Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Magen David

Five years ago my son imported from India folded paper star shaped lampshades. There were times when the main street of the old city in Jerusalem was lighted by hundreds of those colorful lampshades. It was a beautiful scene. Many people came to us saying that if the lampshades were six pointed it could have looked like a three dimension Magen David. So we started improvising with the material of our Indian lampshades and a few days ago we got the first shipment of the new gold and silver three dimensions Magen David from the manufacturer. You are invited to view them as a slide show on Flickr.

That’s why I decided to test the new version of QTSaver by checking out what I'll get for the keyword Magen David…
The Star of David (Magen David in Hebrew or Mogen Dovid in Ashkenazi Hebrew, Shield of David, Solomon's Seal, or Seal of Solomon) is a generally recognized symbol of Judaism and Jewish identity.
Jewish lore also links the symbol to a magic shield owned by King David that protected him from enemies. Following Jewish emancipation after the French revolution, Jewish communities chose the Star of David to represent themselves, comparable to the cross used by most Christians. The star is found on the flag of Israel.
Some Orthodox Jewish groups reject the use of the hexagram because of its association with "magic" and the "occult". Yet the Star of David remains an important symbol within legitimate Jewish mysticism and the Kabbalah. Some Haredi groups, such as Neturei Karta, reject it because of its association with Zionism.
A Star of David, often yellow-colored, was used by the Nazis, during the Holocaust, as a method of identifying Jews, as it was seen as the "Jewish Star". The requirement to wear the Star of David with the word Jude (German for Jew) inscribed, was extended to all Jews over the age of 6 in German-occupied areas on September 6, 1941.
Some maintain that the "Star of David" is actually the letter "Dalet" (corresponding to Greek "Delta") from the Proto-Hebrew alphabet (abjad). Perhaps standing for the name "David", the second letter is inverted to form the hexagram.
Others claim that the star of David is, in actuality, modeled after the Merkaba.
The Star of David, or magen David ('Shield of David'), is a six-pointed star formed by two interlocking equilateral triangles. It gets its name from the tradition that David carried a hexagram-shaped shield during his defeat of the giant Goliath. The more mystical aspects of the symbol are discussed in our exploration of the hexagram. Like the Taoist symbol for Yin and Yang, the hexagram is suggestive of an overriding unity and a union of opposites, and it is a potent symbol of the macrocosm (God, the Universe or Higher Energies), and of the relationship between the macrocosm and the microcosm (Humankind, the Earth or Manifest Energies).
The Star of David is sometimes known as the Creator's Star, in which each of the six points represents a day of the week and the center corresponds to the Sabbath. It is a strong symbol of Jewish identity, and remained so even during the dark days of Nazi persecution when Jews were forced to wear a yellow hexagram as an identifier. The Star was incorporated into the flag of the State of Israel (right) in 1948.
Jewish symbol, a six-pointed star used on flag of Israel; in Hebrew called Magen David (Shield of David), signifying God as the protector of David; ancient symbol historically used as magical symbol or decoration among many peoples; although it has no biblical or Talmudic authority, came into prominent use during Middle Ages among Jewish mystics, who ascribed magical…
The evolution of the six-pointed Jewish star, the "Magen David," literally the "Shield of David." also known as the hexagram, or more rarely, *Solomon's Seal, is long and complex. Although it is now the most common and universally recognized sign of Judaism and Jewish identity, both within and outside of the Jewish community, it has only achieved this status in the last two hundred years.
A similar flag remains to this day in the Altneuschul, the oldest synagogue in Prague. From Prague, the "Magen David" spread to the Jewish communities of Moravia and Bohemia, and then eventually to Eastern Europe. In 17th-century Vienna, the Jewish quarter was separated from the Christian quarter by a boundary stone inscribed with a hexagram on one side and a cross on the other, the first instance of the six-pointed star being used to represent Judaism as a whole, rather than an individual community.
The most familiar depiction of the Jewish Cabala symbol is the six-pointed star symbol officially used by the Jewish Zionists since 1897 and incorporated as their emblem on their Jewish government’s flag.
The Sun [Shemesh] is as a King who sits upon his throne in the center of the planetary archetypes, reconciling all opposites in the Sephira Tipheret on the Etz Chaim, or Tree of Life. The six pointed interlaced Star [Mogen Dovid] is the Image of Universal Synthesis constituting the Supreme Hermetic Analogy of Opposites. Tipheret should be the natural place of consciousness of MAN on the Etz Chaim or Tree of Life, as MAN represents the union of that which is inferior and also that which is superior.
