Israel’s national symbol of the seven branched menorah- as seen on Israel’s emblem. This specific menorah resembles the one found in the Beit HaMikdash- Temple, the one which was the basis for the miracle of Chanukah. The seven branched menorah lasted eight days of being lit with a small jug of oil, which is why we have a nine branched menorah over Hanukah (one branch is the Shamesh– helper). Today, we no longer use the seven branched menorah because it is specially only used in the Beit HaMikdash but the modern nine branched menorah or technichally called, hanukkiah, makes an appearance across Israel over the holiday of Chanukah- from people’s window stills, to shop fronts, to malls and busy street corners. Here’s a look at some of Israel’s most famous and amazing menorahs.
Aside for the massive hanukkiah that stands outside the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City holds an incredible treasure- a massive golden menorah. Created by the Temple Institute, this menorah is an exact replica of the one from the Second Temple and is not to be used until the next Temple. It took years of extensive research and crafting to create this menorah which is over 2 meters (6.5 feet) tall and weighs about one-half ton. The menorah is plated with about 43 kilogram (95 lb) of gold that was hammered out of a single block of solid gold!
One of the world’s largest menorahs stands in the Tel Aviv Port, specially constructed for this time of the year. While it does not technically count as a kosher hanukkiah due to the fact it is electric, this decorative menorah uses over 5,000 LED lightbulbs to light up the boardwalk. Passerbys, diners, and shoppers enjoy the colorful glow and patterns that appear on this menorah, sometimes even featuring selfies from those in the port! The hanukkiah comes to life at night, and is really fun to see.
One of the main themes in the Hanukkah story is turning darkness into light, something that can be seen with the Hanukkiah that sits on the rood of the Sderot yeshiva. Sderot is a city in southern Israel that faces the challenge of being hit with rockets that come from Gaza, as the city is less than two kilometers away from Gaza. For the past decade, leaders of the city have lit a menorah made from actual rockets that fell into Israel- turning darkness into light.
These sentimental menorahs are a huge part of Hanukkah celebration, even if it is just to learn about the miracle of Hanukkah. We currently are living in a time where we need to shine bright to the rest of the world and show our love for others. Have a very happy Chanukah and enjoy spreading the light to the world!