple words in Ma'oz Tzur different in some sidduriim?

The Text I am referring to is: רָעוֹת שָׂבְעָה נַפְשִׁי, בְּיָגוֹן כֹּחִי כָּלָה חַיַּי מֵרְרוּ בְקֹשִׁי, בְּשִׁעְבּוּד מַלְכוּת עֶגְלָה וּבְיָדוֹ הַגְּדוֹלָה הוֹצִיא אֶת הַסְּגֻלָּה חֵיל ...
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She'asah nissim — why only past tense?

When we light the chanukiyah we say "she'asah nissim...b'yamim hahem bizman hazeh", with a past-tense "asah". While the miracles worked in the past (b'yamim hahem) are in the past (tautology alert!), ...
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Who is the composer of Haneiros Halolu?

When we light the Menora we say Haneiros Halolu. Who composed these words?
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Is there a minimum size for Chanuka flames?

Do the flames atop the chanukiya need to be a certain size to be valid? At the extreme, are tiny (but sustained) balls of blue flame sufficient?
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Is there a requirement to stay around after lighting Chanuka candles?

When lighting the Chanuka candles, I understand that they generally need to burn for a minimum of 30 minutes. Is there any requirement for the person who lit the Menorah to stay around for a certain ...