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Are electric menorahs good for lighting on Chanukah?

To remove some of the more obvious issues, let's assume that:

  1. It runs on batteries
  2. It's an incadescent bulb
  3. There are separate physical switches for each bulb
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Why would you need separate switches? –  YDK Dec 8 '10 at 6:25
@YDK technical aspect: how to light from right to left. But I suppose you're right... –  yydl May 10 '11 at 23:20

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Here's a fairly detailed writeup on the pros and cons of the issue. It seems that the objection is based on the fact that the battery doesn't store the "fuel" itself, but rather the combination of chemicals that will be used to create the "fuel" of electrons.

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In cases where lighting flames is not possible (e.g. the question was asked by some Israeli soldiers stationed at a fuel depot), electric as you've described is the next-best thing. The army rabbis in this case told them to light without a bracha, however.

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