Star of David
Overview
 
The Star of David, known in Hebrew as the Shield of David or Magen David (Hebrew ; Biblical Hebrew Māḡēn Dāwīḏ, Tiberian
Tiberian Hebrew
Tiberian Hebrew is the extinct canonical pronunciation of the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh and related documents in the Roman Empire. This traditional medieval pronunciation was committed to writing by Masoretic scholars based in the Jewish community of Tiberias , in the form of the Tiberian vocalization...

 [mɔˈɣen dɔˈvið], Modern Hebrew
Modern Hebrew
Modern Hebrew , also known as Israeli Hebrew or Modern Israeli Hebrew, is the language spoken in Israel and in some Jewish communities worldwide, from the early 20th century to the present....

 maˈɡen daˈvid, Ashkenazi Hebrew
Ashkenazi Hebrew
Ashkenazi Hebrew , is the pronunciation system for Biblical and Mishnaic Hebrew favored for liturgical use by Ashkenazi Jewish practice. Its phonology was influenced by languages with which it came into contact, such as Yiddish, German, and various Slavic languages...

 and Yiddish Mogein Dovid [ˈmɔɡeɪn ˈdɔvid] or Mogen Dovid) is a generally recognized symbol of Jewish identity
Jewish identity
Jewish identity is the objective or subjective state of perceiving oneself as a Jew and as relating to being Jewish. Under the broader definition, the Jewish identity does not depend on whether or not a person is regarded as a Jew by others, or by an external set of religious, or legal, or...

 and Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

.

Its shape is that of a hexagram, the compound of two equilateral triangles.
Encyclopedia
The Star of David, known in Hebrew as the Shield of David or Magen David (Hebrew ; Biblical Hebrew Māḡēn Dāwīḏ, Tiberian
Tiberian Hebrew
Tiberian Hebrew is the extinct canonical pronunciation of the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh and related documents in the Roman Empire. This traditional medieval pronunciation was committed to writing by Masoretic scholars based in the Jewish community of Tiberias , in the form of the Tiberian vocalization...

 [mɔˈɣen dɔˈvið], Modern Hebrew
Modern Hebrew
Modern Hebrew , also known as Israeli Hebrew or Modern Israeli Hebrew, is the language spoken in Israel and in some Jewish communities worldwide, from the early 20th century to the present....

 maˈɡen daˈvid, Ashkenazi Hebrew
Ashkenazi Hebrew
Ashkenazi Hebrew , is the pronunciation system for Biblical and Mishnaic Hebrew favored for liturgical use by Ashkenazi Jewish practice. Its phonology was influenced by languages with which it came into contact, such as Yiddish, German, and various Slavic languages...

 and Yiddish Mogein Dovid [ˈmɔɡeɪn ˈdɔvid] or Mogen Dovid) is a generally recognized symbol of Jewish identity
Jewish identity
Jewish identity is the objective or subjective state of perceiving oneself as a Jew and as relating to being Jewish. Under the broader definition, the Jewish identity does not depend on whether or not a person is regarded as a Jew by others, or by an external set of religious, or legal, or...

 and Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

.

Its shape is that of a hexagram, the compound of two equilateral triangles. One triangle represents the ruling tribe of Judah
Tribe of Judah
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Judah was one of the Tribes of Israel.Following the completion of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes after about 1200 BCE, Joshua allocated the land among the twelve tribes....

 and the other the former ruling tribe of Benjamin
Tribe of Benjamin
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Benjamin בִּנְיָמִין was one of the Tribes of Israel.From after the conquest of the land by Joshua until the formation of the first Kingdom of Israel in c. 1050 BCE, the Tribe of Benjamin was a part of a loose confederation of Israelite tribes...

. It is also seen as a dalet
Dalet
Dalet is the fourth letter of many Semitic alphabets, including Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew , Syriac and Arabic...

 and yud
Yud
Yud may refer to:*Yud, the tenth letter of many Semitic alphabets*YUD, the IATA airport code for Umiujaq Airport in Quebec, Canada*YUD, the ISO 4217 three letter code for the New Yugoslavian Dinar currency...

