Dear Rabbi Kornfeld,
Chag Chanuka Sameach to you and the entire Kollel.
Regarding the opinions that say that the oil for the menorah wasn't consumed until the 8th night, or those that say that although the entire supply of oil was added from the start, only an eighth was consumed each night:
With fuel thus continuing to be available after each night, do they maintain that the menorah continued to burn during the days? Or was it extinguished manually in the mornings, and relit at night?
- Charles Stein
First of all, we'd like to apologize for taking so long to get back to you; we somehow missed your letter.
Your question is indeed an excellent one. In Mor u'Ketzi'ah (by Rav Yakov Emden) on Hilchos Chanukah, he discusses this issue at great length. The Menorah must be relit every day. Also, there is a Mitzvah to empty out the old wicks and burnt oil each day. How did they allow the Menorah to burn for eight days straight without emptying out the oil every day, and spoiling the miracle?
It would seem that if the alternative is to not have any light on the Menorah at all, it is best to allow the Menorah to continue to burn without relighting it. It is not probable that the Menorah was extinguished and relit during this eight day miracle, since then it would not have been proper to relight it with old wicks.
Thanks for sending us your question, and please stay in touch!