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Star of David origin and meaning

Star Of David Origion and Meaning

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The Star of David origin and meaning has always been a point of intense debate among historians, scholars, and religious preachers. However, it is also known as ‘Magen David’ or ‘Magen.’ One can spell it as Mogen. It is a very revered sign among the Jewish people.

Thus, many places attached to Judaism make use of it. It is made of two equilateral triangles inverted over each other so that it makes a six-point star. One can trace the origination of the Jewish symbols to antiquity when, along with the five-pointed star, it was popular as a decoration or as a magical sign. There are some other interesting aspects of the sign that we shall look into the following sections.

Star of David definition

There are two equilateral triangles in the Star of David that combine to form the shape of a hexagram. Initially, there was no color attached to it, but from the 19th-century onwards, Jews have accepted blue as the unofficial color of the symbol. It is quite prominent at many Jewish tombstones, synagogues, and the State of Israel also makes use of the Star of David flag as the official flag of the nation. 

The Jewish holy books refer to a 12th-century Karaite document that lists a symbol, “Magen Dawid.” It signifies God as the protector of David so that it became popular among the ancient Jewish mystics. The six-pointed stars’ spiritual meaning also attaches magical power to this shield of King David. Perhaps one can consider it to be the earliest definition of the symbol. 

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Star of David history

The symbol was popular as a Jewish decorative motif from antiquity. It may also have been used as an architectural ornament in synagogues. The use of the symbol is evident from the 11th-century onwards in the Tanakh manuscript for the decoration of its carpet page. There is a connection between the Star of David origin and meaning with Prague in the Czech Republic. However, the invention was not in Prague, and it became the main symbol of Judaism in 14th-century Prague. 

The Kabbalists gave a lot of importance to it and attributed magical powers to the symbol. In 1354, the king of Bohemia, Charles IV, allowed the Jewish community to hold a flag with the Star of David on it. Thus, it was the first use of the symbol as an official emblem.

Star of David and Zionism

During the middle and the end of the 19th-century, Jews needed a symbol to represent their cause. Many prominent Jews raised the issue and were in favor of the Star of David.

In 1897, the global Zionist community adopted the Magen David symbol for its first Zionist Congress, and later the Jewish community also endorsed it. During The Holocaust, the Nazis used a yellow Star of David for Jewish identification. In 1939, after the Poland invasion by Germany, the Jews were made to wear the symbol in different ways.

During the early 20th-century, many sportspersons began wearing the symbol to express their Jewish affiliation. Even players of sports clubs like the Philadelphia Spas and the Hakoah Vienna wore the symbol on their uniforms and jerseys to show solidarity with the Jewish cause.  

Star of David meaning

There are many interpretations of the Star of David drawing due to its association with the number seven. Judaism places much religious importance to the number itself as it states that there are six days of creation along with a rest day that is considered as the seventh. Then, there are also the Seven Archangels of God. 

People also attribute to the Jewish Menorah that is itself a traditional symbol that was there in the Temple of Jerusalem. This is due to the symbol’s linkage with light and geometric structure of 3+3+1 that relates to the Menorah’s seven branches. 

Another meaning of the symbol links it to David itself. As the Hebrew spelling, David has three characters, out of which two are “D.” During the ancient period, “D” used to be represented as a triangle like the Greek letter, Delta. Therefore, the symbol may have been a treasure of the family that was created by changing and juxtaposing the two letters. 

In Zoroastrianism, the hexagram is known as the “King’s Star” and is also a popular astrological symbol. Thus, it may also signify the astrological chart during the birth of David or at his anointment as the king. 

Star of David facts

Although there is a link of the Star of David to Zionism in the contemporary period in a massive way, it is also a fact that it was never an exclusively Jewish symbol. The earliest use of it by the Jews can be traced to the medieval Arabic literature done by the Kabbalists.

It found its use in protective amulets where, among the Muslims, it was referred to as the Seal of Solomon. Moreover, long before it was first used in a Jewish synagogue, it was also used as a decorative motif in Christian churches.

One more interesting fact regarding the Star of David is its reference in ‘Siddur.’ ‘Siddur’ is the Jewish prayer book that mentions God of Israel’s title as the “Shield of David.” Before the 19th-century, some Jewish communities used it to identify themselves officially in areas that today comprises the Czech Republic, southern Germany, and Austria.

However, during the 19th-century, it became popular among the Jewish population of Eastern Europe. Its use by the Jewish population was more for representing them and associating with the religion, just like the Christian Cross.

Star of David flag

The Star of David flag is officially the flag of Israel. In the flag, the Star of David is there on a white background between two horizontal blue stripes. The flag represents the Zionist Movement of 1891, and the blue stripes symbolize the ‘tallit’ stripes. ‘Tallit’ is a type of Jewish prayer shawl. The two horizontal blue stripes are also significant as the color blue in Judaism represents purity and God’s glory.

