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

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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, ...
16
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4answers
237 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), ...
14
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2answers
223 views

Who is the composer of Haneiros Halolu?

When we light the Menora we say Haneiros Halolu. Who composed these words?
14
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2answers
448 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 ...
13
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3answers
518 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 ...
12
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1answer
211 views

Jewish source for giving Chanuka gifts

Is there a Jewish source for Chanuka gifts?
12
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1answer
235 views

How straight do the chanukah lights have to be?

The Mechaber says (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 671:4) that the Chanukah lights may not look like a bonfire. The Remah therefore says that the Chanukah lights must be in a straight line, to make sure it ...
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7answers
2k views

How are Spartans the son of Abraham?

I was reading the Book of Maccabbees (I and II) over shabbat and in it there is a letter written to Sparta to ask for peace, goodwill and friendship. In the reply letter back from Sparta, they affirm ...
11
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3answers
291 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 ...
10
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3answers
266 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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8answers
787 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
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2answers
183 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 ...
10
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4answers
327 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 ...
10
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1answer
171 views

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 ...
10
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2answers
320 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 ...
10
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1answer
886 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?
10
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1answer
129 views

Babylonian Jewry and Chanukah

For many years I have been bothered by the following. There was a large Jewish population living in Babylonia during the time that the events of Chanukah played out. Yet, I have never seen any ...
10
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1answer
116 views

What if I've sabotaged my Chanukah candles?

The halacha as codified in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 673:2 is that if your Chanukah candles go out before the time period of their burning has elapsed, you do not need to relight them. The Rashba ...
9
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3answers
588 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 ...
9
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0answers
182 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 ...
8
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5answers
198 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?
8
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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 ...
8
votes
2answers
287 views

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 ...
8
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4answers
353 views

What's the best way to make wick-and-oil work for Chanukah?

I've tried lots of fancy fluffy cotton wicks that just burn out. Some people have those little metal holder-thingies to keep the wick in place; some use bobby pins as holder thingies. If your oil ...
8
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1answer
678 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 ...
8
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3answers
856 views

Were the Books of Maccabees found in the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Were there copies of any of the Books of Maccabees (and/or Megillas Antiochus) found amongst in the Dead Sea Scrolls?
8
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1answer
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?
8
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2answers
78 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?
8
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2answers
84 views

Is there a custom to use beeswax candles for Hannukah?

I have heard that there is a custom to use beeswax candles on Hannukah (at least for the shamash). Does this custom have a source? Why beeswax as opposed to other types of wax? Chabad.org notes ...
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6answers
464 views

Chanukah and Miketz

What is the connection between Chanukah and Miketz — as, in most years, Chanukah falls out in this Parsha?
7
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3answers
288 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?
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2answers
99 views

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 ...
7
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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 ...
7
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3answers
343 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?
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 ...
7
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2answers
206 views

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 ...
7
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2answers
75 views

Joseph and Chanukkah

The Parshiot about Joseph always fall right before or during Chanukkah. It their a relationship between the Joseph stories and the Chanukkah stories? It there something to be learned from the fact ...
7
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1answer
83 views

How to light when getting married on a night of Chanuka

A friend of mine is getting married on one of the nights of Chanuka this year. I do know that he has been in contact with his rabbi about this, but since I'm not sure what he said, I'll post this ...
7
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1answer
141 views

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 ...
6
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4answers
85 views

What's the point of a haftorah for Miketz if it's always Shabbat Chanukah?

I have heard that parshat Miketz always falls out on Shabbat Chanukah. If that's the case, why do chumashim print a haftorah for Miketz in addition to the one for Shabbat Chanukah? Should the Chanukah ...
6
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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 ...
6
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3answers
226 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?
6
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3answers
152 views

Is Dreidel gezeilah?

The Beit Yosef (Shuchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat 370:2) forbids gabling as gezeilah derabanan. (The Rema permits gambling under certain circumstances.) With this in mind, is it permissible for Sepharadim ...
6
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2answers
99 views

Chanuka - what was the real miracle?

Was the miracle the fact that they found the oil? Was it that the oil lasted all 8 days? Was it that they won the war over the mighty greeks? From the fact that we light menorah, it seems that the ...
6
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2answers
205 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
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2answers
124 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 ...
6
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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 ...
6
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2answers
162 views

Nice clothes for Hanukkah

Is there a reason to wear special nice clothing on Hanukkah? I would guess not as since there is no festive meal, it doesn't seem like it is a festive day. Ideas anyone?
6
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4answers
98 views

Chanuka Candle Location [closed]

My whole family will be staying at a hotel over shabbos and the hotel management says that we are not allowed to light fires in our rooms. Nobody will be in our home. How can we fulfill the mitzvah ...
6
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1answer
94 views

How do you get oil residue off of a menora?

When you light olive oil in a metal menora, some of the oil invariably finds its way into the cracks between parts of the menora. How do you remove this residue?