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Israel National Symbols: The Knesset Menorah

It was in the era of the Hasmoneans (the second to first centuries B.C.E.) that the Menorah (the seven branch candelabrum) first served as a national symbol.

Upon the foundation of the State of Israel, it was chosen as its emblem, to symbolize the continuity and eternity of the Jewish People.

The Menorah, which stands in the area in front of the Knesset gates, was designed by the Jewish English sculptor Benno Elkan, and was donated to the Knesset by the members of the British Parliament on April 15, 1956. The subjects depicted on its reliefs are drawn from the Jewish tradition.

The nation is represented as a single whole, which is made up of many links. The glorious spiritual creations of the nation, its influential personalities and the fateful events that befell it, are depicted on the Menorah. The scenes on the Menorah are scattered with no chronological order, where every relief on a branch on the left side is complemented by one on a branch on the right side.

The central branch presents the essence of the Jewish existence, the main elements of its faith and central figures in the life of the nation.

Sources: The Knesset