Photo Credit: Courtesy The Menorah Project
The Menorah being crafted

A group of 11 German Christians, known as “The Menorah Project,” have come to Jerusalem on Monday with a true-size replica of the Temple menorah seized by the Romans in 70 CE – as it was captured being carried by Jewish slaves on the Arch of Titus in Rome.

The Arch of Titus in Rome / Courtesy The Menorah Project

Now, mind you, that Roman arch celebrating the victory over Jerusalem was built and decorated by craftsmen and artists well ahead of the return of the glorious military victor Titus from Judea, which means they were unlikely to have seen with their own eyes the objects they were carving in stone. Indeed, Maimonides offers a radically different version of what the menorah really looked like, which the Chabad-Lubavitch movement has adopted and emulates around the world every Chanukah – straight arms, none of that curvy Roman nonsense. Still, the gesture of these 11 sweet Germans is heartwarming.

The Menorah Project group with their gold menorah, in front of the Arch of Titus in Rome / Courtesy The Menorah Project

The group introduces itself: “We are 11 (young and young at heart) people from a German-speaking area. Not long ago, we were all strangers which changed quickly through the work on the Menorah Project. Everyone of us has individual talents that, put together, built a dynamic, complete team. We all carry a vision in our hearts. We long for the Christian church to turn back to their roots through the word of truth.”

Ah, this takes me back to the Reformation… Indeed, wherever this project is cited online, it is usually followed by small-scale virtual crusades, execution pyres, mud-slinging, the works. The goyim are unhappy.

The group’s elaborate website states: “The Arch of Titus reminds us of what happened to the Menorah. The triumph of the Romans paved the way for the triumph of the Church. Rome should become the ‘eternal city,’ the ‘new Jerusalem,’ and the Church considered itself as the ‘true Israel.’ Deprived of all promises, only the curse remained valid to the disinherited Jewish people. Pogroms and persecutions pervaded all centuries. When no one expected it, God’s light shone in the darkest hour of Jewish history, and since 1948 the Menorah is depicted on the state emblem of Israel.”

“In 2019 – in the 70th year of the founding of the state of Israel – we want to bring a precious replica of the stolen Menorah, as it is depicted in its weathered form on the arc of Titus, back to Jerusalem,” the 11 Germans declare – off by one year, but who’s counting.

“As a group of young Christians, we accompany the Menorah on its way from Rome to the Eternal City Jerusalem in order to deliver it to the Jewish people. This will take place in connection with the Holocaust Remembrance Day – Yom HaShoah – and the Israeli Independence Day – Yom HaAtzmaut,” they declare, then they add something disturbing but unavoidable: “The nations of the world have received Jesus of Nazareth, who is the Light of the Nations and King of the Jews through the nation of Israel.”

The Menorah Project menorah / Courtesy The Menorah Project

OK, they’re nice goyim, why not stop at that… Especially since they also say: “With the return of the candelabrum we’d like to express our appreciation and our love for the Jewish people together with the request for forgiveness. A sign that perhaps speaks louder and means more than many words.”

And, obviously aware of the dangers of their handiwork turning into a fetish (a.k.a. avoda zara), they note: “The replica of the menorah is not meant to be a cult-objective, but shall find it’s place as a memorial in Jerusalem.” In fact, the menorah was placed on Monday on the grounds of the U. Nahon Museum of Italian Jewish Art, at 25 Hillel Street, in Jerusalem.

Come take a look…