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    Tilting lights – B’ha’alot’cha

    The menorah which stood in the sanctuary (Num. chapter 8) was the characteristic Jewish logo long before the Shield of David was known.

    It was really a better emblem, not simply because of the spiritual and intellectual symbolism of light but because the shape of the menorah represented the Jewish people.

    Each of its seven branches was separate and independent, but they all needed each other. The side branches all tilted slightly towards the central shaft, indicating that every Jewish individual was unique and had their own personality and talents, and at the same time they were all bound up with one another.

    This characteristic of the menorah also symbolised an idea about which the 20th century philosopher Emmanuel Levinas wrote in a study entitled “Revelation in the Jewish Tradition”.

    Levinas noted that more or less every Jew had their own take on Jewish identity and values and said, “The multiplicity of people each of them indispensable, is necessary to produce all the dimensions of meaning.”

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