Similarly, white signifies Divine Benevolence. Israel officially announced its flag five months after the country came into existence, on 28th October 1948. Thus, the Star of David origin and meaning assumes importance due to its official adaptation in a country flag.

Star of David in the Bible

There is no mention of the Star of David symbol text in the Bible, but at the same time, its use is not anti-biblical as no author has ever come out to condemn it.

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There is a clear division among scholars, historians, and different traditions on the origins of the symbol. Some of them are of the view that it was the shape of the shield of King David, while others maintain that it was the symbol on the signet ring of King Solomon.

Many researchers also state that a Jewish leader, Bar Kokhba was the first to use it. In AD 132, he led a revolt against the Roman Empire. However, the Bible or its content does not endorse any of these theories.

Star of David funeral home

Followers of Judaism use these funeral homes so that the departed souls can rest in dignity and comfort. Many of them also have the Star of David memorial chapel so that mourners need not go to an alternate place for their prayers. Jewish community members own and operate them, and the Jewish Funeral Directors oversee all types of funeral services and arrangements.

Star of David funeral home is there at many places globally so that Jews can always stay assured of their services. Many of them also feature the Star of David cemetery as Jewish people like to use their services. 

Star of David in Islam

The Star of David’s origin and meaning also reverberates in Islam as there is enough respect for David in Islam as a king as well as a prophet in that religion. Quran mentions his name at least sixteen times as the Biblical king of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah was a link in the long list of prophets who came before Muhammad.

In later Islamic traditions, believers of the faith praise David for his beliefs on fasting and prayers. Thus, David, along with his prophetic son, Solomon, is widely regarded in Islam. 

Moreover, as of the five points of the star, in Islam, it represents the five pillars of the religion. These five pillars make the most important elements of the Muslim faith, and therefore the Star of David is quite significant for the Muslims.

Star of David tattoo

The Star of David tattoo is very popular, especially amongst the younger generation, because it can be made as per their choice and preference. Many tattoo makers also offer to create this tattoo at places that can be easily seen by people. In recent times in Israel, it has become a fashion statement among people to sport this tattoo. 

However, the Star of David tattoo meaning shows the harmony between the real world and the unknown. The symbol can also mean the union between the male and female, just like the Chinese mythological yin and yang symbol.

Apart from appeasement, peace, and harmony, it also stands for Satan as a hexagram is also the Number of the Beast, 666. It is because it has six corners, six triangles, and six hexagon sides. Therefore, it is pertinent to go through the pros and cons of the symbol before making any Star of David tattoo on any body part. 

Star of David gift

The Star of David can be the motif of many gifts, works of art with the Star of David, sculptures (usually not accepted in Judaism) with the Star of David, clothing with the Star of David, jewelry with the Star of David (you can check out some examples here), home decor, hamsa, items for Jewish holidays and also gifts for a Jewish wedding. The variety is huge and almost endless.

Star of David chapel

In the popular Jewish culture, the Star of David chapel assumes significance as people visit the Star of David memorial chapel to pay their obeisance to their God as well as the departed souls. These chapels offer a range of prayer services so that people can pay their obituaries to their loved ones.

There are many Star of David chapels spread across the country, and people can easily visit them as per convenience. People hold funeral services at these chapels as well-trained funeral directors are present here who know how to conduct them as per proper rituals.   

Star of David astrology

Among all the discussions on the symbol, one cannot miss out on the Star of David’s significance in astrology. In astrological terms, it is also called the ‘Creator’s Star’ as, in it, the six points correspond to the days of a week while the center represents Sabbath.

In this formation, the six planets are exactly at sixty degrees apart from each other, with Earth being at the center. This type of astrological formation can usher in massive changes, and the last time that such a formation took place was after World War II. Certainly, a lot of developments happened after that!

Star of David emoji

A lot of users see and use the Star of David as it is very much available virtually on all the digital platforms. It is available in the emoji section as a Star of David symbol text so that users can readily identify it and select as per one’s preference. In a lot of operating systems, it is also known as the ‘Magen David.’ 

However, the look in different digital platforms can vary along with the color and representation, whether within a box or without it. It received approval in 1993 as part of Unicode 1.1, and in 2015 the Star of David emoji was there in Emoji 1.0.

How to draw Star of David

Star of David’s drawing is easy and simple. Anyone with minimum knowledge of drawing or painting can make it with ease. Just making two triangles is enough to complete the drawing, one upright and the other inverted. One can impose the two triangles on each other so that there are six corners to the image. Thus, one can draw the Star of David in this way.

