How to Make an Oil Menorah

Chances are you have seen menorahs that use wax candles, but it’s traditional to use oil, just like the Maccabees. You and your family can make a simple oil menorah at home. (Just remember, never leave your lit menorah unattended).

This Activity Works With These Books:


  • 8 glass votives of equal size
  • 1 taller glass votive for the shamash, the helper candle that lights the others
  • Olive oil
  • Floating wicks (found at Judaica stores or online)
  • Wax candle


  • Arrange your votives on a piece of aluminum foil or other heat-safe surface, placing the shamash in the middle.
  • Pour an equal amount of water into each votive, then add a little olive oil to each one — the more you add, the longer it will burn.
  • Place floating wicks on top.
  • With adult supervision, light the wick on the shamash.
  • With a grown-ups help, use the shamash flame to light a wax candle, then use that candle to light the other wicks.
  • Enjoy the lights together.


Make Your Own Menorah Ideas
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