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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

11
votes
9answers
1k 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, ...
10
votes
1answer
2k 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?
19
votes
2answers
1k views

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, potatoes,...
12
votes
3answers
365 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
92 views

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 ...
15
votes
4answers
722 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
363 views

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?
10
votes
1answer
256 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
291 views

Are chanukah menorahs lit from the left or the right?

There are different authorities that state the chanukah menora should be lit from the left or the right. Which is correct?
5
votes
5answers
591 views

Are dreidels muktzah?

Are dreidels muktzah?
5
votes
3answers
169 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
317 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
415 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 "...
16
votes
2answers
667 views

What are the sources for the stories of Chanukah?

I'd like to find the sources for the stories associated with Chanukah. When I was younger, I was taught stories like: Eliezer Maccabee being crushed by an elephant. The rebellion staring in Mode'in ...
10
votes
2answers
195 views

“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 ...
7
votes
3answers
479 views

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?
5
votes
1answer
322 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
153 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
137 views

Sefardic Boy Dorming on Chanukah

A boy of Sefardic descent who is in the Dorm of a Yeshiva, does he light himself or does he rely on his parents lighting? Is there a machlokes among the Sefardic Poskim themselves of what to do? ...
4
votes
1answer
56 views

Shabbos Chanuka - Rosh Chodesh - Torah reading mistake

Orach Chaim 684:3 says that on Shabbos Chanuka that is also Rosh Chodesh we take out three Sifrei Torah. In the first one we give six Aliyos in the Parsha of the week. In the second one we read about ...
4
votes
1answer
67 views

Chanukiah location

What it the ideal place to put a chanukiah for lighting? Is it better to put it in the window, outside or inside? Does it depend on where you live?
4
votes
1answer
381 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
164 views

Blindness and Lighting Menorah

Are the Blind responsible to light the Menorah on Chanukah?
4
votes
2answers
158 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
67 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
226 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
321 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
184 views

Chanuka Succos connection

What connections does Chanuka have with Succos?
9
votes
9answers
380 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How many Maccabees were there and what were their names?

How many Maccabees were there and what were their names?
2
votes
1answer
177 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
248 views

Who is the composer of Haneiros Halolu?

When we light the Menora we say Haneiros Halolu. Who composed these words?
11
votes
4answers
406 views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Fighting Wars on Shabbat

As I mentioned in another question, I was reading the Book of Maccabees over Shabbat (I and II). In the book of Maccabees, it mentions that early on in the struggle, there were a group of Jews hiding ...
5
votes
2answers
409 views

Why do we celebrate Chanukah?

The more I read about Chanukah, the less I understand why we celebrate the holiday. The victory, as I understand it, was costly and very short-lived. Yes, the Temple was restored, but only to be ...
3
votes
1answer
99 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
31 views

Source for lighting candles in a circle being OK b'dieved

I recently played a Chanukah quiz game with friends. One of the questions was "is it permissible to light candles in a circle". The correct answer was "yes, b'dieved". I have always heard that the ...
16
votes
4answers
263 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), ...
13
votes
1answer
276 views

Jewish source for giving Chanuka gifts

Is there a Jewish source for Chanuka gifts?
10
votes
5answers
236 views

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?
10
votes
3answers
302 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?
9
votes
2answers
125 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?
9
votes
3answers
906 views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
232 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'?
6
votes
1answer
71 views

חַשְׁמוֹנָאִי or חַשְׁמוֹנַאי which is correct?

Artscroll English Siddur has in the על הנסים the word as חַשְׁמוֹנַאי. The Artscroll all Hebrew Siddur has the word as חַשְׁמוֹנָאִי. Which is correct? Is there a difference in meaning if it is ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What size hex nut will properly fit a standard chanukah candle?

I have many a childhood memory of "helping" to make a chanukiyah out of a block of wood and eight hex nuts glued down to it (often with 2 more stacked in the center for shamash); each hex nut was ...
6
votes
1answer
113 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
104 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
136 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
votes
3answers
987 views

Why is it called “Zos Chanukah”

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