All Yomim Tovim we celebrate in Chutz Laretz an extra day because of A safek, why do we not do the same for Chanukah?


Minchas Chinuch argues that indeed, when the Sanhedrin was functioning and we used an observation-based calendar, Chanukah in outlying places would have had to have been celebrated for nine days. "When the Beis Hamikdash is rebuilt, speedily in our days," he says, "and we go back to sanctifying the months based on observation - then faraway places (for Eretz Yisrael will spread out to include all other lands) will surely have to keep Chanukah for nine days."

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    Whoa. How many candles do you light each night during a nine-day Chanuka? Thank God that telecommunications networks have been developed since the M"Ch's day, so we probably won't have any "faraway places" by information standards. – Isaac Moses Nov 29 '10 at 18:24
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    So they'd have to make somewhat bigger boxes of candles - 54 instead of 44. What's the problem? (More seriously, remember that the basic halachah is that you just need one candle each night - adding extra ones is, technically, מהדרין מן המהדרין. So if indeed in earlier times some people had a 9-day Chanukah, that would have required just one more candle.) – Alex Nov 29 '10 at 18:54
  • I get that it doesn't matter much for technical observance of the Mitzvah, but I'm curious about how many people'd light each night. Are you saying that on the ninth night, we'd light nine plus shamash? We'd need special "Rechoki" menoras with an extra branch. – Isaac Moses Nov 29 '10 at 22:12
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    @Alex, the problem is that it could practically preclude the possibility of following מהדרין מן המהדרין מחוץ לארץ. Part of lighting in this manner is to provide a recognizable account of which day it is. If we are unsure which day it is, how could we do so? After all, the משנה ברורה תרעא:ה paskens that when the number of flames lit does not accurately reflect which day it is, one MUST resort to just נר איש וביתו. hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14166&st=&pgnum=277 – WAF Nov 30 '10 at 22:51
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    Good point. But on the other hand, wouldn't we just treat it like any other ספיקא דיומא, and consider the first night to be the right one by default? Same way as we say על נטילת לולב and שהחיינו on the first day of Sukkos in chutz la'aretz, even though it's possibly really Erev Yom Tov. (Also, Mishnah Berurah is talking about a case where you've got too few candles. Could be that too many isn't a problem, though, because יש בכלל מאתים מנה. So maybe indeed we would treat it like the פרי החג during Mussaf of Sukkos.) – Alex Dec 1 '10 at 19:18

We only add an extra day for a D’oraisa like the ‘Sholosh Regalim’. Chanukah is a D’Rabbanan. (See Taamei Minhagim 864 in the name of the Avudraham)

In addition as Chanuka starts on the 25th day of the Hebrew month we can presume that the Sheluchei Beis Din would have arrived and everyone would know when it actually began.

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    Gershon, You gave the Avudrhams Teretz but The Reayim asks on Him how can you say that when the Moredchai says Explicitly that by Purim if it would not have said the Posuk Lo Yavor Purim would have been two days (I would love that).But I will tell you an amazing tertz Brought down SHUT Mor Vohlos says the Avudrham says that Chanukah is Roshei Teivos: – SimchasTorah Dec 5 '10 at 15:31
  • ח נרות והלכה כבית הלל- Therefore it would seem according to the Avudrham every day it has to be clear that we Pokin like Beis Hillel and if we had 9 candles then the 5 day we would not know if we held like Beis Shamai or Beis Hillel HENCE NO ADDING 9TH DAY. – SimchasTorah Dec 5 '10 at 15:36

I just heard another (Chassidic) answer in the Name of the Sfas Emes:

Being that Chanuka and Purim happened relatively recently we relate to them better. Hence we are able to achieve the spiritual boost from these Holidays in a shorter time relative to the De'orasia (Biblical) holidays which happened in the more distant past, to which we are less connected.

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    This is actually quite depressing. – Seth J Jun 22 '12 at 13:59

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