Why the Menorah Is the Most Enduring of All Jewish Symbols

At the beginning of this week’s Torah reading of B’ha’alotkha (Numbers 8-12), the Bible gives instructions for the daily kindling of the menorah.

The menorah has long occupied a prominent place in the Jewish imagination. From the time of its placement in the inner courtyard of the Tabernacle in the desert and later of the Temple in Jerusalem, to its rekindling after the Maccabees’ defeat of the Seleucids, to its central position on the Arch of Titus in Rome, to its modern repurposing as the emblem of Jewish revival by the state of Israel, few Jewish symbols have been as familiar or as evocative.

Fray_Juan_Ricci,_Menorah.jpg
Fray Juan Ricci (17th Cent.) Sketch of the Menorah as Described in Exodus

And yet the Bible leaves unstated the significance of the menorah and its seven branches, its importance to the Temple, or its meaning and purpose with respect to the relationship between God and His chosen nation and perhaps beyond. On these matters, an examination of five key scriptural passages can shed light.

The full article may be read in Mosaic Magazine.

One thought on “Why the Menorah Is the Most Enduring of All Jewish Symbols

  1. George Eroes

    “Menorah” is from the same word as Minaret. (Mohammedanism) , The Menorah called “lampstand” in English plays a key role in history and prophecy in Christianity ( LoHanan, Hitgalut ie self-Revelation)..

    Like

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