That’s a Menorah that the Temple Institute have made to be used in the Beit Hamikdash iy’h.
There are actually two different opinions as to what the Menorah shoud look like.
Rashi and Rambam believe that the Menorah’s branches were straight, while other commentators including the Ibn Ezra, believe that the branches were curved (like in the picture).
The depiction of the Menorah on the Arch of Titus follows Ibn Ezra’s belief - that the branches were curved.
The Temple Institute obviously followed the opinion of the Ibn Ezra, numerous other commentators and remaining historical/archeological depictions of the Menorah.
This week’s Sidrah describes everything that must be made for the Tabernacle, and in effect, the Temple.
It is particularly significant today, as we approach the End of Days.
There is a famous grammatical contradiction in this week’s Sidrah.
וְעָשׂוּ לִי מִקְדָּשׁ וְשָׁכַנְתִּי בְּתוֹכָם
And they shall make Me a sanctuary and I will dwell in their midst/within them
The word מִקְדָּשׁ- Sanctuary, is a singular noun, however, the second clause sates וְשָׁכַנְתִּי בְּתוֹכָם - I will dwell within them. How could only one Sanctuary be made, yet, G-d dwells in NUMEROUS sanctuaries?
The Torah is eternal and her lessons and laws are eternal. Although here, the Israelites are only commanded to build one Sanctuary, the Tabernacle, effectively, it is an eternal commandment for all the Jewish people. It is the duty of each and every Jew to ensure that his home, is a מקדש מעט - a mini Sanctuary.
This can be achieved in a few ways. For example, trying to keep a Kosher home, filling one’s home with Sefarim,fostering an environment where Torah learning is encouraged, observing Shabbat etc.
However, this concept is not only relevant to the Jewish individual, or the Israelites collectively in the desert. The concept is significant to the State of Israel, as a Jewish state, today.
A Jewish State too, must be a מקדש מעט - a mini Sanctuary. And although, Israel and her government, might not be perfect when it comes to the attitude and laws towards observant people, she must still be praised.
All official government institutions are Kosher.
In many cities in Israel, buses do not run on Shabbat.
Purim and Chanukkah are national holidays.
The work week, corresponds to the Jewish week.
It is illegal for Chametz to be publicly displayed on Passover.
Furthermore, for the first time since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, Israel is once again the world centre of Torah learning. There are thousands of Jewish academic institutions in Israel - Yeshivot, Batei Midrash, Midrashot, Batei Knesset etc.
However, the significance of this week’s Sidrah, runs even deeper.
Within our lifetime, the majority of the world’s Jewry will live in the Land of Israel. This will have a serious impact on Halacha. Many questions will be raised. Can we celebrate the Jubilee year? Can we re-institute a monarchy? Has the Redemption arrived? Can we build a Temple?
In the Old City, there is an institute known as The Temple Institute, that has made all the vessels for the Temple according to Halacha, in preparation for the Messiah. I personally, have had the honour of visiting this institution and I was told that all the vessels are ready. They can be used. All they’re waiting for is the Messiah and the Temple.
The Temple Institute (in Hebrew, Machon HaMikdash), founded in 1987, is a non-profit educational and religious organization located in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. The Institute is dedicated to every aspect of the Biblical commandment to build the Holy Temple of G-d on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem.
Our short-term goal is to rekindle the flame of the Holy Temple in the hearts of mankind through education. Our long-term goal is to do all in our limited power to bring about the building of the Holy Temple in our time.
Thus, the Institute’s efforts include raising public awareness about the Holy Temple, and the central role that it occupies in the spiritual life of mankind. The many areas of activities conducted by the Institute combine research, seminars, publications, and conferences, as well as the production of educational materials.
Below, are photos of vessels, found in this week’s Sidra, that were made by The Temple Institute. They are ready to be used in the Temple.
We have everything ready. We all have all the vessels needed. We have thousands of priests.
Now, we must do our best to make our homes and Israel a מקדש מעט in order to bring Mashiach, במהרה בימינו אמן! speedily in our days!