The Year Round Menorah

Now came the next set of instructions. “Take another huge chunk of gold,” said HaShem, “and carve out for Me a golden Menorah with 7 straight branches.”
This Menorah in the Mishkan was not quite the same as the kind you light on Chanukah – the Chanukah Menorah has 8 lights while the Mishkan Menorah had only 7.
HaShem described exactly to Moshe exactly how He wanted it built:
“Decorate the branches of the Menorah with 3 shapes: 22 cups, 11 buttons, and 9 flowers. Set aside a bowl at the top of each branch to hold the oil and place a wick inside each bowl. Only the purest, clearest olive oil may be used for My precious Menorah.”
This was quite a challenge to accomplish. Usually, craftsmen first make the detailed, smaller pieces and then attach them to the main structure. In this instance, Moshe was commanded to carve all the cups, buttons and flowers from one single block of gold, a task difficult for even the most skilled expert!
On top of this Moshe was quite puzzled. He didn’t understand exactly how this special Menorah was to be built.
“I really wish I knew precisely how to build this Menorah. I’m a bit confused and I can’t afford to make one mistake… After all, it’s a Mitzvah from HaShem.”
You know the expression “a picture is worth a thousand words,” so HaShem showed Moshe a Heavenly vision of this Menorah, made of fire.
Moshe began building the Menorah, but still, had a very difficult time. So HaShem told Moshe, “Throw the block of gold into a fire.” Moshe, of course did what he was told and POOF – out came a perfectly shaped Menorah – 7 branches decorated with 22 cups, 11 buttons, and 9 flowers!