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History of the Menorah
Who constructed the first Menorah?
On the contrary of what many people think and believe, the Jewish nation knows the exact origin and history of the Menorah. In the Bible (Exodus 25:31) it is clearly written how G-D instructed Moses on building the Menorah for the Tabernacle. The Bible quotes exactly all instructions that G-d gave to Moses on how the Menorah should be built. Which material should be used for the Menorah, how high the Menorah should be, how wide the Menorah should be and all other information of the Menorah up to the last minute detail.
What was the design and structure of the first Menorah?
The design of the first Menorah in its entirety is stated in the Bible, we will quote the details; (31)"And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made, even its base, and its shaft; its cups, its knops, and its flowers, shall be of one piece with it. (32) And there shall be six branches going out of the sides thereof: three branches of the candlestick out of the one side thereof, and three branches of the candle-stick out of the other side thereof; (33) three cups made like almond-blossoms in one branch, a knop and a flower; and three cups made like almond-blossoms in the other branch, a knop and a flower; so for the six branches going out of the candlestick. (34) And in the candlestick four cups made like almond-blossoms, the knops thereof, and the flowers thereof. (35) And a knop under two branches of one piece with it, and a knop under two branches of one piece with it, and a knop under two branches of one piece with it, for the six branches going out of the candlestick. (36) Their knops and their branches shall be of one piece with it; the whole of it one beaten work of pure gold. (37) And thou shalt make the lamps thereof, seven; and they shall light the lamps thereof, to give light over against it. (38) And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold. (39) Of a talent of pure gold shall it be made, with all these vessels. (40) And see that thou make them after their pattern, which is being shown thee in the mount.
Who was responsible on igniting the Menorah?
The Menorah was ignited every evening by the High Holy Priest, as G-D instructed. As long as the Jewish nation had a sanctuary, the Menorah was ignited every evening.
When did the Menorah get its eight branches?
The original Menorah was only seven branches. The eight branch Menorah got in to being at the time that the Jewish nation got its Hanukkah Holiday. According to the Talmud, after the desecration of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, when the Maccabees entered the Sanctuary there was only enough sealed (and therefore not desecrated by idolatry) consecrated olive oil left to fuel the eternal flame of the Menorah in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil of the Menorah burned for eight days which was enough time to get new oil as well as finish rebuilding the Temple. The Hanukkah Menorah therefore has not seven, but nine candle holders. The eight side branches of the menorah represent the eight-day celebration of the miracle of oil, while the central branch, called the "Shamash", is used to light the others.
What lessons can be taken from the Menorah?
A great lesson can be seen from the Menorah, that the Menorah had to be made from one block of gold, no welding, no bolts and no joints. However, the Menorah had seven lamps, not just one. The Sages tell us that this aspect of the Menorah, that the menorah had seven branches signifies the diversity of Jewish people ,seven branches, from the far left to the far right. The fact that the Menorah was made of one block of gold emphasizes the fact that despite the diversity, in essence we are all one. No matter what no matter when all Jewish people are one just like the Menorah.
What was the fate of the Menorah from the second Sanctuary?
As it is recorded by the famous Jewish historian Josephus, the Menorah was brought to Rome and carried along during the triumph of the victory that Rome celebrated over the Jewish nation. As to where the Menorah is today there are many theories some say that the Menorah was looted from the city of Rome by one of the vandals. Though no evidents or proven facts are there to show the truth of this theory.
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