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The Menorah: From the Bible to Modern Israel

by Steven Fine,
The Jerusalem Post, December 16, 2016

In his 1937 novella The Buried Candelabrum, Stefan Zweig drew on the legend of Procopius, the Byzantine historian, to tell the story of a menorah, part of the spoils taken from the Temple of Jerusalem, and shipped to Rome, where it was depicted on the south panel of the Arch of Titus – and its relevance to the exile of the Jews. In a final twist, Zweig imagined that a Jewish goldsmith fooled the Emperor Justinian and replaced the menorah with a reproduction, so that Jews could return the real object to the Land of Israel, where it was buried on the road from Jaffa to Jerusalem. There it “rests in darkness,” the story concludes, “lost to its people who know no peace in their wanderings through the lands of the Gentiles,” until a time “when the Jews come once more into their own” and the menorah is recovered.


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