About the Star of David

The Star of David is a universally accepted symbol for the Jewish religion It is found on menorahs and other items that are associated with Jewry. A blue Star of David even adorns the flag of Israel. The original name for this symbol was "Magen David," meaning "Shield of David," referring to God Almighty who protected King David.

  1. Identification

    • The Star of David is a star with six points, or a hexagram. The star is constructed of two triangles, which interlock. Tradition embraces the premise that this star is in the shape of King David's shield and that is where the name "Star of David" comes from. There is no evidence to back this up, and most scholars believe that the star symbolizes the all-encompassing provisions that God chose for his chosen people, the Jews.

    History

    • Beginning around the 17th century, Jews began to use the Star of David on the outside of synagogues. This symbol originally represented the Jewish house of worship, much the same as a cross would represent a Christian church. In 1987, the Star of David was adopted by the Zionist movement. The symbol was used by the Nazis during the Holocaust to distinguish Jews from Gentiles. Nazis forced Jewish victims to display the star on their clothing or on an armband.

    Significance

    • It is said that the six points of the Star of David stand for the six directions in which God's rule covers his children. The points represent north, south, east, west, up and down. The Jewish people have a long and varied history of intimacy with God, and the Star of David symbolizes the completeness of God's protection over his people. It is a reminder that God has stood by these people from earliest biblical times, through their wandering in the wilderness, through the Holocaust and up to the present day.

    Misconceptions

    • Some people assume that the Star of David has always stood as a universal symbol of Judaism, but this is not true. It has only been in the past 200 years that this symbol came to stand for the Jewish religion. The star was rarely seen in early Jewish literature. The symbol has, at times, been confused with occult activities. The hexagon's appearance is similar to a pentagram, which is the five-pointed star used in some occult practices today.

    Theories/Speculation

    • There are many theories surrounding the meaning of the two triangles that make up the Star of David. One theory is that in Kabbalah, or the teaching of the mystical dimension of Judaism, the two triangles represent the struggle that man undergoes between his good nature and his evil nature. Some other experts theorize that the two triangles simply represent the strength that is given to a shield by the use of two interlocking geometric shapes. The triangle has the advantage of offering an inherent stability that other shapes do not.

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  • Photo Credit www.sxc.hu/photo/341245

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