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Disposing of Chanuka Oil, Wicks After Day 8


Disposing of Chanuka Oil, Wicks After Day 8

Orach Chaim 677 says that leftover oil should be burnt. It appears that the reason is that since the oil has become huktza l’mitzvah, it has to be destroyed so that you won’t come to have hana’ah from it.

My situation is this:

When I buy the oil initially, I stipulate that only the oil used for the mitzvah is muktzeh; any oil remaining in the bottle is not. So the oil left in the bottle was never used for the mitzvah and is clearly not assur b’hana’ah

On the 8th night, I fill the cup with oil with enough oil to burn at least 3 hours. It burns for, let’s say, 2 hours, and then goes out, leaving an hour’s worth of oil in the cup.

My understanding is that the remaining oil is MUTTAR b’hana’ah, since the candle burned for the minimum half hour.

1) Would I be able to put the remaining oil back in the bottle and/or use it for my own purposes?
2) Can I simply throw it out since it is not muktzeh, or does it have to be burnt? Does bizui mitzvah come into play?
3) What about the wicks? The Shulchan Aruch doesn’t seem to discuss the wicks, yet there are many who have the custom to burn the wicks, too.
4) Poskim say that saving the oil for next Chanukah is not an option since it could lead to the michshol of using it by mistake over the course of the year. Yet, some have the custom of saving it to burn with the chometz. Could that also not lead to the same michshol? And, would using it for bedikas chometz not in itself constitute hana’ah (using it as fuel)?

1) Ideally one should verbally stipulate that he is not designating the entire oil in the Menorah for the mitzvah, just what is necessary for the mitzvah. If he did not do so the leftover oil is still permitted for ordinary use according to the letter of the law. One who wishes to be stringent should burn the leftover oil.

2) Oil which was not designated for the mitzvah may be discarded. To avoid bizui mitzvah with something that was associated with the mitzvah it is sufficient to wrap it in a bag and throw it out.

3) A number of sources indicate that the wicks as well should be burnt as they were also designated for the mitzvah.

4) The oil should not be kept around as we are concerned one may come to use it for his own purposes. If it is kept in a way makes it impossible to use it for his own needs it would seem permissible to save for burning the chametz.

Sources: See Mishna Brura 677:18 with regards to stipulating. The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch indicates the wicks should be burnt as well. See Mishna Brura 677:19 with regards to keeping the oil around.

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