Hanukkah lamp with depiction of flaming altar flanked by lions | The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
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Hanukkah lamp with depiction of flaming altar flanked by lions

Hanukkah lamp with depiction of flaming altar flanked by lions

Hanukkah lamp with depiction of flaming altar flanked by lions

Bronze, cast

Inscribed in Hebrew: "For the commandment is a lamp, and the teaching [Hebrew: "Torah"] is light" (Proverbs 6:23)

H: 13.5; W: 16.2 cm

The Stieglitz Collection was donated to the Museum with the contribution of Erica and Ludwig Jesselson, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum

Accession number:

B86.0013

118/853

Jewish Art and Life

A flaming altar similar to the one adorning this Hanukkah lamp appears on "fake shekels," minted from the 15th century onward in different parts of Europe. These shekels were sold to pilgrims visiting the Holy Land, as if they were the authentic coins paid as bribery to Judas Iscariot for his betrayal of Jesus. The design was based on Nachmanides’s erroneous interpretation of the urn which appeared on the ancient shekels as the "incense altar."

From the Israel Museum publications:

Benjamin, Chaya, The Stieglitz Collection: Masterpieces of Jewish Art, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1987, English / Hebrew