Q. May I light neiros Chanukah using olive oil and wax candles at the same time?
A. It is questionable whether oil and candles may be used in the same Menorah at the same time (Be’er Heitev OC 673:1, Shaarei Teshuva ibid. 1, Mishna Berura ibid. 2). Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l was of the opinion that oil and candles should not be used in the same Menorah, as the beautification of the mitzvah is diminished by the different types of light shining from the same Menorah. However, different oils may be used in the same Menorah because there is no recognizable difference in their light (Moadei Yeshurun, p. 9. See also MB Shaar HaTziyun OC 673:1).
The minhag of Ashkenazim is that each family member lights his own Menorah (Rama OC 671:2). Where multiple Menoros are being lit, one Menorah may contain oil and the others candles (MB 673:2). Where necessary, one may use oil one day and candles the next (Sefer Hilchos Chanukah, p.12).
This column comes from OU Kosher’s Halacha Yomis dedicated in memory of Rav Chaim Yisroel ben Reb Dov HaLevy Belsky, zt’l, Senior OU Kosher Halachic Consultant (1987-2016). Subscribers can also ask their own questions on Kashrus issues and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. These questions and their answers may be selected to become one of the Q and A’s on OU Kosher Halacha Yomis.