Let there be light

Let there be light
Photo Credit: Puneet K. Paliwal

Jewish menorah, a seven-headed lamp, is a striking symbol of Israel

Pulkit Srivastava
January 12 , 2015
Less than 1 Min Read

Every street and every brick in Jerusalem resonates with stirring Biblical history and mythology. But, sadly for the traveller looking for interesting mementoes to take home, they also abound in tourist-trap bric-a-bracs. Virtually every streetside kiosk stocks the same-old merchandise: the Star of David, the kippah (skull-cap), Dead Sea salts and skincare products, the flags…I wandered the streets for something different, my despair nearly as much as that of the Jews lost in the wilderness in the Bible. On my last day, while dashing to the airport, I picked up this Jewish menorah (for the equivalent of Rs 450), partly to avoid the guilt of returning home empty-handed. The seven-headed lamp is a striking symbol of Israel. According to the Torah, its design was revealed by God to Moses. The central branch stands for the Divine Light, and the other six represent human wisdom. Today, it stands as a paperweight on my workdesk, a daily reminder of humanity’s eternal yearning to be led from darkness unto light. Or, as we say back home, “tamasoma jyotirgamayah.”

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