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

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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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What is the appropriate use of the shamash on an oil menora?

It seems that with wax candle menoras, the shamash is generally lit first and used to light the other candles, but with an oil menora this is not possible. So should you light the shamash before the ...
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3answers
187 views

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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120 views

Sell the shirt off his back for Menorah, but not for anything else?

Halacha brings that one who has no money for Chanukah Lights must sell the shirt off his back to acquire them why is this the case versus almost all other Mitzvos which require up to a fifth of his ...
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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 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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1answer
197 views

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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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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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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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 ...
7
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1answer
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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1answer
110 views

“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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2answers
287 views

Fish Tank Menorahs

There are people who light in a Fish Tank Menorah among then Reb Eliyashiv and Reb Kanievsky arguably the two most prominent Halachic authorities in the world. There is an inherent problem in that ...
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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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2answers
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How to measure Menorah height

A menorah should preferably be within 10 tefachim from the ground (though higher than 3 tefachim). Are these ten tefachim measured to the base of the menorah, or to its top, or to the actual level of ...
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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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2answers
109 views

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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332 views

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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Torah versus Chukei Ritzonecha

In Al Hannisim we say: לְהַשְׁכִּיחָם תּורָתֶךָ וּלְהַעֲבִירָם מֵחֻקֵּי רְצונֶךָ "To make them forget Your Torah and violate the decrees of Your will" In this context what is the meaning of ...
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1answer
72 views

Mentioning Chanukah in Al Hamichyah

When Al Hamichyah is recited on a holiday or on the sabbath, it has a short passage inserted relevant to the day. However, there's no addition to Al Hamichyah for when it's recited on Chanukah: ...
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57 views

Gemarah Shabbos -Chanukah Connection

Why is the Sugyah (discussion) of Chanukah in the Gemarah Shabbos?
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9answers
336 views

When do you say a beracha on a minhag?

When lighting Hanukkah candles in the synagogue, we say a beracha "asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav.." on a minhag. Unlike kiddush in shul, and early counting of the omer in shul, nobody would say that one ...
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265 views

9 Days of Chanukah?

All Yomim Tovim we celebrate in Chutz Laretz an extra day because of A safek, why do we not do the same for Chanukah?
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Bimei Matisyahu ben Yochanan Kohen Godol

In "Al Hanisim" we say "Bimei Matisyahu ben Yochanan Kohen Godol", "in the days of Matisyahu the son of Yochanan the Kohen Gadol (=high priest)". Who was the Kohen Godol: Matisyahu or Yochnan?
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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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1answer
43 views

Shir Urinanim- Whats the diffrence?

In Ma'oz Tzur, it says: וּמִנּוֹתַר קַנְקַנִּים נַעֲשָׂה נֵס לַשּׁוֹשַׁנִּים בְּנֵי בִינָה יְמֵי שְׁמוֹנָה קָבְעוּ שִׁיר וּרְנָנִים What is the Difference between Shirim and Rinanim?
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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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Women lighting Chanukah

Even thought Chanukah is one of the Yom Toivim where we say "Af Hen Hayu B'oso Hanes" (women were included in the miracle) women still do not light their own candles even according to the way of ...
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Fasting on Chanukah

Are you allowed to fast on Chanukah?
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Why not two days for all holidays?

For those outside of Israel the requirement is for two days of yom tov (and sometimes Rosh Chodesh), originally due to uncertainty and now due to tradition. But we don't do this for all holidays even ...
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2answers
319 views

What can a Menorah be made of?

Are there any halachic limitations on materials that can be used (l'chatchila) to make a Menorah? For example, can one fulfil the mitzva on a Menorah of ice? How about one of cans, potatoes, or ...
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Where's the eighth miracle? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Beis Yosef Question Inspired by this question. If the sealed jug of oil that they found had enough to light the Menorah for one day, then there were only seven ...
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3answers
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When did the practice of lighting flames for Chanuka begin?

It seems clear from the G'mara that the institution of Chanuka as a holiday began the year immediately following the seminal story - with praising of God and commemorating miracles, but there is no ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
138 views

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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885 views

Why isn't the book of the Maccabees part of the Jewish canon?

I believe they are in the Christian canon... why not Jewish?
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Sheasa Nisim ALL 8 nights? [closed]

Why do we say SheAsa Nisim all 8 nights? Shouldn't we only say it one night, the first?
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2answers
216 views

Playing Draidel with your wife when she is a Nidah

May one play Draidel with his wife when she is a Nidah? (sources please)
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3
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1answer
134 views

The Chanuka Miracle of the Oil and Tumah Hutra Btzibur

In the events of Chanukah, why did they need the miracle of the oil? After all, they did not need pure [Tahor] oil, as the Gemara says Tumah Hutrah beTzibur, meaning if everyone is Tumay then you can ...
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1answer
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Rambam versus Ramban on Maccabees' taking the kingship from Yehuda

The Ramban (Nahmanides) in Parshas Vayachi says that the the Maccabees' children where killed out because they took the kingship from Shevet Yehuda. I was told (in the name of Reb Solovechick) the ...
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Rambam placement of Hilchos Megilla vaChanukah

Why does the Rambam in Mishneh Torah in the Sefer Zmanim place Hilchos Chanukah and Hilchos Purim together in Megillah vaChanukah instead of just placing them separately and why in the title is ...
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223 views

Who is the composer of Haneiros Halolu?

When we light the Menora we say Haneiros Halolu. Who composed these words?
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98 views

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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1answer
119 views

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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2answers
312 views

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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1answer
113 views

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 ...