A thoughtful, informative look at the origins and use of traditional religious symbols. The history of the seven-branched ""menorah,"" frequently used to decorate synagogues, and of the nine-branch ""hanukkiah,"" symbol of Hanukkah, are described; there are clear explanations of the ""pushke"" (charity box), ""tallit,"" ""kipa"" (skullcap), and many less familiar objects, as well as other kinds of symbols, including ideas, numbers, and acts. Weihs's elegantly designed scratchboard illustrations are exceptionally fine. A handsome, useful title. Notes providing biblical citations; bibliography; index.