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A friend of mine posted this picture of her Dad's Chanuka Menora.

Chanuka Menora with glass vessels for lamps, each containing colored fluid and a white wick

Obviously it's not using olive oil, but that's no worse than using candles.

In these lamps the wicks are simply fiberglass pipes that pull up the paraffin. IOW, it doesn't really have a wick.

My question is about the fiberglass wick. Does a Chanuka Menora have to have wicks that burn?

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I compiled a few opinions from Hilchos Chashmal, most have to do with electric but it answers the wick and oil parts.

Kochvei Yitzchak simanim 5-8 – Mikar Halacha there is no issue with electric for ner chanuka, but the best way to perform the mitzvah is with olive oil. The ones who asssur say that there is no shuir of a half hour by electric (oil can be seen in the cup). He says that we don’t go by how much oil is there but how long it will stay lit and electric can stay lit for a long time. He ends off saying that Bnei Yisrael are Chareidim l’dvar HaShem and uses olive oil.

Kaf Hachaim siman 673:19 – One is not yotzei with electric. He held it has to resemble the nes of the menorah, and one needs actual oil and wicks.

Levushei Mordechai OC siman 59 – One is not yotzei with electric.

Meorei Aish perek 5: anaf 2 pg 95 – One is not yotzei with an electric ner. One needs an actual flame.

Rabbi Yakov Holtzberg (Shu”t Ateres Shlomo?) holds there is no problem in using electric since the light of electric is clear and nice(maybe even min hamuvchar) ,and that was the intention of Chazal when they mentioned a ner. However, according to the Maharal of Prague that one needs a ner, oil and vessel would hold it’s not acceptable but we don’t pasken like this.

Shu”t Mayim Chaim (Rav Yosef Mashash) OC siman 279 and also his Sefer Ner Mitzvah page 13 – One is yotzei ner chanuka with electricity. In Germany the minhag was to use wax candles (they used oil in the Mikdash) so we see that the ikar is if the light is a clear and nice light.

  • This is something I typed up on electric menorahs but should answer the question – sam Dec 25 '14 at 20:23
  • I did see in the footnotes about hollow tubes ,will look it up later do not have access now – sam Dec 25 '14 at 20:25
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    A lot of these aren't relevant to this question. The ones that say nothing more than "one is not yotzei with electric" don't really show anything about this issue. – Y     e     z Dec 25 '14 at 20:34
  • @sam, Fascinating info - but not much about the "non-wicks". The only useful info is about electricity being "endless" - but using batteries is not well addressed. Also it probably is referring to "old fashioned incandescent lamps, which had a wick (of sorts). – Danny Schoemann Dec 28 '14 at 7:51

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