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Generally it seems to be perferable (mehudar) to use an oil based candle for mitzvot. Why doesn't anyone use an oil based candle for havdalah?

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Why is oil more mehudar for candle based mitzvot aside from Channukah? –  Double AA Oct 18 '12 at 17:39
    
@DoubleAA see question #3 and notes thereon torah.org/advanced/weekly-halacha/5764/chukas.html –  user1668 Oct 18 '12 at 17:40
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Cos its much easier to send a candle then a bottle of oil!!! meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/1374/… –  Yehuda Oct 18 '12 at 17:42
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@PM So isn't that your answer? –  Double AA Oct 18 '12 at 17:44
    
What's "an oil based candle"? My havdala candles are paraffin-based: would you consider that "oil based"? –  msh210 Oct 18 '12 at 17:53

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Mishna Berura 298:5 and Beer Hataiv 298:2 mention in the name of the Sefer HaKavonos and the Magen Avraham in the name of the Kavanos HaArizal that it is preferable to use a beeswax candle for Havdala.

As you can see in the Halacha the candle is supposed to be an Avuka - which is more than one wick. This also makes it more practical to use a candle over oil.

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+1 Why beeswax specifically? –  Double AA Oct 18 '12 at 18:15
    
It does not say the reason. So I would venture to say that it is "Al Pi Kabala". –  Gershon Gold Oct 18 '12 at 18:17
    
I don't see any mention of beeswax specifically in those sources. –  Double AA Oct 9 '13 at 15:25

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