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What's the point of a haftorah for Miketz if it's always Shabbat Chanukah?

Actually, Miketz does not always fall out on Chanukah. It appears that whoever told me that was mistaken. :) I ran some code (using my JavaScript Hebcal API) and discovered that in the 100 years from ...
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17 votes

Is "Festival of Lights" our traditional term or borrowed from other cultures?

It seems to have been referred to this way at least as early as the time of Flavius Josephus. See his Antiquities of the Jews, Book 12, Chapter 7: Now Judas celebrated the festival of the ...
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14 votes
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What is the origin of the claim that they played games to hide Torah learning prior to Chanuka

Nitei Gavriel Chanuka - page 306 mentions this in the name of Otzar Kol Minhagei Yeshurin. Rabbi Genut at din.org.il also quotes Otzar Kol Minhagei Yeshurin and says it is mentioned in Chapter 19:4 in ...
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13 votes
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Can a Chanukah menorah share a single oil source?

The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch brings a case when one has a bowl filled with oil and places wicks around the perimeter to make a menorah. (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:9) הַנֵּרוֹת, יִהְיוּ בְּשׁוּרָה אַחַת ...
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12 votes

Were Haman's possessions hung on a tree?

At the 2014 International Bible Contest for Adults (חידון התנ"ך הבינלאומי למבוגרים תשע"ה) televised finals1, celebrated grammarian2 Dr. Avshalom Kor (אבשלום קור) posed this question among a series of ...
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12 votes

Why is the Miracle of Oil mentioned so much later than records of Chanukah celebrations?

This question assumes that the Rishonim or Acharonim grappled with this question. Most were not aware of contemporary sources omitting this miracle, such that they would ask the question and answer it....
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11 votes
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Chanuka candles if missed the night

Shulchan Aruch O.C. 672:2 שכח או הדד ולא הדליק [....] ומיהו הני מילי לכתחילה; אבל אם עבר זה הזמן ולא הדליק, מדליק והולך כל הלילה. ואם עבר כל הלילה ולא הדליק, אין לו תשלומין If one forgot and didn't ...
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11 votes
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Can one light a "camp fire" for Chanukah lighting?

The halacha is that someone must light with a ner (individual wick) and not a medurah (torch or multiple wicks). Siman תרעא in the Shulchan Aruch explains that the wicks must be separated to show ...
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10 votes

Lighting Hanukkah Candles Alone

The Shulchan Aruch in O.C. 677:3 writes: יש אומרים שאע"ג שמדליקין עליו בתוך ביתו, אם הוא במקום שאין בו ישראל מדליק בברכות Some say that even though they are lighting for a person at his home, if ...
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10 votes

Why is Joseph's pit mentioned amid all the Chanukah stuff in tractate Shabas?

This immediately follows another statement of R. Kahana's, which also quoted an exegesis of R. Nasan b. Minyome's in the name of R. Tanchum. Quoting another statement from the same people is pretty ...
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10 votes

Minhag of eating jelly doughnuts on chanukah

Wikipedia brings the following quote from Rabbi Maimon, father of the Rambam: "אין להקל בשום מנהג ואפילו מנהג קל. ויתחייב כל נכון לו עשות משתה ושמחה ומאכל, לפרסם הנס שעשה השם יתברך עמנו באותם ...
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9 votes

Is it true that it is 'Hiddur Mitzvah' to have the Hanukkah lights stay lit for longer?

The Mishna B'rura (672:6, citing Magein Avraham 672:3) writes: If he put a lot of oil so that the flame will last longer, there is no mitzva in this. But with wax candles, there is a ...
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9 votes
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What should one do if the shamash burns away before the other candles?

If half an hour has passed since you lit the candles (assuming you didn't light early) then you no longer need a Shamash. You can even extinguish the candles at that point. This is explicit in the ...
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9 votes
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Why do we celebrate Chanukah?

A Chanukah Shiur by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, delivered at Moriah Synagogue, circa-1950, transcribed by Rabbi Nisson E. Shulman, explains the meaning of Chanukah and shows that Chanukah itself is ...
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9 votes

What's the source that Yavan/Greece is keneged choshech?

