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Is it considered a meritorious practice to have a fancy/expensive/large menorah? Normally the imperative to beautify mitzvos is related to the mitzvah item itself (e.g. talis, tefillin, esrog), so here I would assume it would mean to have beautiful candles.

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2 Answers 2

Meseches Sofrim 20 seems to imply as much.

One may not light an old lamp; one who only has an old lamp may whiten it well in fire, and that is permitted.

cf this lecture (around the 22 min mark)

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First of all, note that opinions brought in Avnei Nezer 2:500 that you need to have the candles lit in some sort of kli (vessel) and not just loose. According to these opinions, the menora itself is a mitzva object.

That said, even if you don't rule that way we have a notion of hiddur mitzva even for things that aren't direct mitzva objects such as the quill used to write Sta"m (Shabbat 133b).

The Mishna Berura (673 sk 28) does note that one should expend effort to have as nice a menorah as one can.

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The one page that's missing on Hebrewbooks: hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=1344&st=&pgnum=572 –  b a Dec 5 '12 at 5:20
    
@ba I know :( I tried earlier. Isn't there a way to report that to them or something? –  Double AA Dec 5 '12 at 5:22
    
If you have the teshuva in front of you could you write down what his reasoning is for this? I wrote down this teshuva by me last year in regards to a different shailo that I had (maybe I'll post it here.) –  Yehoshua Dec 5 '12 at 12:19
    
It might be worth mentioning that we likely do not pasken like this Avnei Nezer -- see for instance the Mishneh Berurah 671:18 and the Aruch HaShulchan 673:6 –  Curiouser Dec 5 '12 at 16:57
    
@Curiouser Avnei Nezer is essentially contemporary to those sources. See also Rivevot Efraim 1:434:2 who seems to treat not having a menorah as a bedieved. –  Double AA Dec 6 '12 at 16:27

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