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leftover chanuka oil and wicks


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Tevet 1, 5775
I am wondering how to properly discard leftover oil and used wicks from Chanukah. I am aware that it is mentioned in Shulchan Aruch that they are to be burned. I live with my parents who are uncomfortable with and nervous about Jewish law and custom and are in general very nervous people. I also live in a mostly non-Jewish neighborhood that is under local police watch. I cannot make a fire in my backyard, and I would also be afraid that a small fire in a public area might draw the attention of police. I am wondering if there are any alternatives or leniencies such as placing the oil and wicks in geniza for instance. I am also concerned that if I take my leftover oil and wicks to some shul that they might be tossed in the garbage.
ב"ה Shalom First allow me to clarify to others who may read this answer, that the oil required to be burned is only the oil which was left in lamps which were lit but for some reason did not burn. The oil left in the bottle or elsewhere which was not dedicated for the mitzvah does not need to be consumed. In regard to your question, I don't think the leftover oil being so much that it can't be placed in an empty food can and be burned without drawing much attention from anybody. Nonetheless, the intention of burning the leftover oil is only to discard it in a respectable way so it is not used for other purposes. Therefore, I have seen a posek who said that the oil can be poured into a bag and then discarded. Similarly, many years ago I heard from Rav Mordechai Eliyahu zt"l , in regard to another Halacha that pouring down the drain of a sink would not be considered disrespectable, and this may apply here too if you cannot burn as written in the Shulchan Aruch. (שו"ע או"ח תרעז: ד) Chanuka Same'ach and Chodesh tov
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