Al Hanissim on Chanukah
This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.
- The passage of al hanissim and the addition special for chanuka are added to the Birkat HaMazon in the middle of birkat haaretz (between nodeh licha and vi'al hakol) and during the shemoneh esrei following the passage of modim for all eight days of chanuka. 
- Nothing is added into the beracha of meayn shalosh (al hamichya, al hagefen, or all haetz) for chanuka. 
- Al hanissim is recited even on the first night of chanuka, even if you haven't lit candles yet, as well as Mussaf of shabbat and Mussaf of rosh chodesh even though there is no Mussaf on chanuka. 
- If someone is saying Shemona Esrei and realizes that if he is going to say Al Hanissim he won’t be able to catch Kedusha with the congregation he shouldn’t skip Al Hanissim.
If you Forget
- If one forgot in either Birkat HaMazon or the shemoneh esrei and has reached the name of Hashem in the beracha then he shouldn't go back, but as long as he still has not begun the beracha that follows it, he should still go back. 
- If on Shabbat one forgot ritze and is therefore going to repeat birkat hamazon but also forgot al hanissim which normally doesn't require repeating birkat hamazon, some poskim say to now say al hanissim in the repetition  while others say to leave it out. 
- If he forgot in Birkat HaMazon then in the section of Harachamans he should add
הרחמן יעשה לנו נסים ונפלאות כשם שעשה לאבותינו בימים ההם בזמן הזה and then recite the biymei matityahu particular for chanuka.  and if it is Rosh Chodesh Tevet, then the harachaman for rosh chodesh should be recited first. 
- If he forgot in the shemoneh esrei he can still recite it before the second yihyu liratzon at the end of the shemoneh esrei. 
- If one began repeating shemoneh esrei thinking that he has to repeat for forgetting al hanissim, and then realized that the halacha says otherwise, he should stop immediately and say "baruch shem kvod malchuto liolam vaed," except for arvit, because for Arvit he can finish and have it in mind to be a nidavah. 
- If one mistakenly recited al hanissim in the avoda beracha where Yaaleh VeYavo is usually recited he should recite it again after modim, but if he didn't realize until after that he shouldn't go back. 
- If one mistakenly said biymei mordechai viesther (the passage we recite for al hanissim on purim) instead of biymei matityahu he has still fulfilled his obligation. 
- The correct language is vi'al hanissim, but if you do say just al hanissim it is ok also. 
- The proper text is "kisheamda malchut yavan harisha al amcha yisrael," and not kisheamda aleyhem. 
- Rambam Hilchot Berachot 2:6 and Hilchot Tefilla 2:13, Shulchan Aruch 682:1, Aruch Hashulchan 682:1
- Mishna Brurah 682:2, Yalkut Yosef Moadim 240, Yabia Omer 3:36. Yalkut Yosef also adds that if you did say something by mistake, you would not go back.
- Chazon Ovadia Chanuka p. 194 writes that he shouldn’t skip Al Hanissim in order to reach kedusha with the congregation. Yabia Omer OC 2:34, 9:66, Yalkut Yosef Moadim p. 240, Yechave Daat 1:77, Tzemach Tzedek Miluyim 11, Pri Hasadeh 3:109 agreed with Chazon Ovadia against the Yaskil Avdi 8:10. Here are the reasons of Chazon Ovadia:
- a) One is currently involved in a mitzvah of Shemona Esrei which includes Al Hanissim and so one shouldn’t stop one mitzvah to do another mitzvah based on the principle of Osek Bmitzvah Patur Min Hamitzvah (Ritva Sukkah).
- b) The principle of Osek Bmitzvah Patur Min Hamitzvah can apply even for being involved in a derabbanan mitzvah not to do a deoritta mitzvah. Is osek in a mitzvah derabbanan exempt from a mitzvah deoritta? Pri Megadim and Mishna Brurah 72 assume not. However, Chazon Ovadia (Chanuka p. 194 and Aveilut v. 1 p. 130-2) holds yes. He quotes many who prove this point: Rav Avraham Min Hahar Sukkah 26a, Mispeh Eytan Sukkah 10b, Kerem Shlomo 1:23, Shem Aryeh YD 64, Shem Chadash p. 102d, Imrei Binah 13:3, Kovetz Haarot Yevamot 48:11, Petach Dvir 1:25, Yeshuot Yakov 586:4, Emek Bracha p. 123. See R’ Shlomo Kluger in Kinat Sofrim 29.
