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The Star of David

The Star of David is an ancient symbol in the form of a hexagram (six-pointed star), combined of two superimposed equilateral triangles. In Hebrew this symbol is known as “Magen David”(The Shield of David).

The term “Magen David” was used since 11th century as a name of God of Israel. This title was used independently from the symbol itself. Neither the symbol nor its shape weren’t described in the early Jewish texts.

In the XIX century, emancipated Jews chose the Star of David as their national symbol. During that period, the six-pointed star was adopted by almost all the communities of the Jewish world.

In the 20th century, this symbol became even more connected with Judaism – after it was used by the Nazis to mark Jews for oppression and persecution. After the Holocaust, the Star of David became a part of the National Flag of Israel.

Star of David1

It has become a common symbol on the synagogues and Jewish institutions, on the monuments and gravestones, on the seals and religious items, including curtains covering the Arcs with the Torah Scrolls in the synagogues.

In the modern world, Star of David is the most known and recognized symbol of Judaism and Israel.

There are several explanations regarding the shape of the Star of David.

One of them is that the Star of David reminds the blossoming white lily with six petals. The lily symbolizes Jewish people, as it says in the Song of Songs:

” I am the Rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys” Song of Songs 2:1

There is a more modern view on the Star of David that was suggested by the Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig. In his work “The Star of Redemption” he says that the corners of one of the triangles symbolize creation, revelation and redemption; the other triangle represents the humanity, the world and God.

According to a legend this symbol was depicted on the shields of the soldiers of King David. Other legend says that King David’s shield was in a shape of a six-pointed star.

Today the Star of David is often used in jewelry and as a decoration on various Judaica objects.

The Star of David is worn not only by the Jewish people. Anyone who loves and supports Israel can show that by wearing this meaningful symbol.

 

 

 

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