It’s said that prior to their being reintroduced to Israel, by importation, that all original menorah trees had been pulled up and burned by earliest conquering armies, with one once sighted on Mt. Tabor never to be found again. That today's Rabbis acknowledge such plants having once thrived in Israel, with the American "Joshua Tree" as its closest cousin, is quite revealing.
With that said, a Menorah Tree has always represented the Old Testament’s God as being a seven-eyed Holy Presence -- this is severely corroborated by God having designed a pure-gold lampstand of the same height and shape as that tree, for installment in the tent-like Holy Tabernacle traveling with the Hebrews (Exodus 25).
Hence, the Tabernacle's golden trophy-stand represents Moses' encounter with God, to remind all of God's promises to the Hebrews through the original tablets..
The Tribe of Levi, established as the priest class of the original twelve tribes of Israel, had been the keepers of the flame through whom the so-called Laws of Moses were administered, but after ten of the tribes were scattered to the earth, leaving Judah and Benjamin alone in the Palestinian countryside, it were through those remaining people that the course of history was changed forever…
For after both the Menorah and the temple were destroyed by invaders and rebuilt in 164BC, the rebuilt, venerated Menorah (also a sign of the "Son's" rebirth) established the tribe of Judah as the Hebrew's new priestly class, for it became Judah and not Levi who kept the trophy's flames, and thus the Hebrew’s faith, alive.
It also rightly set the actual length of a human generation at 20½ years and not the throw-away exaggeration of 40 years as is mistakenly believed.
The Famous Story—
"The golden Holy Menorah, having served Israel as symbol of God, was placed in a brick-and-mortar Temple in Jerusalem later destroyed by invaders. They were eventually driven out, the Temple was reclaimed and the Menorah rebuilt, and when its seven lamp-stations were readied for service, the candelabra remained lit for eight days on one day's ration of oil.”Now, the story begs reasoning for the initial lighting ceremony, because to a thinking person, one day's oil shouldn't have lasted but one day and no longer.
Why didn't the newbie priests await new oil to be processed and packaged for future use? Did they begin the actual dedication ceremonies too soon, perhaps in ecstasy from having God's age-old Menorah finally rebuilt, and then found themselves obligated to keep the fires burning once the test proved efficacious?
Had they misjudged the supply of oil and lit the trophy too early? Or was the story maliciously revised as many in modern semi-biblical writings are?
Or was it just something that God had planned? Because frankly, the miracle of the Menorah's lamp-stations burning for eight days on one day's ration of oil, evidenced the watershed event of God as having shifted royal priesthood from the tribe of Levi to that of Judah.
Over the years since the miracle, and thrilled with a display of God's grace upon them while not yet understanding its significance, joyous Jews have fashioned seven, eight and nine lamp-station Menorahs in all sizes and shapes to commemorate the singular eight-day miracle, by turning it into a communal tradition.
And as since traditions were God's way of keeping important facts remembered down through the ages, all Menorahs, although not to God's original specs, subsequently seem to truly honor God each in its own way, because Menorahs hold an unspoken grandeur few can resist.
Plus, as Menorah truly seems a very real symbol of God, over and above 'The Cross,' it's plain that none are obviously subject to the sort of mockery given christian crosses, are they?
And it's very telling that California cousins of the original Menorah tree were named for the prophet Joshua,who is namesake of the Son-of-God who also given the common name Joshua. He who was pointed to by the eight-day Miracle of the Menorah.