The Story Behind the Star of David
Any Jewish person would immediately recognize the Magen David -one of the most significant Jewish emblems. But, some may be unfamiliar with its story.
For those who are asking this question, well, the Jewish Star has quite a different meaning in Hebrew.
In Hebrew, the term translates to "shield" or "guard". It is generally believed that the hexagram signifies the shield of King David which was shaped as a hexagram. It is commonly accepted as true, that the unique form of the shield was accountable for the protection of King David, as well as his men, leading them to many victorious battles.
Star of David Today
Over the past few decades, the Magen David has become the single and most recognized representation of the Jewish faith. It can always be notably seen in Jewish homes, as in synagogues. Not only is the Jewish star the sole symbol of the Magen David Adom- the organization for humanitarian - medical - aid, it is also proudly displayed on the Israeli flag.
One of the reasons it is so widely recognized around the world, is due to many Jewish jewelry and Israeli Jewelry items that feature the symbol. Although it seems to have always been extremely common, it actually hadn’t been so at all. It was not until post World War II, that the Magen David was given its distinctive Jewish representation.
At times, the Magen David may be confounded with a special sign associated with King Solomon. Those who are familiar with King Solomon will be aware that he was believed to be a very wise and great king, who left a very impressive legacy. King Solomon, The son of king David, is also attributed with the construction of the very first holy temple, located in Jerusalem. Tradition will have us believe that the King Solomon's seal was actually a very mystical ring that King Solomon used to wear. The fact that the king possessed this ring was said to have been accountable for overpowering demons, and the power to overcome any obstacles.
The Evolution of the Jewish Star: Magen David and the Jews
Prior to the 19th century, the Magen David was not considered an exclusive symbol belonging to the Jewish people. Research indicates that the sign was quite a common means for many religious ceremonies, and which was used to combat evil spirits in various traditions.
So how did the symbol become so prominent in Jewish communities?
It was actually during the 17th and 18th centuries when increasing numbers of Jewish people across Europe started to adopt the Magen David as a means to signify a collective identity amongst them. By the end of the 19th century, the Zionist movement had embraced the sign, confirming its ability to become more widely known and appreciated. In fact, during the Holocaust, the Nazi regiment would use the star as a way to mark or sort those who were Jewish amongst the general population.
It was when in 1948 that the very somber connotations were generally removed from the symbol. As the Jewish state was established it was displayed on the Israeli flag design and at that moment, a new representation was born, as a symbol for collective pride.
If we look at where we are today, it is easy to see that millions of Jewish people from all over the world wear Star of David pendants very proudly indeed.
A golden Star of David necklace is one of the most popular gifts for Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
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