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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77 views

Which of the *Zugos* were in charge during the Chanukah story?

Pirkei Avos tells us of a chain of Torah leadership from Shimon HaTzadik (who lived in the times of Alexander the Great), to Antignos Ish Socho, to the pairs of leaders after that. On whose watch did ...
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Order of Chanukah lights and havdalah

When I was leading the conclusion of the Shabbat service yesterday, I asked someone to light the Chanukkah candles, who asked me if we rather did havdalah first. I know that in a synagogue setting we ...
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Are the eight nights of lighting Menorah one Mitzvah or eight?

By Sefiras HaOmer, there is a dispute whether it’s a single Mitzvah to count fifty days, or whether one fulfills the Mitzvah of counting each day independently (Rosh, Pesachim 10:41, et. al.). As a ...
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Is Menorah an obligation on the person or on the object?

Is the obligation of lighting a Menorah an obligation that the person should light (chovas gavra), or that there should be a Menorah burning at his front door (chovas cheftza)?
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Is it a problem to use the lights of the Chanuka candles as the sole source of light in a photograph?

A common setup get a beautiful "lighting Chanuka candles" picture is to use only the light of the menorah to illuminate the photograph, including the menorah and the hands and face of the person ...
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Lighting after maariv in shul

At my shul, the first maariv minyan on Chanukah is after teitz hachocavim (5:15, in Eretz Yisroel). It takes a couple minutes until there are ten people, and when ten people arrived some members ...
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Minhag of eating jelly doughnuts on chanukah

Many yiden have the custom to eat potato latkes or jelly doughnuts on chanukah. Who started this custom??
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Is “Festival of Lights” our traditional term or borrowed from other cultures?

I keep seeing Chanukah being referred to as "the festival of lights". However I don't recall encountering this term in any of the classic religious texts (Talmud, Midrash, Maimonides, Shulchan Aruch, ...
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In Maoz Tsur should it say תִכּוֹן בֵּית זביחתי instead of תִכּוֹן בֵּית תְּפִלָּתִי

The word תְּפִלָּתִי in the poem Maoz Tsur seems out of context: תִכּוֹן בֵּית תְּפִלָּתִי וְשָׁם תּוֹדָה נְזַבֵּחַ לְעֵת תָּכִין מַטְבֵּחַ מִצָּר הַמְנַבֵּחַ אָז אֶגְמוֹר בְּשִׁיר מִזְמוֹר ...
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Why is Chanukah “happier” than Pesach?

Following up on this answer. The answer seems to conclude that one way that we measure happiness is by the saying of Hallel and it lists the days on which we say the whole of hallel. But we do not ...
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Is the greeting “Happy Hanukka” kosher?

Someone told me that 'Happy Hanukka' is not a kosher greeting since it is following the laws of the non-Jews... (and there is no mitzvah to have a meal on Hanukka as on Purim (some say because many ...
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A woman saying Shehechyanu on Channukah

I have been reviewing some discussions of a married woman's obligation to light Channukah candles. It appears that according to some, a married woman, whose husband is lighting at home does not light. ...
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Switching residences at night during Chanukah

The answers to this question explain that if one is not eating at home during Chanukah, he nevertheless needs to light at his house, where he will be sleeping that night. What happen if someone ...
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Spelling of Hanukkah

The word Hanukkah in Hebrew is written חֲנֻכָּה or חֲנוּכָּה -- with or without a vav. Why two spellings? Do they entail different things? (Delete the question if the answer is purely a grammatical ...
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Lighting a menorah in a no-flame environment

Many institutions where people sleep are no-flame environments. For instance, hospitals have oxygen. Hotels have very sensitive smoke detectors. How does one fulfill the mitzvah of lighting the ...
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Military victory of the Hashmonaim a miracle?

The Al Hanissim and Bimeh Matityah prayer included in the amidah expresses the military victory of the Hasmoneans as a miracle. In Masechet Avodah Zara daf 2b, Hashem convene some nations in the end ...
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Why didn't the Greeks spoil Red heifer ashes?

