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Seven Branch Menorahs

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Seven Branch Menorahs Guide

The 7 branch menorah is a symbol of Judaism that can be traced back over 2,000 years, to the times of the first temple and even before then. It was carried by the Israelites through the desert before they entered Israel to light the Tabernacle (their place for prayer during their travels) , and once the first temple was built, the 7 branch menorah was kept there.


The 7 branch menorah was often the only source of light within the center of the ancient temple, which had no windows to the outside. On a daily basis, the menorah's lamps would be cleaned, and then lit by the high priest, using only pure olive oil. The lamps were meant to burn throughout the day and night. Despite an equal amount of oil being put in all the lamps, it is said that the central lamp never went out, and so it was used to light the wicks of the other lamps daily. That constantly lit lamp was taken as a miracle, a sign that God was always with the Jewish people, especially in this extremely holy place.

In modern times, synagogues may keep either a traditional 7 branch menorah or a single lamp near where the Torah is kept, providing a constant light source for the holy book.


The design for the traditional 7 branch menorah was revealed to Moses by God in a vision.

"Make a menorah out of pure gold. The menorah should be formed by hammering it. Its base, stem and cups, spheres and flowers must be hammered out of a [single piece of gold]. Six branches shall extend from its sides, three branches on one side of the menorah, and three branches on the other side..."Shemot (Exodus) 25:31-40"

No one is completely sure of the actual size of the original 7 branch menorah, though it is supposed that due to being made out of pure gold, there's only a certain size it could have been. Modern 7 branch menorahs may appear as near replicas based off of an arch in Rome which depicts various scenes of Roman history, including the raiding of the Temple in Jerusalem. Amongst the treasures they took was the 7 branch menorah. The statue on which this image appears dates back to 67CE, so there have been many menorahs over the past two millennia based on it.

Modern Day

With representation all the way back to the origin of Judaism, it is of no surprise that the 7 branch menorah remains of important visual significance for the Jewish people. A 7 branch menorah is on the coat of arms for the state of Israel, and a large one designed by Salvador Dali stands outside the Knesset building in Jerusalem. Another 7 branch menorah can be seen standing at Ben Gurion airport, and in the stained glass windows Marc Chagall designed for Hadassah Hospital. Even outside of Israel, it is used in various places, from holocaust memorials to synagogue windows.

For More Information

For more information on 7 branch menorahs, Hanukkah Menorahs , or Candelabras , feel free to contact out Judaica specialists online or over the phone.

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