Tag Archives: menorah

Happy Hanukkah (with Nanoblock Menorahs)

Nanoblock menorahs and LEGO minifigure

Nanoblock menorahs (w LEGO minifig for scale)

Happy first night of Hanukkah!  I hope that by now, you have found a just-right menorah to light your holiday. Continue reading

Star Wars PEZ Menorah with Candy Flame

PEZ candles, PEZ flames

PEZ candles, PEZ flames

PEZ Hanukkah menorahs have been a thing for awhile, which means I wasn’t interested in making one, but when my Mom came for a visit bearing a Star Wars Limited Edition PEZ Collector’s Set With 9 Star Wars PEZ Dispensers, what else could I do? Continue reading

Menorahs and other lessons through (literally) Jewish lenses

Stars are crisper in person, I promise. I held the glasses over my camera lens.

Stars are far crisper in person. I held the glasses over my camera lens.

I don’t often tout a store-bought product, but I recently discovered that Jewish Star spectacles are back in production. The holographic lenses convert every focused light source into a Jewish star. Peep at a candle, a ceiling fixture, a lamp, and it becomes a Mogen David. Small light = small star, big light = big star. Imagine looking at a Hanukkah menorah on the 8th night.

Continue reading

Paper Chain Menorah, made by kids

Paper Chain Menorah

Paper Chain Menorah at school entrance

I needed an oversize Hanukkah decoration for our school’s program on Sunday, big enough to be seen across a drab Social Hall. Yesterday, a random Pinterest pic reminded me of an oldie but goodie: a big, paper-chain hanukkiyah. If mounted low enough, it can do double duty as teaching tool: kids can “light” it and practice proper order and blessings. Continue reading

Socket Menorah, instant DIY for the Jewish Garage

instant garage hanukkiyah

garage hanukkiyah in natural habitat

Sockets are instant candleholders.  And a socket holder is an instant Hanukkah menorah base. Thus, the Socket Menorah: instant ritual object for the handyperson or car nut. Continue reading

Oil Menorahs, DIY or Buy

Oil menorah, cheap and visible

Oil menorah, cheap but visible

When I first started doing Jewish holidays I remember being baffled by the Hanukkah candles. Wasn’t the Hanukkah story all about oil? Most every kid’s book highlights the miraculous oil, we fry our latkes and sufganiyot in oil, but every year we (and all the Jews I knew) pull out boxes of multicolored candles to light in honor of the oil.  Shouldn’t we light oil to honor oil? Continue reading

Mini mint menorah (2.25″ wide): The Smalls

Small and Smalls

Smalls are less than half the size of Altoids tins

Last year I made a “curiously tiny” menorah from an Altoids tin. I also made the claim that as menorahs go, you can’t get much smaller.  I was wrong. Continue reading

Elephant Warrior Oil Menorah (with bonus martyr)

Elephant Menorah with Martyr and Matches

Elephant Menorah with Martyr and Matches

Today’s menorah features Eleazar Maccabee (Judah’s little brother) and the elephant that was his downfall (because it fell down on him).

What else would I make with a ziploc bag of spent rifle casings?
With me, anything longer than it is wide is not automatically “Freudian,” it is a menorah component. Continue reading

Hands-on Menorah Quiz (for School, Carnival)

QuizTable

Gelt just for playing, Prize Draw for big winner later

The word “quiz” is instant Carnival buzzkill, right?  Hardly the sort of catchy title to entice kids to a Chanukah Carnival station.  But really, it is a quiz, my activity, not a game.  And if it’s facilitated in the right spirit, it will be fun.  And educational.  And memorable.  I promise. Continue reading

“Oil Crush” synagogue program: Make Oil like a Maccabee

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Olive Crushing Installation

This year, instead of a Chanukah carnival, I envisioned something new, or rather, something very, very old.  Our synagogue Religious School held a Chanukah “Oil Crush” program.  In a nutshell, we made olive oil—shemen zayit—just like the Maccabees, with a commissioned replica of a Hellenistic-era olive crushing installation: crushing wheel, pivot pole (power shaft) and crushing basin.  Students from Pre-K to 7th grade took turns pushing the pole to rotate the crushing wheel over fresh olives straight from the tree (ordered from California).  Continue reading

The Final Menurkey (stick a fork in me, I’m done)

and flesh-colored candles on a bed of gelt.

and flesh-colored candles on a bed of gelt.

I just can’t get worked up about the Hanukkah / Thanksgiving thing. I can’t even bring myself to call the holiday mashup by one of its cute, mashed up names.  However, I did feel duty-bound to create a cheap Menurkey DIY, and then another even cheaper Menurkey.  

