Can I use artificial lights in my Hanukkah menorah?

Answered by
Rabbi Victor S. Appell

We fulfill the mitzvah of Hanukkah by lighting a hanukkiyahhanukkiyahחֲנֻכִּיָּהNine-branched candelabra used during Hanukkah – eight branches for each night of the holiday, plus another branch (often taller, central, or more prominently displayed) for the shamash (helper) candle, which is used to light the others.  with candles. Some hanukkiyot use actual oil to even more closely replicate the miracle in the Hanukkah story. We use electricity for illumination during the year. We mark sacred and special occasions, such as Shabbat and holidays, by lighting candles. Of course, there are certain places that do not permit open flames, including hospitals and nursing homes. In these cases, some will opt to use an electric menorah.