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Rachel Hachlili

Research of burials constitutes one of the main reliable sources of information related to various aspects of funerary practices and rituals, and offers a perception of ancient social life and community organization. The material remains of mortuary rituals is effective in reconstructing the history of a society, its religious beliefs and its social outlook. Tombs offer ample data on the artistic taste evinced by funerary architecture and the ornamentation of receptacles and objects.
Changes in Jewish funerary practices did not alter the plan and architecture of the tombs. Though the funerary rites changed from inhumation in coffins and loculi to secondary burial by collecting bones in ossuaries the artifacts associated with these graves did not modify much and indicate that these were culturally and socially identical people.
The study outlines the material preserved in the ancient Jewish cemeteries of the Second Temple period (first century BCE to first century CE) at Jerusalem, Jericho, ‘En Gedi, Qumran and some other tomb sites.

The Menorah, the Ancient Seven-armed Candelabrum

Origin, Form and Significance

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Rachel Hachlili

The menorah was the most important and dominant symbol in Jewish art, both in the Land of Israel and the Diaspora. The menorah was an integral part of the Temple ritual and was the most important of the Temple vessels. Its later representation served the purpose of reminding the Jews of their previous glory as well as their pride in the Temple, and expressed the longing and hope for the renewal of the Temple services and worship. Following the destruction of the Temple, the menorah took on the profound significance of the Temple. It also came to symbolize Judaism, when it was necessary to distinguish synagogues, Jewish tombs, and catacombs from Christian or pagan structures in the Land of Israel and the Diaspora . The menorah image has been found depicted in synagogues, public buildings, homes, and the funerary context throughout the Land of Israel and the Diaspora, leaving no doubt as to which are Jewish structures. The prominent position of the menorah in Jewish art emphasizes its significance.
The book is presenting the art, archaeological, historical and literary evidence for the development, form, meaning, and significance of the menorah during the Second Temple period and the Late Antiquity.