IIRC, as the Chanukkah story goes, the Greeks entered the Temple and defiled all the oil needed for lighting the Menorah. Why didn't the Greeks spoil Red heifer ashes, as it, seemingly, is far more ...
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Empirical sources that “Batei Midrash” existed prior to Chanukkah events [closed]

In anticipation of Chanukah, we had a discussion about the impact of the Chashmonayim dynasty on Judaism, and somebody presented an idea that although they did fight for the continuation of the Jewish ...
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Where to light chanukah candles in an apartment?

Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 671:5 rules that one places one's chanukah lights by the door that leads to the reshut harabim, and that if one has a courtyard between his house and the reshut harabim, ...
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Festive meals on Chanuka

The Shulchan Aruch states the meals on Chanuka are (only) permissible feasts (not seudas mitzvah) since these days were never instituted as days of festive meals. The Ramma quotes an opinion stating ...
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How do I light the other candles with the shamash if I use wick and oil rather than candles? [duplicate]

I'd like to change over from candles to wick and oil for lighting my Chanukah candles, but I can't figure out how you light the other candles from a wick and oil shamash. Todah.
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The Names of Yehudis, Antiyochus or Yochanan Kohein Godol in the Torah

The Gemara in Chullin 139b says the following: From where in the Torah can one find an allusion to the hanging of Haman? He replied: The verse states after Adam ate from the tree of knowledge: “...
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Pesicha of 3 Sifrei Torah: special time

Someone sent me a voice recording of someone mentioning an idea from the Sefer Heichalos that when there is we open 3 sifrei Torah (Torah scrolls, on shabbas – chanuka – rosh chodesh), then there is a ...
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Why whole Hallel on Chanukah?

One of the reasons given for only saying half Hallel on Pesach (Shibolei Haleket I believe) is because we limit our joy at the destruction of the Egyptians as they are the handiwork of Hashem. Why ...
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Kedushas Levi's Eight Segulos of Chanukah

In the past few years, each Chanukah I have received a list, attributed to the Kedushas Levi, of Eight Segulos for the eight nights of Chanukah, with each Segula corresponding to the number of candles ...
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Is there any basis for reserving the term “menorah” to the one in the Beis Hamikdash? [duplicate]

I was taught in kindergarten that "menorah" refers specifically to the menorah in the Beis Hamikdash, and the proper term for the thing used to hold Chanuka candles is "Chanukiyah". But in all the ...
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(How) Did Channukah events and the Makkabim change Judaism?

Besides the obvious celebration of Channukah, How's Judaism is different now because of those events: Did the Makkabim and the Chanukkah event leave any trace in the Jewish Halachic tradition? Were ...
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Who had the authority to change the Shir Shel Yom of Chanukah?

As has been pointed out previously, the source of which Shir Shel Yom to say on Chanukah (Psalms 30) is in Ch. 18:2 of Masechet Sofrim. Masechet Sofrim seems to make a break between those Shir Shel ...
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Is one “obligated” to eat donuts/latkes on Hanukkah (as to not deviate from customs)?

In general one should not deviate from accepted customs (i.e minhag yisroel zu halacha). Does that obligate one to eat donuts/latkes/dairy on Chanukkah if he would prefer not to?
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Hanukkah candles should start from the right, but which right? [duplicate]

It is known that the first Hanukkah candle should be on the right, and every day another candle is added to its left. My question is, which right? If I am lighting the candles in a window or suchlike ...
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Why is Joseph's pit mentioned amid all the Chanukah stuff in tractate Shabas?

In the middle of a lengthy discussion about Chanukah, the Bavli (the beginning of Shabas 22) sticks in this seemingly unrelated passage: And R. Kahana said: R. Nasan b. Minyome exegeted in the name ...
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Understanding the word מִצְוַת in וְכָל מִצְוַת שְׁמוֹנַת יְמֵי חֲנֻכָּה in HaNeros Hallalu

In some versions of HaNeros Hallalu, the following wording is included: וְכָל מִצְוַת שְׁמוֹנַת יְמֵי חֲנֻכָּה הַנֵּרוֹת הַלָּלוּ קֹדֶשׁ (Found, e.g., in Siddur Tefillah Yesharah, thanks to @ezra ...
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Can any brand or type of olive oil be used to light Chanukah candles?

