Monday, May 24, 2021




                                 THE GREAT MENORAH DEBATE


The last Lubavitcher Rebbe R.M.M. Schneersohn zt"l,  
was very insistent that the Menorah be depicted with straight 
and not with curved branches. 

The Rebbe was also insistent for the Chanuka Menorahs to
resemble the Menorah of the בית המקדש by not having curved branches.


The Rebbe's two main proofs that the Menorah's branches were diagonally straight are,

1) Rashi (Shemos 25:32) "לכאן ולכאן באלכסון"
Most read Rashi as stressing that the branches of the menorah were diagonally straight, and negating that they were rounded like an arch.

2) The Oxford manuscript of the Rambam (פהמ"ש מנחות פ"ג) the design of the Menorah. drawn personally by the Rambam where the branches are depicted as straight lines from the stem to the full height of the menorah.

There are others* who argue on the Rebbe. They hold, there is overwhelming evidence that seems to prove that the Menorah's branches were indeed curved

They claim that both proofs of the Rebbe are inconclusive.

1) The word באלכסון does not necessarily mean diagonally 
straight but can also mean diagonally curved.
We find Rashi using the word אלכסון at least twice in the Torah where אלכסון is not a straight line.
במדבר ל" ד: י"א- והירדן מושך-     במדבר ל" ד: ד - בענין גבולות הארץ) 

2) The Rambam writes explicitly in פהמ"ש** that his drawings
are not accurate (using upside-down*** triangles as the גביע
and round instead of oval buttons etc.) His sole intention is
to show how the גביעים כפתורים & פרחים were placed on the
Menorah and not a drawing of the Menorah. We can also
assume that the straight diagonal branches were not
intended to be accurate.

הרב ישראל אריאל  ראש מכון המקדש וראש כולל בית הבחירה*

** ואני מצייר עכשיו הצורה הזאת שהגביעים צורת דבר משולש והכפתור עגולה והפרח חצי עגולה כדי שיהיה קל להצטייר שאין  הכוונהבצורה הזאת להודיע בה צורת הגביע על אמתתו לפי שכבר בארתי אותו לך אבל הכוונה להודיע בה מספר הגביעים וכפתורים והפרחים ומקומותם והשיעור הנשאר מעמוד המנורה שאין בו שום דבר והמקומות שהיו בהן הפרחים והכפתורים וכולה איך היתה וזו היא צורת כל זה:

***The Rebbe explained why the Rambam drew the 
cups upside down because when one drinks from
a full cup one turns it upside down.The שפע from
heaven comes down to כלל ישראל




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