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

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Does the person who lights the Chanuka candle at Shul make a Shehechiyanu the first night if it's a Friday?

Suppose Chanuka started on Friday night. Everyone lights their Menorah prior to coming to Shul. When the person lights the Menora in Shul he already said Shehechiyanu in his house. Should he say it ...
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Why is it called “Zos Chanukah”

Why is the eighth, and last, day of Chanukah called "Zos Chanukah" and what is it significance?
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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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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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278 views

Riddle: Aruch Hashulchan. Chanukah story missing a word [closed]

A reading of the Aruch Hashulchan's description of the Miracle of Chanukah shows that there is a word he didn't use. What is it and why ?
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Can one throw out a Menorah?

Is it an issue to discard a menorah that has been used for the mitzvah of Neros Chanuka? What if the menorah is made from something not usually used for a menorah? For example,bottles, cans, ...
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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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546 views

Dreidel - Nun (Neis) Gimel (Gadol) Hei (Haya) Shin (Shom) - (Pei - Po)

Outside of Eretz Yisroel when we play Dreidel we use - the Nun for Nochamol (go again), the Gimel for Gantz (empty the bank), the Hei for Halb (half the bank), and the Shin for Shtel Arain (put money ...
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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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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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225 views

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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1answer
292 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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1answer
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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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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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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125 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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1answer
48 views

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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209 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 ...
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290 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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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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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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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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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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336 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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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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Gemarah Shabbos -Chanukah Connection

Why is the Sugyah (discussion) of Chanukah in the Gemarah Shabbos?
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...