temple emanu-el
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Collection Highlights

Germany or Italy, 14th century
Bronze, cast

Chanukah is called the “Feast of Rededication,” and with the lighting of the menorah, one reenacts the rekindling of the light in the Temple. The grotesque animal in the center medallion has been interpreted as a salamander (the symbol of fire) or as a phoenix (the bird that is reborn from its own ashes). Both interpretations provide appropriate metaphors for the lighting of a Chanukah lamp. The inscription below the medallions is the verse, “For the commandment is a lamp and Torah is light.”

Before being acquired by the Lehman family, this rare, medieval lamp belonged in the collection of Dr. Albert Figdor of Vienna.

Bequest of Judge Irving Lehman, 1945

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