Sunday, December 14, 2014

An electric chanukiah?


May one use an electric chanukiah?

The consensus of many authorities is that electric lights do not fulfill the mitzvah. The reasons include:

1. At the time we light, there must be enough fuel present for the flame to last for the entire period; electricity is continuously generated.

2. We require direct kindling, as takes place when one touches a flame to a wick; flipping a switch or pressing a button is an act of indirect lighting (grama).

3. The point is to commemorate the original menorah, which employed fuel and wick.

4. Each flame is supposed to be a single flame, not a medurah (lit. bonfire), since the original menorah had a single flame for each wick. A filament, which arcs horizontally, is a medurah.

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef says that one who cannot light a standard chanukiah should use an electric chanukiah without a berachah. [Apparently, he is not concerned lest onlookers view this as acceptance of an electric chanukiah in general.]

(Har Tzvi Orach Chaim 143; Dvar Halachah (R' Kletzkin) 36; Meorei Eish 5:2; Tzitz Eliezer 1:20:12; Yabia Omer 3:Orach Chaim 35)

Have a great day,

No comments:

Post a Comment