Talk:Menorah (Temple)

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Christmas Menorot?[edit]

I was wondering if anyone had any information on the Menorah's use in Christian traditions? In Iceland, where I come from, you can see electric versions of these in as much as half the windows of apartment blocks and such over Christmas. My grandparents and older family members have these electric versions all over the place during Christmas. Since most of our holiday traditions seem to be Germanic with some Nordic twists, am I right to assume this came from Denmark? Is the symbol still widely used there? What other Christian countries display them, and why?

Thanks in advance.

The little electric versions are becoming popular in Britain too. I think it's a little bit of a 'crossover', with Christians allowing a little 'Jewishness' (or maybe an element of 'old mysticism') back into what has become a very commercialised Christmas. (Ironic I know, but after all I have a Jewish friend who sends Christmas cards to everybody!) Christians are aware that there's some kind of Jewish festival going on during the run-up to our Christmas, and it appears to be a joyful one, not a solemn one. Now I've had a look around the pages for 'Menorah' and 'Hanukiah', but I'll instead tell you what I knew before I went digging.
In a nutshell: "There's a happy Jewish festival during the run-up to Christmas. It's called the 'Festival of Lights'. It's something to do with a miracle at the temple where the oil lasted for eight days when it shouldn't have. You're supposed to put the menorah to shine outside".
I'll have a little Menorah on my windowsill this Christmas. I know it means a different thing to me than it does to Jewish people, but I just hope that Jews do not mis-interpret this as 'stealing' the menorah into our religion (don't forget that Moses meets the burning bush in our religion too :-), and take offence where none is intended. 15:24, 27 September 2007 (UTC)


No offense, but I found the article to be full of contradictory and redundant passages, so I did a considerable amount of editing and re-writing. Benami 02:11, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Sponsianus 21:58, 19 June 2007 (UTC)== Locator ==

The very original menorah is in the Vatican Treasury.

I have heard that myth before, I would be great if you could find a source. Personally I have trouble believe that. The very original menorah (the one by tradition was made by Moses) was probably lost in 586 BC during the destruction of the first temple. Even it survived and was returned by Cyrus, it still would have been lost during Antiochus IV Epiphanes plundering of the temple in 167 BC. Still even if it (or at least the one on the arch of titus) made it to the Vatican it is unlikely to still be there after the Vatican's turbulent history. Jon513 15:03, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

I think the reference to Procopius, that the menorah was brought back to (Byzantine) Jerusalem is wrong. AFAIK he only said that another relic taken from the Vandals, the so called "true cross" of Christ (it was of course nothing of the sort) was sent back to the Patriarch of Jerusalem by emperor Justinian, and it has been suggested that the menorah was brought there at the same time. I fear the iconoclasts, the 8th century Byzantine movement that destroyed most of their 3D religious sculptures, took the menorah from Hagia Sofia and destroyed it. It wasn't there when the crusaders plundered Constantinople in 1204 AD.Sponsianus 21:58, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

If it ever was in Constantinople, I don't think the Iconoclasts would have destroyed it. The Iconoclasts limited their destruction to depictions--both in sculpture and painting--of patriarchs, prophets, and saints, in addition to God, Jesus etc. They based they're objections on the Commandment forbidding graven images. As in Judaism, something like the Menorah would not have caused offense. Nor would have crosses without corpus or other more abstract symbols and shapes. --Mikhelos 05:37, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

BC/BCE AD/CE[edit]

Why do Scholars find it more appropriate to use BCE and CE rather than BC and AD in relation to the Jews? BC means "Before Christ" and Christ was a Jew!! I really am curious as to why they prefer the one over the other. Kitty2008 20:54, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

