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Hilkhot Seder Hannukkah הלכות סדר ליל חנוכה

Nun gimel heh shin. TRADITION SEDER. dreidel shalom, FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS, hanukkah. EIGHT NIGHTS EIGHT LIGHTS. miracles menorah. LATKES MAZEL TOV. oil seder peace ✌️

The great Sanhedrin of jwitter decreed for all Jews to celebrate eight events on each night of Hannukkah.

There's been a great debate over the varying customs throughout many generations.

This guide is an attempt to clarify familial and regional differences, and create unity amongst capitalists from all four corners of the Earth.


1. Kadesh Blessing the family with tradition

Who is Obligated in the Mitzvah?

On the eve of Hannukkah Seder night, there is an obligation on the host to bless the space in preparation of all marketing-related avodah zarah.

Timing of Kadesh

Rashbi holds that blessing the space should be completed prior to khatzot (midday) on Hannukkah Seder eve. Most others are lenient, and allow balabustaim to leave everything up to the last minute, especially if the local Y doesn't come through with space accommodations.

2. Urkhatz Perparing the walls for the main attraction

Procedure of Urkhatz

On Hannukkah Seder eve, it is customary for the host to rinse the walls of any remaining schmutz.

Sitting or Standing for Urkhatz

Many have the practice to sit for the washing of the walls. However it is impractical, and according to the Rambam not a recommended practice.

Timing of Urkhatz

One should prep the walls ahead of time, so that the guests may arrive with all marketing paraphanellia Instagram-ready, and in full display.

3. Karpas In which the holy curtain is raised

Obligation

This is objectively the most important mitzvah of the night. It is forbidden to commence Hannukkah seder without a Hannukkah Seder shower curtain in full presense of all participants.

Ideal Location for the Curtain

The Hanukkiah (in Goyish: "menorah") already occupies the space between doorposts (and for some may also hog the windows) leaving few options for where to place the holy curtain. We take a gzerah-shavah (alliteration-connection) from the old tale of a Spanish Jew, who once gazed at a portrait of Judah the Maccabi that hung on a wall opposite her window, and uttered the word "shower." From this recorded story in Sefer Hamaccabim, most poskim rule that the ideal space for Karpas is behind a window that is in full street view for all passersby returning from the local markets.

Ideal Curtain Size

The curtain should be at least ten tfakhim high, so that it's visible to all Hannukkah Seder participants at all times. In recent years it has become common tradition to purchase the standard-sized shower curtain from Bed Bath & Beyond using a five-year-old twenty-percent-off coupon that was kept in one's glove copartment.

4. Yakhatz Splitting the tasks amongst all participants

Prior to the commencement of the Hannukkah Seder – once all participants have arrived – each individual must partake in pereperation for the telling of the great Maggid debate. Beth Hillel ruled on behalf of introverts, who should gather remaining decorations and hang them peacefully while preparing for a night of intense social interactions. Beth Shamai ruled on behalf of extroverts who must set the table and snacks, while taking joy in pre-Seder debates. It is customary for the extroverts to discuss topics such as: chocolate coins vs. chocolate bars, sufganiot vs donuts, and the Adam Sandler song vs. literally any other Hannukkah tune.

5. Maggid The main event

Mitzvah of Sippur Tweetiyat HaSeder

There is a positive mitzvah from the Torah to explain the story of the Jewish people sitting around a shower curtain on Hannukkah nights. Some suggest that if no one asks any questions, there is only a rabbinic mitzvah to read the mega thread out loud, with each participant reading a tweet in turn. If one is not well-versed in the English language they are permitted to tap the "Translate by Bing" button, and read the translation in Robin Willliams' voice.

One should have intent before beginning Maggid that they are fulfilling the mitzvah of Sippur Tweetiyat HaSeder.

Mah Nishtana

When the children ask "why are the chocolate coins being removed from the table?", one should answer that this is to show that one is not to eat garbage before fulfilling Sippur Tweetiyat HaSeder.

Rabban Gamliel

Some say that if one didn't say the statement of Rabban Gamliel (the reading of the full text on the curtain) one has NOT fulfilled one's mitzvah of Maggid.

6. Rakhtza Preparing for a feast of treats

One should wash with a brakha before eating the chocolate coins. The brakha to be recited is: "Barukh atta Hashem, Elokeynu melekh haolam, she'asah ness le'Alexeynu, bayamim hahemm batwitter hazeh".

The Khatam Sofer had a custom to have others wash his hands for him, to symbolize purchasing donuts from a national chain.

7. Stackee-Stackah Measuring the breadth of one's breath

The Opening of One's Mouth

Altough opening one's mouth as large as can be is typically considered improper, khazal set an exception for the Hannukkah Seder at which time one is obligated to open their mouth as wide as their jawbones allow.

Leaning While Stacking the Coins

The stacking of coins in one's mouth should be done while leaning forward at a nintey degree angle, to commemorate the turn Rabbeinu Alex took after discovering the ness (miracle) of the shower curtain.

Measuring a Kezayit

Most permit counting the required amounts on shabbath for the Mitzvah of stacking coins. Some are strict and require one to count before shabbath.

How many Coins should one stack?

To fulfill all of one’s obligations, one should stack at least 3 chocolate coins in one's mouth for Stackee-Stackah, 5 coins for Korekh, and 3 more coins for Afikoman. All agree that having 3 coins for Afikoman is merely preferable; one fulfills their obligation with half a coin, as long as it's white chocolate.

How to Stack It

Like so.

8. Khasal Siddur Hannukkah The requirement of finishing up what you started

Consuming an Actual Meal

It is customary to finish the Hannukkah Seder by serving a meal of levivot (latkes) and sufganiot (donuts). Rabbi Abba was strict in his requirement of sourcing the Boston Cream variety from Dunkin'. Others are more lenient, and allow the consumption of Krispy Kreme glazed that are benn yommo.

Consuming the Wine

Some drink a fourth cup of wine before reciting the piyutim of Khasal, while others already drank the rest of the wine before the seder got started and should go fetch another bottle.

Cleaning Up After Yourselves

Rabeinu Tamm instituted that all guests must clean up after themselves as soon as the seder is over. The host may take a moment to reflect, and share photos from the event on their jwitter feed.

@JewishWonk on twitter (Image from @JewishWonk. Used without permission)