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

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16
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2answers
932 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, ...
14
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2answers
203 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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4answers
208 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
votes
2answers
340 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
443 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
votes
1answer
178 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 ...
10
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3answers
239 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?
10
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2answers
170 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
votes
3answers
272 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
votes
2answers
263 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
votes
1answer
122 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
293 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
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 ...
9
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1answer
696 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?
9
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1answer
124 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
144 views

Possessions on a tree where Hung

In Maoz Tzur we say: רֹב בָּנָיו וְקִנְיָנָיו עַל הָעֵץ תָּלִיתָ Did we really hang his (Haman's) possessions on a tree?
8
votes
9answers
324 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
160 views

Jewish source for giving Chanuka gifts

Is there a Jewish source for Chanuka gifts?
8
votes
3answers
409 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
599 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
votes
3answers
739 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
votes
1answer
96 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?
7
votes
6answers
326 views

Chanukah and Miketz

What is the connection between Chanukah and Miketz — as, in most years, Chanukah falls out in this Parsha?
7
votes
6answers
496 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, ...
7
votes
3answers
222 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?
7
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2answers
83 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
votes
3answers
159 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
votes
3answers
283 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
votes
4answers
230 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
69 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
votes
1answer
124 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
votes
2answers
236 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
202 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
votes
3answers
142 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
votes
2answers
103 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
votes
1answer
215 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
101 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
votes
2answers
145 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
votes
4answers
90 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
votes
2answers
762 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
122 views

Chanuka lighting: BeZman (at the best time) or Pirsumei Nissa (publicization of the miracle)?

Is it better to light candles at bezman, or later when there will be more pirsumei nissa? I find 4:30 (approx candlelighting time in NYC this year) to be too early to catch the regular "rush hour." Is ...
5
votes
6answers
487 views

Chanukah in the Mishnah

Why is the story of Chanukah not mentioned in the Mishnah at all, besides for to Passing references to Halachot which apply to them in the context of Damages an the laws of planting?
5
votes
4answers
124 views

On the horn of an ox

What is the significance of the horn of an Ox that the Greeks made the Jews write (Midrash Rabbah 2:5 and other places) We have no Part in the God of Israel on it (even thought in his Epistle to Yemen ...
5
votes
5answers
387 views

Are dreidels muktzah?

Are dreidels muktzah?
5
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2answers
191 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)
5
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2answers
87 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
171 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
1answer
95 views

Third blessing on the first night of Channukah

If someone didn't light Channukah lights on the first night, does he/she then say the third blessing (Sh'hecheyunu) on the next night?
5
votes
2answers
75 views

Lighting at a Chanukah Party

If I am eating at A Chanukah Party in a different place then my home may I light the Menorah at the location of the Chanukah Party and be Yotzeh?
5
votes
2answers
92 views

Which night of Chanuka should you give out Chanuka Gelt?

Is there a specific night of Chanuka that is better to give out Chanuka Gelt?