See WP:MOSDATE and please do not change era notation without consensus. ←Humus sapiens ну? 21:16, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
It's important (for puposes of this discussion) to understand that Christ was not Jesus of Nazareth's last name, but rather is a title derived from a Greek word literally meaning "the anointed one." This corresponds to the Hebrew "Messiah." In other words, "Jesus Christ" literally means "Jesus the Annointed One." Since Judaism fundamentally rejects the assertion that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah, some scholars consider the implied use of the "Christ" title inappropriate to that context. Similarly, "AD" is short for "Anno Domini," latin for "in the year of our Lord." Judaism does not, of course, consider Jesus of Nazareth as "our lord," presenting much the same problem with that term. On a slightly more semantic note, while it is true the Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew, so are many other famous people. From a purely Jewish perspective, it could be argued that there's no better rationale to mark time as before or after Jesus of Nazareth than, say, Sandy Koufax. --Clubjuggle 21:18, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for explaining, but I must say that everyone has their own opinion. I believe that Jesus was the Messiah, and therefore, the Christ. Kitty2008 17:43, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

It's a shame that this issue can sometimes become divisive, when it should actually unite us. Please do not take our counting years from the birth of Jesus as a sign of disrespect. Rather, we count the years from the date when one of your finest began his mission to rescue us gentiles from Paganism. Of course, the Jews had already been 'on side' for thousands of years, so you didn't need a messiah. But we did. Go figure... 18:37, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Fate of the menorah[edit]

most of the paragraph needs to be scrapped.. It is mostly speculation. Nero had to pay his war debts. The menorah was probably melted down to pay the financiers of the jewish war. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:19, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

That's a bit out, Nero was dead by the time the candlestick came to Rome. Vespasian, however, was a remarkably avaricious person and may well have melted it down. (talk) 20:07, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Symbol of hate?[edit]

I have read that the Menorah is a symbol of Jewish racism, and that celebrating Chanukah is a commemoration of a Jewish massacre of Gentiles and is a Jewish nationalist holiday. Not knowing much about thi please can someone explain? Robert C Prenic (talk) 07:31, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

    Do not believe everything you read. In fact, if you read books and articles that spout
    this nonsense, you should believe NOTHING of what you read.  — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kepipesiom (talkcontribs) 21:05, 27 May 2011 (UTC) 


I added information about the nine-branched Menorah, this is the menorah people generally refer to when they are speaking English and thus should be in this article, prehaps Hanukiah should be merged into here. Epson291 (talk) 00:40, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

In Jewish thought the two are VERY separate things. The menorah (7 branchs) is a bibical commandment that is no currently relevant. The hannukiah is of rabbinical origin and is relevant in one holiday. To lump them together confuses the issue. We are not just talking about "Jewish" candle holders but also the commandment to make a menorah, and light it in the temple. Jon513 (talk) 00:56, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
The problem with the "hannukiah" is that it is a modern Israeli word that has only a century of use. Menorah is the word generally used in the English speaking word to apply to a Chanukah candelabrum, and Menorah refers to a Chanukah Menorah more then a Temple Menorah. I don't see why this article can't be sufficently improved to clarify both uses of the term "menorah". And, they are not totally seperate things, the Chanukah menorah is the temple menorah with 2 extra branches for each night of Chanukah. Epson291 (talk) 09:14, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Since there are some people who would search for menorah when they want the article Hanukiah there is a disambig notice on top. An encyclopedia is not an dictionary - it is not here to clarify "terms" but to explain ideas. One article should explain one idea. When there are people with same name there are different articles about them. When words have multiple meanings there are multiple articles (egg (food), egg (biology)) even when there are similarties with them. I know that a menorah and a hunukiah look alike but they are not the same. You cannot use a hanuikah in the Temple; you cannot use a menorah or hanukah. A menorah have very strict requiremnts of what it has to look like (pure gold, the right amount of knobs and decorations), a hanukiah can look like anything and is very much a reflection of modern influences. In fact, I would say that there is very little middle ground between the two. Jon513 (talk) 17:16, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
But the thing, when people search for "menorah" they more often referring to a menorah for Chanukah then a seven branched menorah. They shouldn't have to be then manually directed somewhere else. Wikipedia policy is that the most common use for that term should be its page or else, a disambigation page (ex. egg). For a Google test, searching for Menorah Chanukah OR Hanukkah which yields 1,100,000 results whereas searching for Menorah Temple OR HaMikdash OR Mikdash yields only 278,000 results. Epson291 (talk) 07:04, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
I understand what you are trying to do with the google search but those searches don't mean anything. (The google default is always OR, so all you showed is that the words "Chanukah" and "Hanukkah" is more common than "Temple" and "HaMikdash" and "Mikdash". which doesn't show anything about the use of menorah).
I am glad that you agree that they must be separate articles. The only question left is what the names should be. I suppose there are a few options:
option 1
  • Menorah is for the temple menorah
  • Hanukiah refers to the candalabra used on hanucha.
option 2
option 3
I think option one is the best. Option three is needless confusing when there is already an unabigious term (hannukiah).
I disagree that most people who would search for "menorah" want an article about relatively insignificant candalabra used once a year. The temple menorah has great Jewish symbolism much more than the Hanukiah. It is a menorah - not a hanukiah - which decorates many synagogues. Jon513 (talk) 20:14, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Jon. The Menorah is the 7 branch candelabra discussed in the Torah. The Channukia something completely different. A disambiguation tag is enough to cover the confusion, but Menorah is about the 7 brancher Max613 (talk) 21:41, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

