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Questions tagged [chanuka]

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

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What may a menorah look like?

I'm designing a menorah to build for next Channukah. Are there anything about the Law on how a menorah should look, other than that it holds 9 candles? Must it exactly resemble the traditional ...
eternalsquire's user avatar
20 votes
2 answers
5k 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, potatoes,...
HodofHod's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
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Do I need a menorah?

It's been common practice for a very long time (perhaps as early as 60 years after the Chanukah miracle) to use a menorah (aka "chanukiyah") to light the Chanukah candles with. Do I need a menorah to ...
MTL's user avatar
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20 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
Menachem's user avatar
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18 votes
4 answers
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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 Translated: Do ...
14 votes
8 answers
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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, ...
SimchasTorah's user avatar
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22 votes
1 answer
5k 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?
ArghMo's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
293 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 ...
msh210's user avatar
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12 votes
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Why no addition to me'ein shalosh for Purim (and Chanukka)?

We add a paragraph to birkat hamzon for Purim (and for Chanukka). Why is there no phrase added to the me'ein shalosh (the bracha acharona) for Purim (and Chanukka)?
Yehuda W's user avatar
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10 votes
4 answers
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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 "...
simchastorah's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
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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?
SimchasTorah's user avatar
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17 votes
3 answers
973 views

Eating out Friday night of Chanukkah

If one is lighting Chanukah candles inside (for whatever reason) relying on the publicizing to himself and his family, then what should he do on Friday night if he is eating out? Must he make the ...
Double AA's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
597 views

Jewish source for giving Chanuka gifts

Is there a Jewish source for Chanuka gifts?
Gershon Gold's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
418 views

What is the origin of the claim that they played games to hide Torah learning prior to Chanuka

This question makes a very commonly heard claim: "Before the miracle of Hanukkah, when those who controlled the land severely restricted Torah study, Jewish children would gather to study Torah in ...
Yishai's user avatar
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9 votes
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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?
JoshV's user avatar
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4 answers
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Why is it called "Zos Chanukah"

Why is the eighth, and last, day of Chanukah called "Zos Chanukah" and what is it significance?
SimchasTorah's user avatar
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7 votes
5 answers
1k views

Are dreidels muktzah?

Are dreidels muktzah?
ArghMo's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
1k views

Flying During Channukah Candle Lighting

Obviously you cannot light candles on a plane, so if you can't light candles within the time frame is there any other activity one could do, which is permissible on an airline, that would fulfill the ...
Zach Leighton's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
485 views

Is there anything wrong with messing with the rules of Dreidel?

In this article on Slate, Ben Blatt calls the classic rules of Dreidel "slow and unfair," citing simulation-based statistical analysis, and proposes his own modified rules to speed up the game. Given ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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Versions of HaNeros Hallalu

There seem to be many variations of the text of HaNeros Hallalu, the explanatory paragraph that people recite while lighting Hanukkah lights. Is it possible to list the major versions? What are the ...
paquda's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
433 views

Channukah and Bal Tosif

There are questions on the site which deal with saying Hallel on Channukah but my question seeks a more fundamental insight: The Ramban writes on Devarim 4:2 that a violation of Bal Tosif is creating ...
Bochur613's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Celebrating Thanksgiving and Hanukkah together

As far as the permissibility of celebrating Thanksgiving with a formal meal, that has been discussed in another question. This year (2013), Thanksgiving coincides with Hanukkah. Some people have ...
Premundane's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Could the minhag of lighting menorah in Shuls have developed from when guests would stay in Shul?

Could the minhag (=custom) of lighting menorah in synagogues have developed from when guests would stay in the synagogue? Does anyone bring this as a source for the minhag? If so, would it not apply ...
user5303's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
649 views

Donut and its deeper significance

What is the significance for eating Donuts on Chanukah Beyond the Oil connection?
SimchasTorah's user avatar
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17 votes
4 answers
326 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), ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
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15 votes
3 answers
562 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 ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
15 votes
6 answers
514 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?
SimchasTorah's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
avi's user avatar
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11 votes
3 answers
5k 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 ...
Sam's user avatar
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11 votes
9 answers
690 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 ...
Jeremy's user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers
1k 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?
SimchasTorah's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
249 views

What took 8 days

What took the Jews 8 days to produce new oil when rededicating the Temple in the Chanuka story? It seems the process of oil-making takes a lot less time (I have done it in Israel on one of the tourist ...
SimchasTorah's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
192 views

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 ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
198 views

Lighting the menora in shul and at home. How many brochos need be said?

