25 May 2018

The Menora – Symbol of Israel’s Eternal Flowering by Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher (Parashat Naso, part 2)

11 Sivan 5778

The Menora – Symbol of Israel’s Eternal Flowering
by Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher

Moriah plant (pronounced mohr-ee-AH). Note the resemblance to the 7-branched menora that we were asked to make in the desert, especially evident in the picture to the right. (Source) - CDG

This week's video is posted below the article.

The Menora in the Mishkan was not just a candelabrum to provide light. G-d does not need our light, He is the Light of the Universe. The Menora symbolizes the Eternal Covenant between G-d and the Jewish People. Representing spiritual light, the Menora is a symbol of the unique mission of the Jewish People, as the Prophet Yeshayahu states, “We are to be a Light unto the nations”.

Rabbi S.R. Hirsh writes in his commentary on Parshat Terumah, “The Menora made completely of pure gold, symbolizes the timelessness which, as indicated by the Menora’s form, is to blossom and develop in the Mishkan of G-d through the spirit of G-d’s Torah…the Menora symbolizes eternal goodness and truth.”

According to the Zohar, the Menora represents and symbolizes the “Tree of Knowledge of good and evil” in Gan Eden. This is a remarkable statement in the Zohar because the description of the Menora in Parshat Terumah is completely in botanical terms. For example, the Torah describes the Menora as made of branches, flowers, petals, and cups. (Shmot 25:31-36) According to Kabala, there is a direct relationship between the Menora and a specific plant which grows in the Land of Israel.

In fact, there is a plant native to Israel that bears a striking resemblance to the Menora. The plant is called MORIAH in Hebrew. Different species of this plant grow all over the world, but the species found growing in Israel remarkably resembles the Menora, with seven branches!

The 7 branches of the Menora represent the 7 branches of wisdom and learning. The symbol of the plant as the Menora represents the belief that the Jewish People will not only survive, but we will continue to blossom and prevail forever.

The Menora and the Olive Tree as symbols of peace are seen in the vision of the Prophet Zecharia. Zecharia saw a Menora flanked by two olive trees pouring their oil into the 7 lamps of the Menora. In the 7 flames of the Menorah flickered 7 words which the Angel helped Zecharia to read “LO  B’CHAYIL  V’LO  B’KHOACH  KI  IM  B’RUCHI” “Not by might, nor by power, but by MY SPIRIT!” (Zecharia 4:6)

 Current Events in the Haftarah: Parashat Naso

No comments: