What is the emblem of the State of Israel and how does it connect to Chanukah?
In this activity, we will analyse the emblem of the State of Israel, discover how it was chosen, and connect it to Chanukah.
The Israeli National Emblem
Look at the emblem of the State of Israel.
What elements do you see?
What do you think each of the elements symbolizes?
The Menorah in the Bible
Read the description from the book of Exodus of the menorah that was created and placed in the tabernacle (mishkan) in the desert.
In what ways is the menorah in the emblem similar to the one described in Exodus?
How is it different?
Inspiration of the Emblem in Additional Biblical Sources
What was the inspiration for the rest of the emblem's design?
Read the excerpt from the book of Zechariah to discover additional elements.
The Haftarah for Shabbat Chanukah comes from the book of Zechariah and includes the verses above.
Chanuka, the Menorah and the Emblem
What do you think the connection is between Chanukah and the Haftarah on the Shabbat of Chanukah?
How is this connected to the emblem of the State of Israel?
One of the miracles at the time of the Maccabean revolt was related to the oil for lighting the
menorah in the Temple. There was only enough oil to last one day, and yet, the oil lasted for
What is the difference between the menorah from the miracle and the chanukiya that we light
to commemorate the miracle?
The Menorah on the Arch of Titus
The design of the menorah on the emblem is modelled after the menorah depicted on the Arch of Titus in Rome.
Search for online information about the Arch of Titus.
Why do you think it was chosen as the model for the emblem?
What was the message behind putting that particular menorah on the emblem?
Read about the cartoon below which is found on the National Library of Israel's website.
What does it add to your thoughts about the emblem?
Choosing the Design
Soon after the founding of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948, the government invited the public to submit designs for a national emblem.
Read about the contest and the selection process.
Using the motif of the menorah, design your own emblem for the State of Israel with art materials or an online design programme.