You're mistaken about the Google Search, click here to see the search I did is with all of the words: menorah, and with at least one of the words Chanukah Hanukkah. The default Google behaviour is not an OR. So while not perfect, a "Google test" does some to establish an argument for naming articles.
As for its importance, Chanukah menorah is fairly significant, for example County of Allegheny v. ACLU in the United States established the menorah (the nine branched one) as a 'secular' symbol do to its prevalence as a decoration in the winter season. If we agree they should seperate articles, I think a disambiguation page would suffice, and move this page to Menorah (temple). Epson291 (talk) 03:49, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Either way (option one or two) a person who types "menorah" for hanukiah needs to click again to get where they really want to go. With option two (the disambig page) the person who typed "menorah" to get an article about "menorah" also has to click again! I don't understand what your problem is with a disambiguation link. Jon513 (talk) 11:21, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Beacause the most common use of the word should be what it directs to, not the other way around and 1,100,000 results to 278,000 is quite a difference. Hanukiah is also not an English word, whereas menorah is. Epson291 (talk) 11:33, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I think it's alot more clear this way. Epson291 (talk) 12:33, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Excuse me, I thought we were having a conversation. It is very rude to unilaterally do that before a consensus is formed. Jon513 (talk) 13:38, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Apolgoies, I thought we were based on its usage. Epson291 (talk) 14:05, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Should I propose a move instead? Epson291 (talk) 14:07, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I think the disambig is reasonable. The WP:Naming conventions guideline requires following standard English usage, and it specifically permits the "google test" as an indicator of usage. I don't think it's unreliable here. I think most English speakers would frankly have no clue what a Hanukiah is (those few aware of what a "chanukiah" is would tend to think of it in Hebrew). However, many English speakers would be aware of a Menorah and think of it as something done on Hanukah, with somewhat fewer being aware it was something done in the Temple. I've been very supportive of Hebrew terminology, especially when the literal English translation term was adopted by Christianity or academia and came to take on a very different meaning from the Jewish concept (See e.g. Sabbath and Shabbat, Tithing and Maaser Rishon, Pentecost and Shavuot, Heave offering and Terumah). But here nobody thinks of a Menorah as anything other than the Jewish concept, and there's no danger of confusion. Best, --Shirahadasha (talk) 16:04, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I would therefore support
Option 4

Best, --Shirahadasha (talk) 16:18, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Agree with Shirahadasha. IZAK (talk) 04:02, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the above assessment Epson291 (talk) 06:56, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
SInce nothing else is being discussed, I will move the page. Epson291 (talk) 06:46, 28 December 2007 (UTC)