But what I really, truly wanted to do was roast a huge Empire Kosher Turkey, shove white turkey frills on the ends of the drumsticks and jab nine Hanukkah candles into the crispy, brown skin on top. Continue reading

Dollar Store Menurkey hack (and Talmudic quandary)

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Some folks are still looking for a cheap turkey to repurpose as a Hanukkah menorah, so here’s one for a buck.  If your once-in-a-lifetime Hanukkah/Thanksgiving needs will be satisfied with a cheap plastic Menurkey, get thee to a Dollar Tree before all the $1 solar-powered turkeys are gone.  Then, pimp that bird with a jumbo craft stick and super-glued birthday candleholders. I added glow-in-the-dark bday candles and Continue reading

Altoids tin Menorah

1/4" hex nuts all in row

Mint-orah

Nine hexnuts glued inside an empty Altoids tin = Travel Menorah.  Or, a Curiously Tiny Menorah.  You can’t get much easier.  Or smaller for that matter. (EDIT: see smaller one here.)  Mine is the classic Altoids size, and it holds—just barely—a row of birthday candles with the Shammash nearby.

I might have to name this a Mint-orah, although my gag reflex is already on the alert.  In the last couple of weeks, I’ve made a Menorah-saur Continue reading

Dormenorah (upcycled LED Menorah for dorm)

You can still kinds see the measurements on the yardstick.

Dorm menorah

An upcycled menorah for a dorm room, made of an old yardstick and plastic Easter eggs.  My cost was zero, because I happened to have eggs left over from the seder plate lesson plan wherein I tried to convince 3rd graders that the brightly-colored, hinged and apparently hilarious objects were, in fact, “beitzim”  and not Easter Eggs.  The eggs ended up as projectiles, as talking eggs (what with the handy hinge) and as unintended take-home favors. Continue reading

Handyman Menorah (DIY “Man-orah” for dorm or home)

Manorahoutsidewick

PVC and pine Menorah

A “Man-orah.”  100%  hardware, rough and ready.  Instant.  Cheap.  Uncomplicated.   Just hacksaw 18.5″ off the end of a pine 1×3, slap some glue on 9 PVC fittings and you’re done.  No need to sand the splinters or remove the printed SKU# with acetone.  That’s for sissies.  LED tealights mean this bad boy is safe for the strictest dorm rooms (“no naked flames”), but Continue reading

Marmite Menorah

Marmite Menorah

Marmite Menorah

The subset of people who love Marmite and who celebrate Hanukkah must be infinitesimal, so I do not expect a ton of hits on this project.  Still, it begged to be created: a Marmite Menorah.  Mmmmmm. The name sounds delicious, so warm and yeasty, like Marmite on challah toast.  My 6 year-old saw this in the window after school today and declared it a “Men-armite.”  (Such a genius.)  Whatever the name, I love the look of flames licking up from the open jars, as if by some miracle Marmite is transformed into fire.   Continue reading

Menurkey, quick and cheap

repurposed kitsch

repurposed craft store turkey

I am not super excited about the “Menurkey” because I didn’t think of it first.  Still, I cannot ignore this once-in-a-lifetime convergence of Hanukkah with Thanksgiving, and I happen to need a commemorative menorah for our religious school Chanukah program.  Sure, I could have supported the worthy Kickstarter Menurkey, but I am a Maker myself and I am the cheapest woman I know. Continue reading

Edible Menorah in a Window

The ol’ Pretzel Stick Menorah is a quick and easy activity for a class or party. It’s educational, it’s fun, and you can eat it.

Lighting the menorah in a window

Lighting the menorah in a window

I did this last year with K through 3rd grade, and everyone loved it, which is a boast I wish I could make about all my lesson plans.  First, we turned off the lights and lit a real oil menorah, with blessings.  This put everyone in a receptive mood and gave a heads-up that there are such things as menorah blessings.  It also provided a real, working model of an object we were about to recreate with food, WHICH IS Continue reading

Menorah-saurus for Mr. Bill

menorahsaurus1

Menorasaur, Menorahsaur, Menorah-saur, Menorah-saurus? Where is the Library of Congress standardized spelling?

I made this little menorah for a friend.

WHY: “Menorah-saurus” was the punchline during a post-prandial chat at Carnegie Deli last month.  Someone—his wits dulled by a surfeit of latkes—remarked that this was the first time “in thousands of years” that Hanukkah and Thanksgiving coincided.  And then my husband snarked an even more egregious anachronism, “Yeah, in the age of the dinosaurs, they used to light a menorah-saurus.”

My latke friend’s gaffe was funny because he happens to be one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, but even so, it wasn’t enough to compel me to unpack the power drill and actually make a menorah-saurus.  What was enough was the fact that he and his wife recently lost their real menorah—along with the rest of the house—in a Colorado wildfire.  Latke Man needed a menorah-saurus pronto, well in time for this year’s untimely Hanukkah.

Speaking of fire, it may not be terribly wise to add lit candles to a plastic toy, so Continue reading

Meatloaf Menorah

MeatloafMenorhcandles1 text
Mmmmmmm, a menorah made of meat, in honor of the Shabbat during Hanukkah.

Actually, I made two:
1) a free-standing meatloaf menorah, and
2) a flat, branched meatloaf menorah (see below). Continue reading