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I have seen numerous different shapes for a menorah. The simplest ones have candles in a straight line. Many have curved branches. The only general requirement that I recall reading in Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (139) (thanks to Ezra for info, on different question) is that the candles must be in a straight line.

I have noticed that all the Chaba"d menorot have the branches emanating from a central post in a diagonal fashion, like the letter V. Why does Chaba"d use only this shape?

I gather that there are a number of interpretations of what the shape of the Temple menorah looked like. In your answer, along with citing the source, explain why they follow this interpretation.

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It follows the sketch that was attributed to the Rambam for the shape of the menorah like is seen in this link and at this link to the Temple Institute.

This was the result of instruction of the Rebbe based upon testimony of the son of the Rambam, Rabbi Avraham ben Moshe in his commentary to parshat Terumah in the Torah. A discussion of the move can be found in the book, "The Visual Culture of Chabad" by Maya Balakirsky Katz on pages 181-186.

  • Sounds like an interesting book. Have you read it? If so, would you recommend it? – DanF Dec 19 '16 at 19:24
  • @DanF No, I haven't read it. I can't make a personal recommendation, but knowing history, if it is accurate is always a good thing. – Yaacov Deane Dec 19 '16 at 19:26

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