After many years since the Rebbe has spoken very strongly, that the Menorah branches were not round, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, wrote “in all the pictures the branches of the menorah are drawn as round, but thus would seem to be a mistake” • Full Article
In light of this week’s parsha, Behaaloscha, which discusses the lighting of the menorah in the Bais Hamikdosh, the discussion of whether the branches of the menorah were round or polygonal was presented to Rav Chaim Kanievsky.
Throughout the generations, it was thought that the branches were circular. A dispute arose after the discovery of a manuscript of the Rambam’s commentary on the Mishnah, with a drawing of the menorah as straight. Experts claimed that despite the drawing, the Rambam never entertained the possibility that the branches were not rounded.
However, in response to a question posed by Rabbi Shmuel Boruch Genuth, Rav Chaim Kanievsky was reported as saying that those who draw the branches of the menorah in a round fashion are mistaken.
Rav Chaim’s response to Reb Shmuel Boruch actually reflects his opinion as recorded in his sefer Baraisa L’meleches HaMishkan (page 28), where he says that “ in all the pictures the branches of the menorah are drawn as round, but thus would seem to be a mistake, as Rashi in Chumash has written that the branches were diagonal.”