THE MENORAH

And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same.
And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side.
Exodus 25 vs. 31, 32.et. seq.


The candlelabrum was very important to God: He goes into great detail to describe it and returns to the same topic yet again in Chapter 37. The choice of the actual design which came to be used as the State Emblem occupied many people, and eventually a committee was formed to decide on the final pattern. We have, in fact no definite knowledge of what the original candlestick, demanded by God, actually looked like; the pedestal itself is often depicted in two styles: one a series of three sextagonal bases, each higher one slightly smaller than its predecessor while another opinion shows the base as being somewhat in the shape of a tripod. The nearest I suppose we can come, is that as depicted on Titus' Triumphal Arch in Rome, on which are seen many of the appurtenances of the Temple, being carried away into captivity. The Emblem of the State, however, is a combination of most of the elements which appear in The Bible, flanked by a sprig of the olive tree on either side (see picture below). The topic of the candlelabrum is mentioned allegorically in Zachariah, Chapter 4 v.2.

The Menorah facing the Knesset (Parliament), in Jerusalem, is a gift of the British Government and Peoples to the State of Israel and was designed by the sculptor, Benno Elkan. The bas reliefs shown on the stems represent various scenes and personalities in Jewish history arranged - except, apparently, for one or two central events - arbitrarily.
You can have a look at the bigger picture at the bottom of the page.

The Menorah should not be confused with the similar-looking, but totally different and unrelated "Hannukiah". The "Hannukiah" harks back only to the days of the Maccabean Revolt and the resulting reconsecration of the Temple on 24 Kislev, 164 BCE (around Christmas on the civil calendar). The special oil required for the eternal flame in the Holy of Holies was insufficient; the new supply took eight days to prepare and yet the small remaining amount miraculously lasted the full eight days. Thus was born the "Festival of Lights" - Hannukah - when candles are lit eight days in succession - on the first night one, the second two, then three and so on. The candlestick used for the purpose bears only a superficial resemblance to the Menorah: the Hannukiah has eight branches - four on either side of a central "leader" (or some other artistic design of that basic pattern), as against the three on either side of the Menorah.

The Emblem of Israel

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