I removed this picture, while notable, it is of very poor quality. But I'm leaving it here for someone to hopefully replace with a better version. Epson291 (talk) 13:15, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

There is a fairly good one on the Hebrew Wikipeida Epson291 (talk) 15:34, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
This is a link to the English-language version of the Temple Institute's Menorah (on the Temple Institute's own web site) and it's also a very nice picture. There may be licensing issues, but perhaps the Hebrew Wikipedia has already arranged for the necessary permission. Best, --Shirahadasha (talk) 16:25, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Until 2007, this Menorah was displayed in the Cardo. Now it's on a square in front of the Kotel. This is the only picture of it in the Cardo on Wikimedia, but there is another one much more better on hebrew Wikipedia (he:File:Menorat HaZahav.jpg). the photo is taken through a window, and the light of the camera reflect on it. Djampa (talk) 12:47, 14 February 2012 (UTC)


Does anyone here know the dimensions of this new menorah? That might be good to add to the article. Frotz (talk) 10:10, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

there are no dimensions written in the Torah. What do you mean by new menorah? Jon513 (talk) 12:34, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
He is probably referring to the Menorah built by The Temple Institute, which until recently was on display next to the Cardo of the Old City. It is now on display near the steps leading down to the Kotel. I think that the Machon Hamikdash Menorah does deserve mention in the article. Dimensions (even from Rabinic sources) is also apropriate. I'll look them up. Max613 (talk) 17:03, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes. I meant the one made by the Temple Institute. While you're looking things up, would you please find out how the Temple Institute arrived at those dimensions? Frotz (talk) 20:08, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

I would like to know too. :)--Teacherbrock (talk) 23:08, 8 November 2010 (UTC)


I've come accross a mile stone on the old Sarn Helen which is a roman road from North Wales down to South Wales. On the road above Dolgellau Gwynedd I came accross this old milestone on the outskirts of C


The sevenpart minerah is carved on to the old milestones in parts of Gwynedd. Could these been put ther in the Roman times. As they are on an old roman road between Trawsfynydd and Dolgellau in the Coed y Brenin area of Gwynedd. Is It posible to receve any info about this.

Shape and form[edit]

The current article doesn't really try and describe it other than to refer to fairly sketchy information from the Arch of Titus and quoting the Bible extensively. I'd appreciate comments on the followng suggestion, even if it seems speculative :

The Candlestick was made from one talent of gold. This traditionally weigns about 50 kilograms; gold being very dense, this is about 2.5 litres of volume. Since it was to be beaten out of one piece, it therefore seems clear that the candlestick was hollow in order to confer enough strength to the structure. In this way the candlestick ends up somewhat less than a metre high and broad, which is about the same proportions depicted on the arch of Titus. If the candlestick were solid, the branches would have to be quite thin and would have been relatively easily made but also relatively easily damaged. In this way the candelstick turns out somewhat smaller; about 80 cm high and broad, in keeping with the general proportions. This would have made the candlestick easy to light and tend (oil lamps being placed on the tops of the branches), being a little over waist high. The only light in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle came from the candlestick. Contrary to the depiction on the arch of Titus, however, the detailing on the candlestick was far more elaborate. The detailing was all based on features of the almond tree. Under each point where the three pairs of arms left the centre shaft, there was a knop (alternatively: bud); at intervals along the branches and the shaft there were further buds and flowers (cups are in the shape of flowers and can therefore be taken to be identical). Each branch had three buds and flowers, but the centre shaft had four. Each branch and the centre shaft ended in holders for the oil lamps. These were separate from the rest of the candlestick, though made from the same block of gold (Exodus 37:23). There is probably a practical element here, as the tabernacle was transportable at any moment: and clearing out the candlestick cups of oil, which being holy would have involved a ritual carried out by priests, would have been a difficult task if the oil lamps were not removable. The candlestick was in the charge of the Kohathites, who carried and cared for the articles of the tabernacle.