Our shul has a minyan for mincha before sunset and for maariv after sunset. Between the two, the chanuka lights are kindled. There is a later maariv minyan; the chanuka lights are again kindled before ...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
250 views

Whence the minhag to light in shul by day?

In pretty much every shul and yeshiva I've been in has lit Chanukah candles by shacharis, the same number of candles that were lit the night before. What is the source for this custom, and why is it ...
MTL's user avatar
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5 votes
5 answers
397 views

Different miracle-publicization strategies on Chanuka and Purim

There are two commandments during the year that are explicitly associated with "publicizing the miracle" ("פירסומי ניסא"): lighting Chanuka candles and reading Megilat Esther on Purim. These are the ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
107 views

Chanukiah location

What it the ideal place to put a chanukiah for lighting? Is it better to put it in the window, outside or inside? Does it depend on where you live?
Bas613's user avatar
  • 3,089
5 votes
2 answers
182 views

Becoming Bar Mitzva on Chanuka

A boy becomes Bar Mitzva on one of the nights of Chanuka. If he lights the Menorah at the preferred time (appx 15-20 minutes after Shkia to the best of my knowledge) it is not Tzeis HaKochavim yet. ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
526 views

What's done on Zos Chanuka?

I know people call the last day of Chanuka "Zos Chanuka" (taken from Bamidbar 7:84, read on that day). How is it specially commemorated if at all? I've heard it is, but know no details. I'm not ...
msh210's user avatar
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5 votes
4 answers
890 views

Electric Menorah

Are electric menorahs good for lighting on Chanukah? To remove some of the more obvious issues, let's assume that: It runs on batteries It's an incandescent bulb There are separate physical switches ...
yydl's user avatar
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5 votes
7 answers
2k 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?
SimchasTorah's user avatar
  • 33.3k
5 votes
2 answers
206 views

Burden of proof for birkas "she'Asa nisim"?

The law is recorded in Shulchan Aruch et al. that one who sees lit Chanuka lights and has not lit his own should say the b'racha of שעשה נסים לאבותנו ("...she'asa nisim la'avosenu..."). Could he say ...
WAF's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
162 views

Sefardic Boy Dorming on Chanukah

A boy of Sefardic descent who is in the Dorm of a Yeshiva, does he light himself or does he rely on his parents lighting? Is there a machlokes among the Sefardic Poskim themselves of what to do? ...
SimchasTorah's user avatar
  • 33.3k
4 votes
1 answer
177 views

Chanukiyah height restriction and modern architecture?

I have learned that, to publicize the miracle, the Chanukah candles must be within 20 amot of the ground. Yet when I was in Jerusalem during Chanukah some years ago, I saw chanukiyot in windows of ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
328 views

Different Chanukah Blessing for Converts?

In 139:12, Kitzur writes that when a convert lights Chanukah candles, he should say "She-asah nissim l'Yisrael" instead of "She-asah nissim lavoteinu". What is his basis for this ruling? Isn't a ...
user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
399 views

Maoz Tzur and Chanukah

The piyut Maoz Tzur mentions both Purim and Chanukah. Why then was it chosen to be said on Chanukah and not Purim? I've tried researching the subject and asking scholars but have not received a ...
Sy Katz's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
3 answers
274 views

Blindness and Lighting Menorah

Are the Blind responsible to light the Menorah on Chanukah?
SimchasTorah's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
166 views

Shabbos Chanuka - Rosh Chodesh - Torah reading mistake

Orach Chaim 684:3 says that on Shabbos Chanuka that is also Rosh Chodesh we take out three Sifrei Torah. In the first one we give six Aliyos in the Parsha of the week. In the second one we read about ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
526 views

Fish Tank Menorahs

There are people who light in a Fish Tank Menorah among then Reb Eliyashiv and Reb Kanievsky arguably the two most prominent Halachic authorities in the world. There is an inherent problem in that ...
SimchasTorah's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
680 views

How to measure Menorah height

A menorah should preferably be within 10 tefachim from the ground (though higher than 3 tefachim). Are these ten tefachim measured to the base of the menorah, or to its top, or to the actual level of ...
Dave's user avatar
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