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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Mesechta/tractate Chanukah or menorah [duplicate]

Why is there no tractate on Chanukah? Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi wrote on other holidays like Purim, ect, but no mesechta on Chanukah or menorah?
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Until when did the Yeshivos of Beis Hillel and Shamai exist?

We know that Hillel and Shamai themselves lived during the time of the Second Beis Hamikdash. Do we know how long their yeshivos lasted? More specifically, how late in history could the argument ...
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Yaavetz regarding the story with Yehudis not happening on Chanuka

Rabbi Yaakov Emden writes in his מור וקציעה seen here, in last paragraph of the second column, that the story of Yehudis had nothing to do with Chanuka and actually happened during the first exile. ...
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The fall of Yehudah the Maccabee

Yehudah the Maccabee died in the Battle of Elasa, a mere four years after the victory at Beit Tzur and the subsequent purification and rededication of the Temple. Are there any rabbinic sources that ...
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How can I understand the idea that “Pirsumei nisa is as much to oneself as it is to others.”

The THE BENJAMIN AND ROSE BERGER TORAH TO-GO Chanukah 5782 p 14 contains an article from Rabbi Ezra Schwartz entitled “ Al Hanisim in Birkat Hamazon”. It says Tosafot, Shabbat 24a, s.v. Mahu, offer a ...
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Why not הקם לנו נסיכי שמונה?

The last four words of Maoz Tzur end with the words הקם לנו רועים שבעה. This is a clear reference to the verse (Micha 5:4): וַהֲקֵמֹנוּ עָלָיו שִׁבְעָה רֹעִים וּשְׁמֹנָה נְסִיכֵי אָדָם But as I was ...
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Doing the mehadrin level differently -- does it invalidate the mitzvah?

On Channukah, the mitzvah is for a light to be lit in each household, as the Rambam (Hil Purim/Channukah, 4:1) writes, "מצותה שיהיה כל בית ובית מדליק נר אחד." If one wants to perform a "...
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What happened to the jars of oil without a seal?

Are there any sources that say what happened to the jars of olive oil without the seal in the temple? Did they throw it out,sell it, eat it,etc...? If not then would there be a reason why they couldn'...
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What's the source that Yavan/Greece is keneged choshech?

I heard that Greece is connected to the term 'choshech' in the line "Tohu VaBohu Vechoshech al benei tehom..." (Bereishis 1:2), and I heard the idea used in multiple shiurs. Just wondering ...
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What is meant by "pure" oil for Hanukka?

The concept of "pure" oil is central to the holiday of Hanukka (see, for example, https://www.chabad.org/holidays/chanukah/article_cdo/aid/221817/jewish/Pure-Oil.htm and https://www.aish.com/...
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Maoz Tzur: Last stanza

I have been to various Shuls over Chanukah and they say Maoz Tzur but they don’t say the last stanza. I asked and they say we don’t say it. What would be a reason not to say it? Don’t we want revenge ...
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What were לביבות made of before potatoes?

Who doesn't love a nice stack of potato latkes for Hanukkah? Tradition, right? But as I was frying up my seasonal potato pancakes, I started thinking... potatoes didn't exist in the Old World until ...
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Does it matter where the flames came from in the Beit ha Mikdash?

In the Greek book commonly known as Second Maccabees (not generally recognized among Jews as being authoritative), there is a detail given about the rededication of the Second Temple where the relit ...
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Hanukkah Glass Menorah Drip Tray with Brachos on it

Would it be mutar to place the menorah on a Hanukkah Glass Menorah Drip Tray https://www.amazon.com/Rite-Lite-Tempered-Glass-Menorah/dp/B00PBFBUOO even if the drip tray has brachos on it, or would ...
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Did the Rabbis err when they stipulated an eight branch menorah for the celebration of Hanukkah?

I fully understand the rationale for an eight branched menorah. Considering the Nes, etc. And I am aware that the Talmud states that it is prohibited to use a seven-lamp menorah outside of the Temple. ...
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Meaning of phrase in Hannukah song

I'm having trouble understanding the concluding phrase in the famous Hannukah song O Hannukah, which is על הנפלאות אשר חללו המכבים. What root is חללו and what is its meaning here? How to translate ...
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Gambling on Chanukah

There already exists on this site, discussions about gambling in halacha - see here, here and here etc. I would like to focus specifically within the context of Chanukah and an apparent minhag (custom)...
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What is maftir for Shabbat Channukah?

Hopefully someone knows this, since I see conflicting info online. What is the maftir for first shabbos of channuka (this coming shabbos, second day channuka, parshat Vayeshev). Is it (a) Bamidbar 7:...
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Over how many years did the Chanukah story take?

In Megilas Antiyochus, it speaks at length how there were 3 separate times Antiyochus's army came to Jerusalem (each time getting royally defeated), so I'm wondering over how many years did this story ...
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Does one need to light Chanukah lights at both entrances nowadays in Israel?

Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 671:8 rules that if one has a courtyard with two entrances on different sides, one lights Chanukah lights at both entrances, to prevent passersby from suspecting that the ...
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Kislev and the letter Samech

I have seen somewhere that Kislev and the letter Samech are connected to each other. The sefer I saw it in, quoted the Likkutei Shas of the Arizal. Does anyone know what it says? And is there any ...
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Maccabees ate potato latkes?

In "The Book of Kashruth" by Rabbi Seymour Freedman, he writes on p. 117 that "On Chanukah..it is customary to eat potato pancakes called latkes....These are eaten to commemorate the ...
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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 happens 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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