The Temple was a far grander and more elaborate structure and as such needed more light. The role of the candlestick is not mentioned as fully as in the Tabernacle, and there are supplementary candlesticks, ten in number, mentioned as being provided by Solomon.

In the future Temple, as recorded in Revelations, there will be no candlestick, as the permanent presence of God will provide all the light necessary. 19/6/09 Jeremynicholas (talk) 19:19, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

It's not a candelabra or candlesticks[edit]

The very first sentence of this article is mistaken. A Menorah is not a candelabra because it does not use any candles. So is there another name for it, or is it just a Menorah? (talk) 21:09, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

--It was an oil based candle. A candle is simply a source of light. Light is even measured in candles.--Teacherbrock (talk) 15:35, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

The earliest preserved representation?[edit]

It says on the page "The earliest preserved representation of the menorah of the Temple is depicted in a frieze on the Arch of Titus, commemorating his triumphal parade in Rome following the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70".

This is not true. Just look at the Menorah coin of Antigonus (40-37 BCE). File:Menorah-antignos.jpg (talk) 18:45, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

Actually, surprise surprise, they just found a second temple-era depiction of the seven branched menorah on a large, ornately carved stone at a newly-unearthed second-temple-era synagogue beneath Magdala; it was lauded as a massively important find, but nobody seems to know much about it. I only know because the Legionary priest, Fr. Eamon Kelly, who is in charge of the dig came to give a lecture at my school about its importance.


I have added the relevant information and source, but I have to run to class, so it's a bit unpolished and lacks a picture to contrast with the Titus menorah. If anyone would like to have a go at following up this lead it would be wonderful. It is essential to the history of the menorah and quite a significant find in the opinion of the Israeli Antiquities Authority.

TonalHarmony (talk) 21:25, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Stylised tree ?[edit]

Any comments on the claim that the form of the Menorah is intended to be reminiscent of a stylised tree? (Note the detailing from the almond tree, as cited by the commenter above, specified from Exodus 37:17.)

Some have suggested this might even perhaps be a carry-over from the tree symbol of Asherah, historically worshipped (or at least symbolically present) alongside El, and then at times perhaps alongside Yahweh. (eg. Joan E. Taylor The Asherah, the Menorah and the Sacred Tree, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 20(66) 29-54 (June 1995); Dijkstra 2001 p.120, citing Herbert Niehr in this book, 1999). Here's also a 1996 lecture by Ashphodel P. Long.

Francesca Stavrakopoulou thought this worth a passing mention in her BBC series The Bible's Buried Secrets last night.

Is it worth a comment in our article? Jheald (talk) 15:21, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

'Menorah' has 7 letters symbolic of its 7 lamps[edit]

Hanukkah(8 letters) or Chanukah(8) is an eight-day(8) festival(8) like Passover(8). This is a prime example of 'Step 1' of Simple(6,74) English(7,74) Gematria(8,74) where we count the number of letters in a word/name/phrase and give symbolic meaning to it, i.e. 'menorah' has 7 letters and the Temple Menorah has 7 lamps. Anybody got a reference for that? I'll look around. - Ben Hirt — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:01, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

Temple Menorah has 7 lamps and 6 branches[edit]

This article had conflicting references to "seven lamps", "seven branches", and "six branches". The Temple menorah has 7 lamps and 6 branches. The middle lamp - the 4th of 7 from the left or right - is on the trunk of the lampstand, it is not on a branch. This symbolism of 7 lamps, but only 6 branches is also found in the Magen David which is a six-pointed star that forms 7 polygons (6 triangles and one large hexagram). - Ben Hirt — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:11, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

Christian use[edit]

Article needs more discussion of the use of seven-branched menorahs (referencing the Temple) in Christian Churches and art. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:41, 12 March 2013 (UTC)