There are two ways to fulfill the mitzvah of lighting a Chanukah menorah. The first way is what most of us grew up with—candles. Your second option is what the whole holiday is really about: how the Chanukah miracle happened, and what we fry all our Chanukah treats in: olive oil!Using olive oil for Chanukah candles is considered a ‘hiddur mitzvah.’ It’s going the extra step to beautify the mitzvah. For more information about the spiritual significance of olive oil, check out what Chabad.org has to say about it here.
Here is an easy, oil menorah you can put together with most items you might already have.
Here's what you'll need:
- Glass votives
- watercolor paints or food coloring
- olive oil
- floating wicks (I found mine at our local Judaica store) or order online, here.
Next, I added a few drops of paint to each one.
After each cup has colored water add the olive oil. Don't buy special candle oil--olive oil from your kitchen is perfect.
Pour about 1/8 of an inch in each to burn for thirty minutes. The oil will rise to the top.
The floating wicks float right on top of the oil. Make sure the cork side is facing down.
I thought it would be fun to add snow--I found this at Pier One Imports.
It's crazy stuff--inside the can is a small envelope that looks like salt. After adding water it expands, and in a few minutes and turns into "snow"! You can even reuse it.
The shamash candle is a regular Chanukah candle sitting in a shot glass filled with kosher salt.
So, let there be light!