Why is the Star of David used as a universal Jewish symbol?
I'm doing a project for school and I can't find any specific reason for it being used as a Jewish symbol. I also want to know what the symbolism of it as a Jewish symbol is.
- gatitaLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
The Star of David is a widely recognized symbol of Judaism, named after King David of ancient Israel, which consists of two interlocking equilateral triangles. According to legend, the Star of David may have originated from the Shield of David (known as the Magen David in Hebrew, מָגֵן דָּוִד). It may also have evolved from the mysterious Seal of Solomon (five-pointed star) that was used in the ancient world as a talisman. However, the star's pedigree as a common Jewish symbol did not become widespread until the late Middle Ages. Since that time, it has become one of the defining symbols of Judaism along with the more ancient symbol of the Menorah. The star has been used to adorn the cover of the Torah, and it is found on Jewish synagogues and tombstones.
While the symbol has had a varied emotional history for the Jewish people due to its association with the Holocaust (when it was used by the Nazis to stigmatize Jews), the Star of David continues to be a heroic symbol for many Jews today. It was adopted as the main symbol on the modern flag of the State of Israel created in 1948.
There are several interpretations of the meaning of the Star of David. Most frequently, the star is associated with the number seven (derived from the six points plus the center). This number has considerable religious significance in Judaism, which can be noted in several examples including the six days of Creation plus the seventh day of rest, as well as the Seven Archangels of God. In the same vein, the Star of David may have evolved as an abstract symbol of the Menorah (the more traditional symbol for Judaism that once stood in the Temple of Jerusalem), due to its association with light as well as its geometric organization into 3+3+1, which corresponds to the seven branches of the Menorah.
For more info check the web sites, there is a lack of space to provide further information.
Apostolic Believer In One God, JesusSource(s): http;//www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/star.html http://www.www.menorah.org/starofdavid.html http://www.judaism.about.com/od/judaismbasics/a/st... http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Star_of_...
- Kennedy Flair †Lv 61 decade ago
The Magen David (Shield of David, or as it is more commonly known, the Star of David) is the symbol most commonly associated with Judaism today, but it is actually a relatively new Jewish symbol. It is supposed to represent the shape of King David's shield (or perhaps the emblem on it), but there is really no support for that claim in any early rabbinic literature. The symbol is not mentioned in rabbinic literature until the middle ages, and is so rare in early Jewish literature and artwork that art dealers suspect forgery if they find the symbol in early Jewish works.
Scholars such as Franz Rosenzweig have attributed deep theological significance to the symbol. For example, some note that the top triangle strives upward, toward G-d, while the lower triangle strives downward, toward the real world. Some note that the intertwining makes the triangles inseparable, like the Jewish people. Some say that the three sides represent the three types of Jews: Kohanim, Levites and Israel. Some note that there are actually 12 sides (3 exterior and 3 interior on each triangle), representing the 12 tribes. While these theories are theologically interesting, they have little basis in historical fact.
The symbol of intertwined equilateral triangles is a common one in the Middle East and North Africa, and is thought to bring good luck. It appears occasionally in early Jewish artwork, but never as an exclusively Jewish symbol. The nearest thing to an "official" Jewish symbol at the time was the menorah.
In the middle ages, Jews often were required to wear badges to identify themselves as Jews, much as they were in Nazi Germany, but these Jewish badges were not always the familiar Magen David. For example, a fifteenth century painting by Nuno Goncalves features a rabbi wearing a six-pointed badge that looks more or less like an asterisk.
In the 17th century, it became a popular practice to put Magen Davids on the outside of synagogues, to identify them as Jewish houses of worship in much the same way that a cross identified a Christian house of worship; however, I have never seen any explanation of why this symbol was chosen, rather than some other symbol.
Hope I helped.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
There is no reference to the star (or shield) of David in the Bible. There are several rabbinical tales as to the origin of the Star of David. These range from the star being the shape of King David's shield, to being the symbol on King Solomon's signet (seal) ring, to being an invention of Bar Kokhba, the Jewish leader who led what is known as the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire in 132 AD. Mekubbalim (followers of Kabbala) claim that the symbol has magical powers. There is no explicit historical or archaeological support for any of those claims.
The star consists of two intertwined triangles: one pointing up to God and the other pointing down to man, symbolizing the relationship between the two - "the interpenetration of two realms" (source: Franz Rosenzweig, Star of Redemption, 1912). The six points are said by Rosenzweig to represent two triads: creation, revelation, and redemption, along with God, Israel, and the Gentile world. These are alternatively characterized by Eder as representing the six aspects of the Divine Spirit as per Isaiah 11:2 (Eder, The Star of David, p. 73). Kabbala teaches that the six points indicate the extent of God’s sovereignty (north, south, east, west, up, and down). The star has 12 lines about its perimeter, possibly representing the 12 Tribes of Israel.
The earliest archaeological finds bearing the sign are a Jew's tombstone in Tarentum, Italy, dating to the 3rd Century and its appearance on the wall of a 6th Century synagogue within the borders of ancient Israel. It was used quite infrequently until its official adoption by Jews in Prague in the 17th Century and later by the Zionist movement in 1897. Nazi Germany used the symbol to mark Jews within their borders, and after much debate, it came to be used on the national flag of reconstituted Israel in 1948. As a result, the Star of David is now universally recognized as a representation of Judaism, Israel, and Zionism.Source(s): Salvation is from the Jews: Role of Judaism in Salvation History from Abraham to the Second Coming by Roy Schoeman.
- jtrusnikLv 71 decade ago
Back in college, I had a class in comparative religion where we were taught that David used a 6-pointed shield in battle, which was later adopted as a Jewish symbol as a reference to him.
However, this was mentioned by the professor in passing. I don't know what his source was.
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- HatikvahLv 71 decade ago
European Christians kept Jews confined in ghettos for many centuries, making them wear strange headgear and large yellow Stars of David on their clothing whenever leaving the ghetto so that Christians would not be contaminated by the "sub-humans."
We continue to wear the Magen David proudly to this day.
(It was Napoleon Bonaparte who freed the Jews from ghettos.)
- ?Lv 41 decade ago
Because it looks good
- RWRLv 51 decade ago
This should give you the answers http://judaism.about.com/od/judaismbasics/a/starof...