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 there seem to be some connections between Sukkos and Chanukah, it makes me think of Simchas Beis Hashoeiva. Was there any kind of celebration or ceremony on Chanukah like that? Did people tend to gather at the Beis HaMikdash especially for the holiday? (I imagine a giant public menorah lighting, but I suppose that's anachronistic, not to mention redundant with the actual menorah inside.) So what actually did happen?

1 Answer 1


The whole enactment was that everyone observe it in their home.

  • I realize that is the intent of the mitzvah. But does that necessarily mean that at the Beis HaMikdash everything was business as usual? One would still think that given that the name "Chanukah" refers to חנוכת המזבח there would be some way it would be noted at the site itself, even if not for a mitzvah.
    – Premundane
    Commented Nov 27, 2013 at 18:22
  • 1
    @Aaron we say that when they rededicated it, "they kindled lights in Your courtyard." The business-as-usual Menorah wasn't out in the courtyard, these were additional lights to spread the message. (The business-as-usual Menorah was in a Kohen-only zone.) I don't know if they did it in subsequent years, though.
    – Shalom
    Commented Nov 27, 2013 at 19:00
  • At what time was it enacted for everyone to observe in their homes?
    – Yehoshua
    Commented Dec 28, 2013 at 16:54

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