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SSI is implemented by placing a special comment in the html. The server scans the page and inserts the required data (in your case, another file) each time the page is requested.
Typically SSI is enabled by using the filename extension .shtml however changing the file name may cause problems with search engines and backlinks. It can be enabled by editing the .htaccess file but that's another story.
<!--#include virtual="/menu.htm" -->
In the example above, menu.htm should be simply an html fragment (no <body> or <head> tags, etc.)
I once purchased some html templates from a company named allwebco and they did all their menus that way. It was very quick and convienient to make menu changes in one place and have all the pages updated. ...not to mention I didn't have to set up SSI.
Now that I know how to use SSI, I stopped using the java method. If your hosting provider does not do SSI you might consider the java alternative.
Let me know if you need examples.