General

Chanukah Gelt - Where does the custom of "Chanukah gelt" (of giving money to children) come from? My understanding is that the practice of giving presents is adapted from the non-Jewish holidays which occur in the same... More »
December Dilemma - Every year I am challenged as a mother by the proximity of Chanukah to Christmas, especially in a year like this where the two actually coincide. How can our candles possible compete with their stunning... More »
Final Judgment on Chanukah - I heard there is a Midrash that the Book of Judgment is open even after the High Holidays, and is not sealed until the last day of Chanukah. Can you explain the idea behind this? More »
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Chanukah Candles

Eight Miraculous Days - My daughter came home from school with this question, and I don't have anybody to answer it: Why is the first night of Chanukah also considered a miracle if there was originally enough oil to burn for... More »
Electric Menorah - Can an electric menorah with light bulbs be used during Chanukah? More »
Number of Branches on Menorah - I'm confused. My Chanukah menorah has 9 branches, but the Menorah in our synagogue has 7. Why the difference? More »
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History

Greek Defilement - During the war against the Maccabees, why did the Greeks make such an effort to attack the Holy Temple in Jerusalem? More »
Matisyahu - I'm a big fan of Matisyahu, the chassidic reggae singer. What is the origins of his name? More »
Women in the Chanukah Story - In the Chanukah story, did the women have any part of the fighting? What was their role? More »

Due to limited resources, the Ask the Rabbi service is intended for Jews of little background with nowhere else to turn. People with questions in Jewish law should consult their local rabbi. Note that this is not a homework service!

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