Many of the stores in my neighborhood sell specially marked bottles or cans of olive oil for Chanukah. A while ago, someone told me that I cannot use any store brand of olive oil (like Trader Joe's, ...
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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 ...
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A poor person, Chanukah candles v. Shabbos candles, and selling clothing to buy candles

Although one who cannot afford Shabbos candles is not required to sell his clothing to fund them, one who cannot afford Chanuka candles is required to sell his clothing. (Shulchan Aruch O.C. 671.) ...
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Which is the “miracle of Channukah”?

I have seen questions and discussions which argue whether the miracle of Channukah was the military victory (rabim b'yad me'atim) or the finding/lasting of the pure oil. However, it seems that neither ...
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Eat before lighting chanukah candles via alarm, accd to “Guidelines”

Can someone who has "Guidelines" Chanukah edition by Rabbis Jaeger and Barclay please see in that book if they mention if it is permissible to eat before lighting Chanukah candles if one sets an alarm?...
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Reason for a Chanukah Minhag

Are there any authorities who suggest that the reason for the Minhag for women to avoid Melacha (creative work) while the Chanukah candles are lit is because we are worried they may come to use the ...
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Why is the maftir for Chanukah the offerings of the nesiim?

In shul at Hanukah, after the weekly Torah reading is done, we read some verses from parasha Nasso which describe the nesiim of each tribe bringing offerings (the first offerings to the Mishkan I ...
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Does lighting an extra menorah need a Brachah?

We light one menorah at this point. I am a photographer and would like to take a photo with extra menorahs with candles (ours is oil) for the last night. Do the extra menorahs need a brocha? Can this ...
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Is there a salutation/greeting recognizing the last day of Channukah for my Jewish friends?

Is there a salutation/greeting recognizing the last day of Channukah for my Jewish friends? At the beginning of this holiday, I wish them well. Is there a similar phrase that I should use as this ...
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Does a weak flame invalidate Hanuka candles?

[I was asked to post this question by a user who doesn't have access to MY] According to the OU website The Beis Ha Levi rules that once the flame is dark and is going out, it is already as if ...
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How was Matisyahu's murder justified

According to sforim chitsoynim, Matisyahu murdered an unarmed villager in Modin. I believe this tale is repeated in Rabbinic sources, perhaps the Medrash, because I was taught it in Yeshiva. My ...
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Reader read the right words from the wrong day of Chanukah. Must he repeat?

Is the Torah reader required to read the correct portion on Chanukah in the following or similar circumstance? It is the second day of Chanukah. The reader correctly reads the Cohen's portion ...
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Maoz Tzur: Is it a universal custom or just an ashkenaz one?

I know that Mi Yodea has already answered the question about the source of Maoz Tzur (Mordechai, unknown, 13th century, perhaps during Crusades?). Is it a universal custom or is it just an Ashkenazi ...
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Who are the seven shepherds at the end of Maoz Tzur?

The song Maoz Tzur ends with the line raise up the Seven Shepherds Who are the seven shepherds referenced? Please cite sources.
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Is there a problem with saying/writing Antiochus Epiphanes?

Inspired by this question: Shulkan Arukh Yoreh De'ah 147 lists the prohibition to mention the name of a foreign deity (see also) Epiphanes means "God Manifest" in Greek. It is unclear to me if ...
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Which minyanim light Chanuka candles?

In addition to the lighting at home, Chanuka candles are lit in shul to publicize the miracle, with the brachot (O"C 671:7). Which minyanim do this? All maariv minyanim in the shul(*)? Just a ...
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The Pach Shemen and the Sotah

I remember hearing during a shiur on Neiros Shabbos and Chanukah...shalom bayis/Shabbos trumping pirsumei nisah/Chanukah, etc. There was one source which said that the pach shemen was actually ...
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Lighting Hanukkah Candles Alone

If a person lived alone in an apartment, would it be okay to make the brakhot when lighting Hanukkah candles, even though there are no other members of the household to see the lights, and therefore ...

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