Help! I'm stuck in yeshiva, and I need a menorah to light for Chanukah! I didn't bring one from home, and candle lighting is in five minutes -- there's no time to run to a store to buy one, and all of those stores are closed for the day, anyway.

What can I do to make an ad-hoc Chanuka menorah, out of materials on hand?


3 Answers 3


When I was in Yeshiva, I saw someone use empty beer bottles, in which your standard order white Shabbos candles just so happen to be an exact fit. Sorry, I didn't take a picture.

If you don't have 8 beer bottles on hand which can quickly be made into empty beer bottles, we have other problems to deal with.

Happy Chanukah!

  • 5
    I hereby volunteer to generate as many empty beer bottles as necessary for the duration of the holiday.
    – hairboat
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 18:25
  • 1
    Something like what Ari Goldwag does in this video?
    – Scimonster
    Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 12:56

I always remember to bring my own menorah ;-) ....but here are some things I've seen done.

You can use Styrofoam cups, a favorite of my friends':

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Another option would be to use a Styrofoam plate, like this:

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I've also seen some more exotic things, like donuts (aka sufganiyot), or a banana:

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( Note: I don't know if the above two were ever used, but there's no reason why they shouldn't work. )

I've also seen (sorry, no pics for these!) soda cans used, in one of a few ways: either fill an empty can with mostly water, and about half an inch of oil on top, and plop a floating wick in there; put a glass oil cup in the open top of a can; or turn a can upside down, and fill that bottom cavity of the can with oil, and put a floating wick in there.

This isn't so hacky, but a lot of people ignore the fact that a lot of those cases of pre-filled oil cups come with either a small, plastic menorah, or those rubber oil cup holders, which can be used to fill in for a more permanent menorah. ( mine actually didn't, this year )

All of the above probably suffer from some form of issue with hiddur, though that may or may not be a problem ;-)

Happy Chanukah!! :^)

  • What do you recommend using for oil or wicks if you don't have the real thing on hand?
    – hairboat
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 18:24
  • @abbyhairboat That's a good question. You might want to ask that as a new question ;-)
    – Shokhet
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 18:46

Shot glasses filled with pure olive oil, any old thick bit of string for wicks (shoelaces are too smokey, try to use something clean) strung through a bit of foil so they aren't heating the sides of the glass, which would be dangerous. I've seen people put a tiny bit of water at the bottom of their oil glasses to put out the flame when it gets to the bottom rather than heat the glass, but I've seen glasses explode with and without water, so YMMV, but the key is not to have the flame touch the glass.

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