A group of 11 young Germans and Europeans marked Israel’s 71st Independence Day by traveling to Jerusalem via Rome to present Mayor Moshe Lion and the State of Israel with a full-sized replica of the Jewish Temple Menorah. Mayor Lion: “This is a deeply moving gesture. You are wonderful and I am deeply grateful.”
In honor of Israel’s 71st year of independence, a group of young Germans and others have created an aluminum and gold plated replica of the golden menorah of the Jewish Temple, as seen on the famous Titus Gate in Rome. Three members of the group are great-grandchildren of SS officers and thus see valuable symbolism in the “menorah” making its way back to Israel.
The menorah weighs 120 kg and was built by the German, Swiss, and Dutch youth over the course of 18 months.
The project was funded entirely funded by donations from thousands of individuals and families from all over Germany, as a symbol of love and reconciliation toward the people of Israel. In just a few months, 120,000 Euro (approx. 500,000 NIS) was collected for the project. Donors include German families that chose to donate golden Jewelry in order to take part in this project of reconciliation.
The seven-branched Menorah made its way symbolically from Germany to Rome, where an honorary ceremony took place on April 26th 2019, right in front of Titus Gate. On April 29, the Menorah was shipped from Italy to Haifa, Israel, and arrived safely with its 11 creators and on May 5th, 2019.
Mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Lion: “This is a deeply moving gesture, you are wonderful, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. There is nothing obvious about us sitting here together with a group of young Germans, between Holocaust Memorial Day and Israel’s Memorial Day and Independence Day, yet here we are, receiving this meaningful gift. I welcome you to stay in Jerusalem for our celebration of Independence and enjoy out eternal capital.”
Luca-Alias Hazel, the project’s initiator and leader, emphasized that the entire project was meant to serve a gesture of good will, reconciliation and solidarity with the city of Jerusalem and the state of Israel: “the seven-branched Menorah is the symbol of the state of Israel. For us, it’s a symbol that speaks volumes, more meaningful than any words. We came here to bless the state of Israel and the Jewish people and grant this modest gift to the city of Jerusalem with an open heart. We wish all Israelis a very happy Independence day.”
According to historian Josephus Flavius, a witness of many of the Jewish Temple’s last known location, the Menorah was brought triumphantly from Jerusalem to Rome after the destruction of the Jewish temple by the Romans in 70 CE. The triumph is documented on the famous Titus Arch, a lone clue to the fate of the Jewish Temple Menorah and other crafts from the Temple. Carvings of Jewish slaves carrying the Menorah and other golden instruments can be seen on the Titus arch, marking the beginning of 2,000 years of exile, concluded by the Holocaust and shortly after, the establishment of the state of Israel. When the state of Israel was established, it was decided that there is there was no more fitting official symbol for the State of Israel than the Golden Menorah.
Photo Credit: Jerusalem Municipality