Electric Menorah

Understanding The Controversy

By: - Home & Family - July 8, 2011
electric menorah understanding the controversy

There is something about the menorah that invokes reverence and awe, even amongst non-Jewish people.  It seems somewhat more practical, maybe even safer that the modern version is an electric menorah.  However, with their advent came the usually controversy with the Jewish communities of the world.  Electric menorahs was mainly focused on whether an electrical device versus the original candle version was at all kosher.  Some hold true to the ban on making blessings with the electrical version, sticking with every type of use for it, except the blessings.  In order to understand why the electrical ones are so offensive and so unacceptable to many Jewish people includes not just one, but several different reasons.

The electric menorah cannot be lit, but is turned on by the act of flipping a switch to create the light to come on – not the same thing according to some more devout practitioners.  Another point is that to light a candle on menorah, a wick and oil have to be there, things that simply do not exist with the electric menorahs.  Plus when the menorah is lit, especially during Hanukkah, it is about a light miracle, not necessarily about how the light was produced.  Nonetheless, many traditionalists are fighting the use of these menorahs and flatly refuse to concede to a certain level of logic, but regardless, many less traditional practitioners are quite happy with this new innovation, especially if they have kids and such can protect them from the dangers of fire and burning.

The choice you make regarding the electric menorah is your choice.  Though they are generally not as fancy that traditional versions, they are many varieties available, and some come in varied Jewish themes and children’s themes with varied Jewish style symbols.  Others wow the imagination with varied colors and other added accessories.  As such electric menorahs are a advantageous.  There is no mess to clean up.  There is not oil to spill.  No wicks or oil are required.  No worries about running out of oil and wicks.  Realistically, the electric version is safer because you cannot light the oil on fire when you do not have it.  Ruining furniture is not an issue.  Many believe that using the electric one is not bad and can serve the same purpose on your window sill, fulfilling the Hanukkah’s number one commandment and shining a light in the darkness of the world for all to see.

Photo: menorah – public domain photo – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Carter_Menorah.jpg