Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Review of Fine, The Menorah

ANOTHER ONE: Book Review: The Menorah, by Dr. Steven Fine (Ari Abrahams, YU Commentator). Excerpt:
The Menorah: From the Bible to Modern Israel by YU’s very own Dr. Steven Fine gives a very rich and detailed history of this majestic religious artifact from the seemingly unfinished description given in p’sukim of the Torah, to the Menorah of the Arch of Titus, emerging as national emblem of the state of Israel and the Jewish people. It was recently published by Harvard University Press in November.

By exploring many artifacts and a vast body of texts, The Menorah, captures the extensive history of the Menorah that was once lit in the Beit Ha’Mikdash and its exile to Rome. Also explored are the intriguing discoveries that a Menorah figure served a lamp that illuminated synagogues for a thousand years after the destruction of the second Beit Ha’Mikdash, and the evolution of the Menorah as a symbol for the return of the Jews to Israel and establishment of the state of Israel after a long and painful exile.
And there's this:
For Steven Fine, The Menorah began as a 12th grade AP Art History Essay in San Diego California, yet it took a career as a historian to cultivate the language skills and understanding of artifacts to complete the work. This book is the life of a scholar. Perhaps the audience for this book is more appropriate for museum-goers than people looking for a page turner to take on their tropical excursion from the New York winter. Yet, any educated and curious person can surely appreciate this book that is filled with plenty of important and intriguing content and stunning pictures.
Good for him. One of my high school projects in San Diego turned into an undergraduate paper at UCLA and then only recently into an actual publication. San Diego seems to be a good place to start these things.