Hanukkah is a holiday based on traditions, not commandments. Eat foods fried in olive oil? Tradition. Exchange gifts? Tradition. Try to interest anyone under the age of 18 in a game involving a plastic spinning top? Weird tradition.
There’s really only one big thing the rabbis of the talmud ask us to do for Hanukkah, and that is to “publicize the miracle” by lighting hanukiot and displaying them where they can be seen from the street. The flames, the rabbis tell us, should only be used for publicizing the miracle (i.e. you may not use them to roast marshmallows.)
But what if you don’t have access to a Hanukiah? What if you are a college student or you have a judaica shop phobia, or you’re just really broke? You don’t need a miracle to make it happen.
I give you: the best ideas for do-it-yourself Hanukiot on the internet.
Glowing Mason Jar Hanukiah
I would never, ever write a Pinterest-based listicle without honoring the mason jar. This mason jar hannukiah idea could not possibly be easier.
Pour One Out Hanukiah
“But Forward,” you say. “I’m not a professional jam maker or a blogger from Williamsburg! I don’t have thousands of mason jars lying around my home!” Fair enough. Try shot glasses.
I have travelled the internet far and wide. I have sailed Pinterest boards and circumnavigated Instagram. This scurvy-warding idea from Erin Gleeson is the easiest and cheapest homemade hanukiah out there.
The Zootopia Hanukiah
Cheaper and easier than it looks, and guaranteed to be the heirloom your children will fight over after you die.
Stepping on any part of this Hanukiah will evoke the pain the Hasmoneans felt when threatened by assimilation!
Rustic Recycled Hanukiah
All ya need is baby food jars, pebbles and votive candles. I, for one, keep all of those essentials in my purse.
Chic Bunsen Burner Hanukiah
Another one with baby food jars! This is, I guess, for a person who has a baby but also a lot of time to do crafting and an interest in lighting alcohol-soaked string on fire in their baby’s home. Regardless, look how cute it is! This would also be a great possibility for a childless person who scavenges from her new parent neighbors’ recycling bin.
This hanukiah idea astonished me.
Ah, at last we arrive in the realm of the edible hanukiah. Other great options are: stacked chocolate chip cookie hanukiah, individual marshmallow hanukiah and silver spray-painted Oreo hanukiah.
Go forth and publicize the miracle.
Jenny Singer is a writer for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny