> Weekly Torah Portion > Beginner > Art of Revelation

Menorah Shin

Be'halot'cha (Numbers 8-12 )

by Yoram and Meira Raanan

"Menorah Shin," 2013, acrylic on paper, 42 x 29 cm.

This was the form of the Menorah: It was made of a single piece of beaten gold. Everything from its base to its blossom consisted of a single piece of hammered gold. According to the vision that God showed Moses, so was the Menorah made. (Numbers 8:4)

Even after Moses was shown the Menorah on fire, the midrash tells us he still had difficulty understanding its shape and structure. When this was still unclear to him, one account says that God etched the vision of the Menorah on the palm of his hand (Medrash Tanchuma).

In art, a finished work often reflects the process of its own creation. Painted with fingers dipped in wet paint, the branches of this Menorah actually look like the fingers of a hand lifted in joy. Raanan says that when he paints by hand, his fingers become like magic wands conjuring up images. In the palm of this Menorah-hand, one can see the Hebrew letter shin, which symbolizes the eternal flame of revelation.

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