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

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Are the letters on a dreidel supposed to be in any particular order?

This is a little silly, but... Should the letters on a dreidel be in order? Like, if you turned it right to left, should it go nun - gimel - hey - shin, because of "nes gadol haya sham"? Or are there ...
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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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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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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 ...
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Benefiting from channukah candles in a mirror

One is not allowed to "benefit" from the lights of the channukah candles. Rashi says the reason is in order that it should be recognizable that these candles are light for the mitzvah in order to ...
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How big can a chanukia get?

I recently saw this story about students at YU who lit up their dorm windows to turn the entire building into a giant chanukia (just the form, not a real one). That inspired a question: Exactly how ...
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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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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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Different Versions of Haneirot Hallalu

My father ususally lights the hannuka candles and reads the blessings from the Authorized Daily Prayer Book (aka the Singer Siddur). This year he is away and I read the blessings from the Artscroll. I ...
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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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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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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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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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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 a different list and different order in על הנסים and in הנרות הללו?‎

On Chanuka, we thank God in the amida (sh'mone esre) and grace after meals ועל הנסים ועל הפרקן ועל הגבורות ועל התשועות ועל הנפלאות ועל הנחמות ועל המלחמות שעשית לאבותינו בימים ההם בזמן הזה for ...
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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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Menorah with uneven spacing

The following assumes lighting an additional candle for each day of Chanukkah: Two may light in a single Menorah for the first three days of Chanukkah; each in his end of the Menorah. This does not ...
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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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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 ...