… it appears not only the Romans considered the menorah in the Temple to be curved, not straight:
(Click here for the picture; I don’t know AP’s take on copying their photo material, but I bet they’re not crazy about it.)
Israeli archaeologists have uncovered one of the earliest depictions of a menorah, the seven-branched candelabra that has come to symbolize Judaism, the Israel Antiquities Authority said today.
The menorah was engraved in stone around 2,000 years ago and found in a synagogue recently discovered by the Sea of Galilee. [Full article]
So, what should we learn from that? Maybe that just because some religious authority dreams of something doesn’t mean his dreams reflect facts. And maybe, just maybe, people should never cease to re-evaluate what they get told. Anybody who’s ever carved in stone knows that exact curved lines are far more difficult to carve than straight lines; no Roman artist would have used curved lines in depicting the original menorah to add some personal artistic liberty.