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Seeing that pure gold cannot remain in its functional shape for everyday use being that it's too bendable, how did the Menorah in the Mishkan not fall apart after a few months? The Torah says the Menorah was chiseled out of one large chunk of pure gold (Shemos 25:31)

וְעָשִׂיתָ מְנֹרַת זָהָב טָהוֹר מִקְשָׁה תֵּעָשֶׂה הַמְּנוֹרָה יְרֵכָהּ וְקָנָהּ גְּבִיעֶיהָ כַּפְתֹּרֶיהָ וּפְרָחֶיהָ מִמֶּנָּה יִהְיוּ׃

You shall make a lampstand of pure gold; the lampstand shall be made of hammered work; its base and its shaft, its cups, calyxes, and petals shall be of one piece.

Note: I'm not asking how the Menorah was made out of pure gold as that may have involved Direct Intervention, rather how did the malleable Menorah have the ability to continue functioning for many years?

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    just a side quote, "The Gemara (Menachos 88b) quotes the opinion of Rav Sheishes that although the Menorah was sculpted out of one piece of solid gold, the lamps which held the oil were separate from the Menorah and were removable. ... Aaron would bend the branches of the Menorah downwards [the gold was sculpted thinly in order to facilitate this], and then reshape the Menorah by bending them back up." torah.org/torah-portion/olas-shabbos-5764-behaaloscha/… – rosends Mar 1 at 18:40
  • @rosends, why is this "just a side quote"? Is this not a complete answer to the original question? Gold is bendy, but Aharon would put it back when it bent. – MichoelR Mar 1 at 19:18
  • @MichoelR, see Rashi there. – Mordechai Mar 1 at 22:00
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According to this Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_parting - it does not appear that the gold alloy used in the mishkan would have been more than 85% gold, and therefore would have been much harder than pure gold.

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    When the Torah says to use "זָהָב טָהוֹר - pure gold" that means 85% gold? I like the answer, but are there any Torah sources who support such an idea? – NJM Mar 1 at 22:09
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    @NJM seems like "pure gold" would have been held to the standards of the time. – Baby Seal Mar 1 at 22:26
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    @NJM It's not physically possible they had anything else. – The GRAPKE Mar 1 at 22:30
  • Interesting! This means that the Temple Institute's menorah is purer than the mishkan;s and Temples' 20k(max) menorahs. – Gary Mar 2 at 4:24
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    @Gary The Temple Institute's menora is gold-covered: "The menorah weighs one-half ton. It contains forty five kilograms of twenty four karat gold." – Isaac Moses Mar 2 at 4:33
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B"H

One of the answers on that link said

Compared to most minerals, gold is very soft. It is still a metal - and you CAN mold it in your hands IF it is a very small and thin piece - leaf gold, or wire gold is thin enough to be manipulated by hand. And gold is easily handled by simple hand tools - almost every other tool humans make is harder than gold.

It is pretty easy to mold also IF you warm it up considerably - you don’t have to get it to a molten state (the melting temperature of gold is actually pretty high), but ‘warm’ gold is much easier to reshape (it would probably be too hot to handle with your bare hands, though). The warmer it gets, the more ‘malleable’ it becomes (like most things).

You can carve it, or engrave it with tools, even when it is cold, though. It is quite soft, for a metal. It isn’t as soft as clay, which you can mold with your bare hands though.


This doesn't seem to apply to the menorah, which was much larger and thicker than a hair strand, as well as being miraculously made in the desert, and in general in future generations it's also kosher with other metals so it's possible there was a slight mixture, but even if not it would seem too big to bend on it's own naturally based on the above link

Blessings and success

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