According to the Rebbe (as he is quoted here):
(1) The Rambam's drawing is historically accurate; and
(2) Our menorot, for some reason, are required to look like the Rambam's drawing.
If he ever explained why Chanukka menorot must match the menorah used in the Temple, that explanation is not provided here.
Unfortunately, there are some problems with this....
>> Protest and pictures after the jump
First, a basic error: Why are we certain Rambam was correct? He never saw a Temple Menorah and lived 1000 years after the last one was destroyed. Perhaps he got it wrong? We know that Rambam thought a Temple Menorah had diagonal branches, but why are we positive he was right?
And indeed, here is plenty of credible historical evidence which suggests that he was wrong.
|Engraved Stone, first century Migdal|
|Second Temple period stone tablet from a synagogue in Peki'in, Israel|
|Coin issued by the last Hasmonean king, Mattathias Antigonus.|
|Arch of Titus First Century|
|3rd Century Mosaic Tunisia|
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