Jewish symbolism

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Ceiling of Gwoździec Synagogue.

Jewish symbolism embraces to a wide range of symbols related to Judaism and Jewish culture.



Temple menorah.
Hanukkah menorah.
  • The terms used for this metal are either ba'aẓ or avaẓ, kassitera, kassiteron, and gassiteron (Gr. κασσίτερος). Both ba'aẓ and kassitera are used in the same passages (Men. 28b and elsewhere), which implies that they were two different metals or kinds of the same metal. The Temple menorah was not to be made of them, but when the Hasmoneans cleansed the Temple and needed a new menorah (the golden one having been carried off by Antiochus IV), they made it of seven spears plated with tin. It was forbidden to make weights out of metal – tin and lead being mentioned specially – because metal wears away. The traveler Pethahiah of Regensburg (12th century) reports that in Babylonia people were summoned to synagogue by a tin instrument. In the later Middle Ages up to modern times tin was used extensively for artistic ritual objects such as Ḥanukkah menorot, seder, Kiddush, and Havdalah plates, etc.

Four species[edit]

The four species.
  • The four species are all plants that need an abundance of water, and at the end of Sukkot, prayers for rain will be said.
    • Arye Forta: Judaism, p. 55



Star of David[edit]

Main article: Star of David
The Star of David.
  • According to one theory, the six-pointed "shield of David" which adorns the modern Israeli flag, started to become a national symbol with David al-Roy's crusade. "Ever since," writes Baron, "it has been suggested, the six-cornered 'shield of David', theretofore mainly a decorative motif or a magical emblem, began its career toward becoming the chief national-religious symbol of Judaism. Long used interchangeably with the pentagram or the 'Seal of Solomon', it was attributed to David in mystic and ethical German writings from the thirteenth century on, and appeared on the Jewish flag in Prague in 1527."


Shin on a mezuzah.
See also: El Shaddai


The Tetragrammaton.
Main article: Tetragrammaton
  • When a man pronounces the Tetragrammaton, write the Cabalists, the nine heavens are shaken, and all the spirits cry out to each other: "Who thus disturbs the kingdom of heaven?" And then the earth reveals to the first heaven the sins of the foolhardy person who took the eternal one's name in vain, and the accusing Verb is transmitted from circle to circle, from star to star, and from hierarchy to hierarchy.

Tablets of Stone[edit]

The Tablets of Stone.
See also: Ten Commandments
  • The children of Israel received without idealisation the statements of their great lawgiver. To them the tables of the law were true tablets of stone, prepared, engraved, broken, and re-engraved; while the graving tool which thus inscribed the law was held undoubtingly to be the finger of God.

Tree of Life[edit]

The Tree of Life.
  • The object of the theoretical (as separate from the practical) Qabalah, insofar as this thesis is concerned, is to enable the student to do three main things: First, to analyze every idea in terms of the Tree of Life. Second, to trace a necessary connection and relation between every and any class of ideas by referring them to this standard of comparison. Third, to translate any unknown system of symbolism into terms of any known one by its means.


  • Hearing that the woman will bear children, the only good news in God's grim prophecy of the dismal human future (sorrow, sweat, toil, and death), he grasps at this straw of hope, renaming the woman Eve (Chavah), because she is the mother of all living (chai). From Adam's hopefulness, Eve gets the first genuinely proper name in the Bible.
    • Leon R. Kass: Leading a Worthy Life: Finding Meaning in Modern Times, referencing Genesis 3:20


The Flag of Israel.
See also: Flag of Israel
Terms such as Jewish flag, flag of Judaism and flag of the Jews are often used as synonyms for the flag of Israel (also known as the Zionist flag prior to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948), but at times have referred to other designs meant to refer in whole or part to Jews as an ethnicity or religion.

Quotes about flags and Judaism[edit]

  • 1648, .. Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II gave the Jews of Prague permission to fly a “Jewish flag” over their synagogue, in recognition of their part in saving the city from the Swedish invaders, who besieged the city as part of the 30 Years War. This "Jewish flag” was red with a yellow Star of David at its center.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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