In the culture of the Hebrew people, the word Menorah means lamp. It is a popular symbol in the Jewish religious beliefs which was originated in the Menorah of the Temple in the place of Jerusalem. It is considered as a sacred candelabrum which is composed of seven branches. In the Northern Israel, the shape and structure of the Menorah was found as mosaics. In addition to this, there are also tombstones which were engraved with Menorahs in the region of Middle East and Europe.
As a matter of fact, in the Jewish society, Menorahs also serve as a decoration in several things like in walls, doorways, institutions, as well as stationary of significant establishments of today’s generation. Meanwhile, there are two types of Menorahs, the Mishkan Menorah and the Chanukah Menorah.
The essence of the Mishkan Menorah
The Mishkan Menorah was the first Menorah that was made by Bezalel as detailed in the book of Exodus for the Mishkan, a portable temple. It was created with a single block of gold. It is composed of seven branches that have a middle one and three on both sides. The Menorah is located facing a table which has twelve show-breads. The maintenance and the lighting of the Menorah is the main responsibility of the High Priest. The Jewish people lit the Menorah every day.
The Menorah is also used to celebrate Chanukah. The Chanukah is an important holiday in the Jewish culture that is celebrated within eight days. Unlike the Mishkan Menorah, the Chanukah is
composed of nine branches, one that is used to light the others and another one for each day of the significant holiday. The lit of the Chanukah Menorah symbolizes the celebration of the Maccabean victory against the Seleucids. It also signifies for the commemoration of the miracle oil that must be lasted for a day but lasted for eight days. The story of the Maccabean victory happened during the time when the people have been reformed the Temple and the Maccabees had found a jug of oil. They were amazed because the jug contains oil that can last for a day only, but it lasted for eight days. With this, they believed that a miracle really happens during those times.
The true meaning of Menorah for the now generation
After the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple, the people of Jerusalem made the Menorah as their very important symbol until now. In the Jewish community, the valuable Menorah serves as an important part of their history that reminds them about the Temple times. In addition to this, it also serves as their icon of inspiration and future hope in life. It is now considered as a modern symbol in the land of Israel. It also symbolizes the final redemption in the religious beliefs of the Jewish community.
In the meantime, the Menorah is also considered as a valuable gift for others especially during special occasions in relation to their religion.