The source is Bereishit Rabbah 2. וְחשֶׁךְ, זֶה גָּלוּת יָוָן, שֶׁהֶחֱשִׁיכָה עֵינֵיהֶם שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל בִּגְזֵרוֹתֵיהֶן ”And darkness”: This refers to the exile imposed by Greece, who darkened the ...
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8 votes

Is there an Orthodox publication of the book(s) of the Maccabees?

Daat and tsel are both religious websites - I don't know if you count them as "publishers". Maccabees I http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/hasfarim/hashmonaim-a-2.htm http://www.tsel.org/torah/macab/ ...
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8 votes
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Flying During Channukah Candle Lighting

According to Rabbi Shlomo Fisher on ohr.edu, someone flying is exempt from lighting, because the rule is one candle per household ("נר איש וביתו;" Shabbos 21b); and if there's no one at home then ...
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8 votes
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Do I need a menorah?

The Avnei Nezer 2:500 quotes several opinions that state that one needs to have the candles lit in some sort of kli (vessel) and not just stuck onto a table. (h/t: DoubleAA) R. Shmuel Kamenetsky (...
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8 votes

Can a Chanukah menorah share a single oil source?

Yes you can learn this from Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 671, 3: נר שיש לו שתי פיות, עולה לו בשביל שנים.‏ an oil lamp which has two "mouthpieces" is considered as two lamps. Despite that ...
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8 votes

Who are the seven shepherds at the end of Maoz Tzur?

The reference is to Michah 5:4. The Talmud (Sukkah 52b) identifies them as King David in the middle, Adam, Seth, and Methuselah on his right, and Abraham, Jacob and Moses on his left.
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8 votes
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Reason for a Chanukah Minhag

Not precisely as you say, but the Be'er Hagolah (OC 670:3) quotes the Beis Yosef who writes that the reason is in order that it should be a reminder for them that it is forbidden to use the light from ...
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8 votes
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Why didn't the Greeks spoil Red heifer ashes?

Most of it wasn't kept in the Beis Hamikdash and the part that was in the Bais Hamikdash was kept in hidden places. The Rambam in Hilchas Para Aduma Perek Gimmel says אֵין מַכְנִיסִין כְּלוּם ...
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8 votes
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Doing the mehadrin level differently -- does it invalidate the mitzvah?

Excellent question! In fact, this question should arise from the reading of that section of the Gemara in Shabbat 21b, which states that an elder in the city of Sidon in fact followed the view of Beit ...
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7 votes

"m'nora" on Chanuka

Sedei Haaretz Volume 3 - Orach Chaim Siman 38 was published in the year 5544 = 1784. This was written by Rabbi Avraham Bar Shmuel Meyuchos Zatzal who was a Rabbi in Jerusalem in his times. In Siman 38 ...
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What was the volume of oil for one day's lighting of the Menorah?

They used a half of a lug of oil in each candle every night, in order that it would last through the longest night of the year (Menachos 88b). A lug is 6 egg volumes. An egg volume is disputed, but ...
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7 votes

Chanukah Bushes?

The Chochmas Adam 89:1 wrote that the Vilna Gaon abolished the minhag of decorating the synagogue with trees in honor of Shavuos because of the problem of Chukkas HaGoy (i.e. the practice of ...
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7 votes

Lighting the Chanuka menorah in my moving trailer

In the Sheilos U'Teshuvos of the Maharsham (Rabbi Shalom Mordechai Shvadron) Chelek 4 Siman 146 he writes to a Rabbi in the city of Leipzig the following (my own translation with added clarifications):...
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7 votes

What did "נ ג ה ש" stand for before the Hanukkah miracle?

Our dreidel is of relatively recent vintage and there is no evidence that it existed prior to a few centuries ago. It stood for (before it's being adapted for chanukah) N = Nisht nothing to put into ...
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7 votes
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Is Hanukkah a holiday or a festival? Is there a difference?

I don't think there's a formal English terminology what people would call "festival" vs. "holiday", but there certainly are distinctions. The Jewish holidays such as Passover, Sukkot [booths], Rosh ...
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7 votes
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Can one light Chanukah candles with ear wax?

No, one cannot. Mythbusters determined experimentally that earwax candles are not effective: The skin cells, hair, fatty acids and cholesterol contained in earwax combust quickly and at different ...
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