Seven Branched Candelabra

The Problem with a Seven-Branched Candelabra

The Torah prohibits crafting objects which share the same design as the vessels used in the Beis Hamikdash, like the design of a menorah with seven kanim (branches or arms). The question of whether this prohibition applies only to crafting an object in this way, or even to using it or possessing it as well, is the subject of a machlokes (difference of opinion among halachic authorities); in practice, all of the above should be avoided. Some maintain that these restrictions apply to non-Jews also, certainly if they produce it on our behalf. This prohibition would therefore apply to a Chanukah menorah which is missing an arm, and to a seven-branched candelabra—if they are made out of metal (gold, silver, stainless steel, etc.) and, according to most poskim, only if they have a middle arm. This is the case even if other aspects of their design differ from the menorah in the Beis Hamikdash. Some suggest that the problem can be solved by sealing one of the arms of the candelabra, rendering it unusable. #522?

Practical Halacha: One minute a day. By Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, shlita, Mara D'asra and member of the Badatz of Crown Heights.