- c) Since one can later hear kedusha with Shomea K’onah one isn’t completely missing out on the mitzvah deoritta of kedusha anyway. That is based on the opinion of Rashi Sukkah 38b unlike Tosfot Brachot 21b. Shulchan Aruch 124 follows Rashi.
- Is Al Hanissim part of the mitzvah of davening? The Eretz Tzvi 24 discusses that perhaps it is permitted to skip Al Hanissim since according to some rishonim is a separate mitzvah as compared with Shemona Esrei (and Osek Bmitzvah is inapplicable). His conclusion that one many not skip since it is possible to hear kedusha with Shomea K’onah.
- Malbushei Mordechai 3:59 brings a proof for this from the Ramban (quoted by Ran in Rabbi Eliezer Dmilah) who says that anytime we’re contemplating a mitzvah we only look at the present and not the ramifications afterwards even if they will involve something less than ideal. However, Yabia Omer OC 9:66 writes that this isn’t a great proof since the Baal Hameor disagrees with the Ramban and the Bet Yosef YD 266 argues that the Rambam and Rif agree with the Baal Hameor. Additionally, that Ramban might only be relevant to Brit Milah which is very serious and has karet but not other mitzvot. Lastly, the Baal Hameor might not be relevant since he is only suggesting being passive but not to actively change a situation because of a later mitzvah.
- Tur OC 682:1, Shulchan Aruch 682:1 based on the Tosefta in Berachot 3:12. Yalkut Yosef Moadim 238, Torat Hamoadim 9:12 by Rabbi David Yosef and Yechave Daat 5:49 say that you should not say lamdeini chukecha once you say Hashem's name because that would be considered a hefsek, unlike the eshel avraham 695 who says that you should say lamdeini chukecha. Aruch Hashulchan 682:3. Mishna Brurah 682:3 adds that this even applies if it is Shabbat and there is an obligation to eat, he should still not go back. The Bach 682:1 based on the Mordechai as well as the Ravya 563 page 284, however, disagree and say in Birkat HaMazon one should go back.
- Magen Avraham 188:13 and Shulchan Aruch HaRav 188:4
- Chayei Adam Klal 154:39 and Sha'ar HaTziyun 188:21
- Rama 187:4 and 682:1 based on Kol Bo 25, Aruch Hashulchan 682:3, Yalkut Yosef Moadim 240
- Mishna Brurah 682:5 because whatever is recited more often should be recited first. (tadir vishayno tadir, tadir kodem)
- Mishna Brurah 682:4, Aruch Hashulchan 682:3. Yalkut Yosef Moadim 239 says that you should say there modim ananchnu lach al hanissim ... based on the eliya rabba 682:2 and Maamar Mordechai 682:3.
- Yalkut Yosef Moadim 239, Yabia Omer 1:22:15. The Yalkut Yosef explains that the reason Arvit is different is because in general if you started shemoneh esrei having in mind to fulfill an obligation then you can't continue as a nidava according to Shulchan Aruch 107:1. However Arvit is different because it starts of as a tefilla of reshut so you can finish, and just add something new for that shemoneh esrei in the beracha shomea tfilla(Yalkut Yosef Tfilla 1 page 540).
- Yalkut Yosef Moadim 239. Rav Shlomo Kluger in Chochmat Shlomo 108:12 disagrees however, and says that if he finished the shemoneh esrei, the inappropriate recital of al hanissim during the avoda beracha is considered a hefsek, and he should go back and say it again.
- Yabia Omer 4:51:4
- Mishna Brurah 682:1, Aruch Hashulchan 682:1, Yalkut Yosef on the Moadim page 238 all explain that this is because it is a continuation of the thanks we give G-d in modim.
- Aruch Hashulchan 682:2, Yalkut Yosef Moadim 241.