Lighting the Menorah
The Menorah stands for light, wisdom, and Divine inspiration. In this period of darkness, we welcome the approaching Festival of Lights and the timeless lessons of the Holy Menorah. The Menorah was originally a seven-branched candelabra beaten out of a solid piece of gold that served as one of the sacred vessels in the Holy Temple. The Menorah’s structure also inspires us to embrace holiness. The Menorah begins with a central stem that branches outwards, just as our demeanor, behavior, personality, and especially good deeds should branch out and influence others to illuminate the world around us.
The Menorah teaches us to bring out every soul’s inner Divine light so that we shine internally and externally.
The Seven Lambs of the Menorah
The seven lamps of the Menorah allude to knowledge, with six of the branches representing human wisdom. God said that the Menorah should be gold, but then the sages said "solid gold" with regards to our motive and behavior. In other words, our shining character traits on the inside should reflect the holy actions we take on the outside, and vice versa.
In the middle ages there was a time when Jews were forced to wear physical marks and various forms of stars and shapes became common depending on the region they were living. By the late 1800's the star of David had grown to be the most common symbol to represent Judaism, but the modern usage of the star itself dates back less than 500 years in historical records as a common Jewish symbol.
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