The Temple Institute: A Day in the Life of the Holy Temple: About the Menorah: A Spiritual Illumination

About the Menorah: A Spiritual Illumination

The menorah can be seen as occupying the most central role of all the sacred vessels, for it is the symbol of light - and the sages refer to Jerusalem as "the light of the world" (B'reishith Rabbah 59). One reason for this is the light of the Menorah, bursting forth from within the sanctuary. For the menorah's light was a spiritual, as well as physical, illumination. Thus the sages teach that the windows in the walls of the sanctuary were constructed differently than any other windows in the world. These were just the opposite of ordinary windows, for what is the normally considered the function of windows? To let the light in. But these windows were in order to let the light the out - to disseminate the spiritual light emanating from the Temple menorah out into the world. The Sanctuary's windows allowed the special ethereal light coming forth from the menorah to burst out to the world from within the hallowed hall.

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