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History of the Holy Temple Menorah

 

History of the Holy Temple Menorah

 

Cast in a Mold?

 

Building the Menorah: Cast in a Mold?

 

Among our sages are those that opine that the menorah which was constructed in the Sinai wilderness was done using the method of casting molten gold. A special field oven was built. The gold would have to be heated up to a temperature of over 1000 degrees Celsius. The molten gold was then transferred to a mold prepared in advance by Betzalel, the artisan assigned by G-d to oversee the creation of all the vessels. After the gold cooled, the mold would be broken and the cast menorah would be removed from it. Much work remained for the artisans, cleaning and refining the cast menorah in order to bring it to a proper finish.

The painting depicts the process described above as it might have looked in the desert. The photo in the top left corner shows a mold prepared for the seven vessels which hold the oil and the wicks for the seven menorah lights. These vessels are separate pieces from the menorah. They would be removed, cleaned, refilled and rekindled each day by the kohanim, as we will learn later.

Next: Building the Menorah: A Third Method

 

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