In the first 4 verses of the parsha God commands Moshe to direct Aaron to light the seven branched menorah, and then describes what the menorah is to look like. This theme is continued in the Haftarah. The Haftarah is from the Book of Zechariah. In chapter 4 verses 2 and 3 Zacharaih describes the golden menorah and goes on to say that the menorah is flanked on either side by an olive tree.

The image for this dedication page is inspired by an image from the Cervera Bible, Cervera Spain, 1300. It is an example of early Castilian Hebrew illuminated manuscripts.

An interesting detail- the pedestal of the menorah was, throughout ancient history, rounded with three “feet”. The Arch of Titus shows the pillaged menorah with an angular base. This image from Cervera shows both influences- the three footed menorah of ancient times and the angular influence of the Roman period.



May 23, 2013 · 3:28 am

2 responses to “Be’Ha’alotecha

  1. Savta

    such a beautiful depiction of the olive tree, menorah and using olive oil to light the menorah, I like that the trees are ‘giving’ of their fruit to serve HaShem. I just finished reading the poem Trees by Joyce Kilmer in another blog, reminding us of the infinite difference between our understanding of creation and Hashem.

    • It is a wonderful composition from Spain. And with your insight added to the image we see the tree as more than a natural creation that we can use. It is something Gd created that helps us and serves to make the world more beautiful and integrated.
      I’ll look up Joyce Kilmer’s poem. Shabbat Shalom, Savta.

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