FAQ

The Star of David is a common symbol in Judaism and the popular Jewish culture. Geometrically, one can make it by superimposing two triangles on each other, thus forming a hexagram. Some philosophers have identified attributes to it like for the first triangle, the corners denote creation, discovery, and redemption, while for the other the corners represent the people, Earth, and God. In the contemporary period, it symbolizes Jewish thoughts, although it is not a unique symbol of Judaism.  

A six-point star is similar to the Star of David as a part of Jewish culture. It is also known as the Star of Creation or the Creator’s Star. The six points of the star represent the six days of creation while the center denotes Sabbath. It also represents the six features of God, which include power, majesty, mercy, wisdom, justice, and love. The six-point star is also there on the flag of Israel. People use the symbol in modern-day Judaism and Israel as a representation of their faith and the country.

There are much discussion and debate by scholars and historians at the starting of the Star of David. The earliest evidence suggests a stone bearing hexagram in the arch of a 3rd-4th century synagogue in Galilee. However, that can also be an architectural ornament. It is a Jewish symbol from as back as the early 11th-century for the carpet page decoration of the Tanakh manuscript and the Leningrad Codex of 1008. There is also a “Siddur” from 1512 in Prague that has a large Star of David on its cover. 

Anyone can wear the Star of David, and there is no restriction on wearing the same. However, some people in a few cultures identify it solely with Judaism so that they may not be very comfortable. There is no Star of David offensive, as is otherwise known by people. There is just no harm in wearing the symbol because it represents a lot of thoughts from different communities across the world. Moreover, a lot of people just like to wear it as it feels cool to wear an attractive blue star!

‘Merkaba’ translates to light and is quite a powerful Jewish symbol. It combines two-star tetrahedrons, one of which points down from the universe towards the Earth while the other points up from the Earth. The one pointing down signifies energy coming down to the Earth while the other suggests energy being taken from Earth and going upwards. The upward-pointing tetrahedron rotates clockwise and the other anti-clockwise. In some Jewish holy books, there is mention of the Merkaba and its association with the Star of David, but opinion is fairly divided on the matter. 

The Roman cross is a type of symbolic reference to people’s sacrifice for the greater good of mankind. On the other hand, the Star of David is a Judeo-Christian star. In it, the six-pointed stars’ spiritual meaning at the top represent’s Abraham’s covenant while the bottom triangle represents the other covenant. The star within it stands for God’s single world arrangement, along with the consolidation of heaven and hell. It is a reminder to the fact that there is only one universe, all humans are equal, and God is both the mother and father of all individuals.

In the contemporary period, followers of Judaism wear the Star of David with pride. Jewish people identify with the symbol as, during the Holocaust, every Jew above the age of six was made to wear it with the word ‘Jew’ written inside the triangle. After World War II, Judaism followers took to it, and Israel adopted it on its official country flag. However, people from other religions can also wear the Star of David as there are no mandatory requirements for it.   

The number ‘seven’ has religious significance in Judaism, and the Star of David signifies the six days of creation and the seventh day of rest. Additionally, it also represents the Seven Archangels of God. The symbol relates to light, and the origins can be traced to the ‘Menorah’ for the geometric organization of 3+3+1, which further relates to Menorah’s seven branches. Thus, there are six points in Magen David.

In Christianity, stars signify divine leadership. The Bible has reference to stars both in the literal sense as well as symbolically. Symbolically, it refers to the messengers, leaders, and the angels. It also refers to the leaders of the church who guide people in the correct way to lead life. Stars also stand for the truthfulness and the general good of people. 

There is no definition of stars in the Bible, but there is the purpose of stars in it. It states that stars are “for signs, and seasons, and days, and years.” The Genesis 1:14-18 lists out the accurate description of the purpose of stars.  

As of planets, the Old Testament only mentions about Saturn and Venus apart from Earth. Isaiah 14:12 lists Venus and Jupiter as the “greater and lesser Fortune” in the east; Mercury is known as ‘Neba’ and Mars as ‘Kurtha.’ People have worshipped all of them sometime or the other.  

The Star of David’s origin and meaning vary widely. In astrological circles, it is called the “King’s Star” and is also a pertinent Zoroastrianism astrological symbol. A popular folk story attributes it as the shield of King David. According to the story, two interlocking triangles of leather make the shield, but there is no concrete evidence for it. The Kabbalah of medieval Judaism made it popular by putting the Ten Sephiroth in amulets as per the Sefer Yetzirah, but classical texts of Kabbalah do not support it.

Whatever may be the source of the sign, it is highly revered and regarded by Jewish people for its age-old significance, and that is why the people of Israel have adopted it through the ages.

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