Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction: Temple Menorah Edition

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Last week we featured an interview with Daniel Levin, who wrote a historical thriller about the search for the menorah that stood in the Temple in Jerusalem.

Today, we find out that archeologists have just found the one of the earliest known depictions of the menorah. AP reports:

The menorah was engraved in stone around 2,000 years ago and found in a synagogue recently discovered by the Sea of Galilee.
Priest_prepares_the_Menorah_2_2.jpg
Pottery, coins and tools found at the site indicate the synagogue dates to the period of the second Jewish temple in Jerusalem, where the actual menorah was kept, said archaeologist Dina Avshalom-Gorni of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The artist might have seen the menorah during a pilgrimage and then recreated it in the synagogue, she suggested.

A small number of depictions of the menorah have surfaced from the same period, she said, but this one was unique because it was inside a synagogue and far from Jerusalem, illustrating the link between Jews around Jerusalem and in the Galilee to the north.

The menorah, depicted atop a pedestal with a triangular base, is carved on a stone which was placed in the synagogue’s central hall.

I’m sure the menorah will turn up in some dusty old attic in Rome any day now. The Indiana Jones movie about it will be awesome.

Posted on September 11, 2009

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