7 Branch Menorahs
The 7 branch menorah is one of the oldest symbols of Judaism. It goes all the way back to the first temple in ancient times, and is still seen frequently today. The 7 branch menorah serves as a reminder of the time of the temples, and is also meant to show the 7 days that it took God to create the earth and everything on it, with the center candle holder being used to represent the day on which God rested, the Sabbath. The 7 branch menorah was first used to light the interior of the temple, with the lamps of the candleholders being filled with olive oil and lit daily.
The tradition is still continued today in synagogues, as well as in homes. 7 branch Menorahs now tend to use either candles or electric bulbs to be lit instead of actual oil, but the purpose is still the same. They can be made from metal or other materials such as gold and silver, and are often decorated to resemble the 7 branch menorah of temple times, or have themes such as the 12 tribes of Israel or flowers. They can be extremely traditional, or have a modern spin, such as those based off of the "Knesset menorah" which was originally designed by Salvador Dali.
World of Judaica offers a variety of options to you, there certainly will be a 7 branch menorah that will be to your liking. They come in a variety of sizes, and typically can be used with the same size candles used for Hanukkah menorahs, although it should be noted that a 7 branch menorah is NOT the same as the 9 branched menorah used for Hanukkah. Learn about the difference between 7 and 9 branch menorahs in our great Jewish blog post. If you are seeking a menorah for Hanukkah (known as a hanukiah), feel free to browse our selection here.
A 7 branch menorah is even one of the symbols of the modern state of Israel. That particular one is based off a relief on a Roman arch which depicts the Romans heading back to their city after ransacking the temple, carrying "spoils" which included the 7 branch menorah. The arch is traced back to 67CE, and that particular menorah has served as an inspiration for many modern models of it.
When you purchase a 7 branch menorah, take a moment to look at the various match boxes and holder we offer, so that you can have an equally impressive way to light your candles to match the beauty of the menorah itself.
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.
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.