A six-pointed star is basically two overlapping triangles and there are many ways of drawing and arranging them. We've already drawn and charted a star, but if you want to try doing your own, here's how.
To get the second triangle connect points A - B, B - C and C - A. The result is a six-pointed star which will be exactly the same height and width. The problem with this star is that to our eyes it looks like it is wider than it is tall.
You can also draw a six-pointed star by beginning with a circle. If you have studied geometry in school, you already know how to divide a circle into six sections using a compass.
In the center of the borders at the top is the candlestick and candle, symbolizing the "Light of the World," and the six-pointed star, symbol of Creation.
One thing I can say with dogmatism about Acts 7:43 is that the star is not the star of David. For one thing, the star of David as a Jewish national symbol is a fairly recent invention (not much older than the USA), and there is, as far as I know, nothing in the archaeological artifacts or texts from the days of ancient Israel to suggest that the six-pointed star symbol was even in existence prior to the modern era (let alone being an important ancient symbol).
In modern times, the Star of David has become a premier Jewish symbol. This six-pointed star (hexagram), made of two interlocking triangles, can be found on mezuzahs, menorahs, tallis bags, and kipot.
Ambulances in Israel bear the sign of the "Red Star of David," and the flag of Israel has a blue Star of David planted squarely in the center.
Through the Jewish people's long and often difficult history, we have come to the realization that our only hope is to place our trust in God. The six points of the Star of David symbolize God's rule over the universe in all six directions: north, south, east, west, up and down.
Although scholars have attempted to trace the Star of David back to King David himself; to Rabbi Akiva and the Bar Kokhba ("son of the star") rebellion (135 C. E.); or to *kabbalists, especially Rabbi Isaac Luria (16th century), no Jewish literature or artifacts document this claim.
When Theodor Herzl looked for a symbol for the new Zionist movement, he chose the Star of David because it was so well known and also because it had no religious associations. In time, it appeared in the center of the flag of the new Jewish state of Israel and has become associated with national redemption.
Today, the Star of David is the most popular and universally recognized symbol of the Jewish People. In his seminal work entitled the Star of Redemption (1912), Franz Rosenzweig framed his philosophy of Judaism around the image of the Jewish star, composed of two conceptual "triads," which together form the basis of Jewish belief: Creation, Revelation, and Redemption; God, Israel, and World.
References:1 Scholem, "The Star of David; History of a Symbol," in The Messianic Idea in Judaism, 271; 2 Gittin 68a; 3 Eder, the Star of David, 73
The symbol--which historically was not limited to use by Jews--originated in antiquity, when, side by side with the five-pointed star, it served as a magical sign or as a decoration. In the Middle Ages the Star of David appeared with greater frequency among Jews but did not assume any special religious significance; it is found as well on some medieval cathedrals. The term Magen David, which in Jewish liturgy signifies God as the protector (shield) of David, gained currency among medieval Jewish mystics, who attached magical powers to King David's shield just as earlier (non-Jewish) magical traditions had referred to the five-pointed star as the "seal of Solomon."
Kabbalists popularised the use of the symbol as a protection against evil spirits. The Jewish community of Prague was the first to use the Star of David as its official symbol, and from the 17th century on the six-pointed star became the official seal of many Jewish communities and a general sign of Judaism, though it has no biblical or Talmudic authority. The star was almost universally adopted by Jews in the 19th-century as a striking and simple emblem of Judaism in imitation of the cross of Christianity.
The Star of David is today found in all synagogues and is on the flag of Israel, a symbol of the restored national Jewish homeland.
However, there are many Christians today who believe that the Star of David is an occult symbol and therefore not kosher/proper or correct. (I was taught this, so I did some searching!
There are various theories about the origin of the Star of David*. Most theories ascribe Gentle/non-Jewish origins to it.
If that happens...someone said, "History repeats itself because nobody listens." Let me begin by pointing out that the English word “star,” in Star of David, is not the correct translation of the Hebrew. The Hebrew word is "Magen David" which means “the shield of David,” not “the star of David.” It is called the shield of David because Jewish tradition holds that David wore this particular insignia on his shield.
The Merkava is a three-dimensional six pointed star. The white lily symbolizes the 1 dimensional Zionism.The six pointed star symbolizes the 2 dimensional Zionism. The Merkava symbolizes the 3 dimensional Zionism

1 comment:

zeevveez said...