What should be done if Al Hanisim is omitted?

During Chanukah, Al Hanisim is added to each of the tefillos--Shacharis, Musaf (on Rosh Chodesh), Mincha and Ma’ariv. It is added to Birchas Hamozon as well. The following halochos pertain to a person who omitted Al Hanisim: 1) If he remembers prior to saying Hashem’s name at the end of the brocha, he should return to the proper place and say Al Hanisim. 2) If he only remembers after reciting the name of Hashem, he may say it at the end of Shemoneh Esreh before yihyu l’rotzon. In Birchas Hamozon it can be said as a Harachamon followed by the paragraph of B’yemei Matsiyohu. 3) If Al Hanisim was completely forgotten, Shemoneh Esreh and Birchas Hamozon are not repeated.

[שו"ע תרפב, א-ב, ומשנ"ב ד-ה; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 6]

Why is the whole Hallel recited on Chanukah? 

On Chanukah, the entire Hallel is recited. The Achronim disagree about whether it is a Torah obligation or only mid’rabonon. On Pesach, the whole Hallel is only said on the first two days. Why does Chanukah merit having the entire Hallel recited each day? 1) Each day of Chanukah we are celebrating a different miracle. 2) Each day of Chanukah an additional candle is lit. We find a parallel to this on Sukkos. A different number of korbonos were brought on each day of Sukkos, so the whole Hallel is recited each day. The korbonos remain essentially uniform on each day of Pesach, however, so the whole Hallel is not recited on each of the days.

[שו"ע תרפג, א, ומשנ"ב א; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 2]

Why does the kriyah of Chanukah begin with Birchas Kohanim?

[שו"ע תרפד, א, ומשנ"ב א-ב]
  • Some Rishonim hold that lighting the menorah takes place prior to reciting Havdalah. They explain that it is preferable to hold on to Shabbos as long as possible.

  • Other Rishonim maintain that Havdalah should be recited before lighting the menorah. Based on the rule of performing the more frequent mitzvah first, Havdalah takes precedence.

  • One must wait for tzeis hakochavim before lighting the menorah. The poskim recommend davening at the earliest time possible so as not to delay lighting the menorah. It is even permitted to run out of shul to light right away, since people realize that one is running for the purpose of a mitzvah.

  • Which Haftorah is read on the second Shabbos Chanukah?

  • Which reading takes place first--Chanukah or Rosh Chodesh?

  • Which Haftorah is read on a Shabbos Chanukah which falls on Rosh Chodesh?
PLEASE NOTE: The information in this email is for learning purposes only. Please review the Mishna Berura and Biurim U'Musafim before making a halachic decision. Hebrew words are occasionally transliterated to enable a smoother reading of the text. Common Ashkenazi pronunciation is generally used in these cases.
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