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Religions that Use Menorahs

Goals

To identify all religions that have ever used either a seven- or nine-candle menorah in worship for marketing purposes.

Early Findings

Preliminary research indicates that the Samaritans, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and possibly Hinduism have used a form of the menorah in worship.
  • The menorah is "essentially considered a Jewish symbol, [but] it also has a history in the Christian world."
  • "The Menorah is often used in Christian artwork, particularly paintings depicting scenes from the life of Jesus."
  • The Samaritans "represented the Menorah along with pagan symbols."
  • "Over the centuries, the menorah became a symbol of the Jewish identity of the Jews scattered throughout the world. But also Christians and even Muslims liked to use this seven-armed symbol."
  • The Muslims used the "gold seven-branch candelabra from the Temple" on coins and other early Islamic artifacts.
  • Researchers have "discovered that menorahs prominently adorned Muslim coins and vessels during the early Islamic period."
  • Hinduism uses a five-lamp pancha diya that is "similar to the menorah lit during Hanukkah."

Proposed next steps:

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