Star of David & Jewish Symbolism
Ever since the incorporation of the six pointed Star of David as the universal symbol of the Jewish People, the hexagram, a union of two triangles has become accepted as the universal symbol of Judaism, and of the union between the Jewish People and The Creator. This six pointed star, whose origins go back at least two thousand years, has become not only the international symbol of World Jewry, but has become an almost common symbol when referring to either the Jewish People, or to the international Jewish settlement movement known as Zionism. The symbol was also used to rally world Jewry to support causes important to the Jewish people.
The Star of David now is used to denote one of the world's three great monotheistic religions; they being: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The Magen David, the Hebrew term for the Shield of David, is Israel's national emergency health care symbol, as well as the central symbol for its national flag.
The historical symbolism of the star of hexagram goes back to the time of King David when legend says the Israelite warrior king incorporated the hexagram into his personal shield. David's son, Solomon, was said to have used the same symbol in his signet ring, which became known as Seal of Solomon. Much later, the same seal became popular with the study and practice of magic and the supernatural, also known as the occult. It was for this reason that this symbol became a derogatory one during the Middle Ages, and was often used against Jews by the Christian Church. This was particularly true during the period of persecution known as the Spanish or Holy Inquisition.
Despite this, however, the symbol of the six pointed star became more popular among Jewish communities and was incorporated into the artwork and construction of synagogues, as well as on the monuments and grave markers in Jewish cemeteries. With the study of Jewish mysticism, the most well known being the Kabbalah, the hexagram became synonymous with Man's relationship with God as well as with other subjects including those of mystical and metaphysical nature.
With the coming of Zionism, or the belief in a national homeland for the Jewish People, the Star of David obtained even more special significance; one which eventually led to the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine following WWI, and to the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948. The Star of David is now the most commonly used symbol for world Jewry than any other symbol, including the seven branched candlestick, known as the Menorah. The Israel national flag is commonly displayed in most Jewish synagogues, and other institutions worldwide.
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