, the two letters assigned to Judah. There are 12 Vav, or "men," representing the 12 tribes or patriarchs of Israel.
The hexagram has been in use as a symbol of Judaism since the 17th century, with precedents in the 14th to 16th centuries in Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

, where the Shield of David was partly used in conjunction with the Seal of Solomon
Seal of Solomon
In Medieval Jewish, Christian and Islamic legends, the Seal of Solomon was a magical signet ring said to have been possessed by King Solomon, which variously gave him the power to command demons, genies , or to speak with animals.-In legend :...

 (the hexagram) on Jewish flags.
Its use probably derives from medieval (11th to 13th century) Jewish protective amulets (segulot).

The term "Shield of David" is also used in the Siddur
Siddur
A siddur is a Jewish prayer book, containing a set order of daily prayers. This article discusses how some of these prayers evolved, and how the siddur, as it is known today has developed...

 (Jewish prayer book) as a title of the God of Israel.

History

The Jewish Encyclopedia
Jewish Encyclopedia
The Jewish Encyclopedia is an encyclopedia originally published in New York between 1901 and 1906 by Funk and Wagnalls. It contained over 15,000 articles in 12 volumes on the history and then-current state of Judaism and the Jews as of 1901...

 cites a 12th-century Karaite document as the earliest Jewish literary source to mention the symbol.
Its use as a symbol of the Jewish community dates to the 17th century.

Early use as an ornament

The hexagram does appear occasionally in Jewish contexts since antiquity, apparently as a decorative motif. For example, in Israel, there is a stone bearing a hexagram from the arch of a 3rd–4th century synagogue in the Galilee. Originally, the hexagram may have been employed as an architectural ornament on synagogues, as it is, for example, on the cathedrals of Brandenburg
Brandenburg
Brandenburg is one of the sixteen federal-states of Germany. It lies in the east of the country and is one of the new federal states that were re-created in 1990 upon the reunification of the former West Germany and East Germany. The capital is Potsdam...

 and Stendal
Stendal
Stendal is a town in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is the capital of Stendal District and unofficial capital of the Altmark. Its population in 2001 was 38,900. It is located some west of Berlin and around east of Hanover...

, and on the Marktkirche
Marktkirche
The Marktkirche , officially Marktkirche S. Georgii et Jacobi, dedicated to St. George and St. James, is the main Lutheran church in Hanover. It was built in the 14th century and, together with the nearby Old Town Hall, is considered the southernmost example of the "North German brick gothic" ...

 at Hanover
Hanover
Hanover or Hannover, on the river Leine, is the capital of the federal state of Lower Saxony , Germany and was once by personal union the family seat of the Hanoverian Kings of Great Britain, under their title as the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg...

. A pentagram in this form is found on the ancient synagogue at Tell Hum. In the synagogues, perhaps, it was associated with the mezuzah
Mezuzah
A mezuzah is usually a metal or wooden rectangular object that is fastened to a doorpost of a Jewish house. Inside it is a piece of parchment inscribed with specified Hebrew verses from the Torah...

.

The use of the hexagram in a Jewish context as a possibly meaningful symbol may occur as early as the 11th century, in the decoration of the carpet page
Carpet page
Carpet pages are a characteristic feature of Insular illuminated manuscripts. They are pages of mainly geometrical ornamentation, which may include repeated animal forms, typically placed at the beginning of each of the four Gospels in Gospel Books...

 of the famous Tanakh
Tanakh
The Tanakh is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah , Nevi'im and Ketuvim —hence...

 manuscript, the Leningrad Codex
Leningrad Codex
The Leningrad Codex is the oldest complete manuscript of the Hebrew Bible in Hebrew, using the masoretic text and Tiberian vocalization. It is dated AD 1008 according to its colophon...

 dated 1008. Similarly, the symbol illuminates a medieval Tanakh manuscript dated 1307 belonging to Rabbi Yosef bar Yehuda ben Marvas from Toledo, Spain. A Siddur dated 1512 from Prague displays a large hexagram on the cover with the phrase, "…He will merit to bestow a bountiful gift on anyone who grasps the Shield of David."

Origin of the name

The name 'Shield of David' was used by at least the 11th century as a title of the God of Israel, independent of the use of the symbol. The phrase occurs independently as a Divine title in the Siddur
Siddur
A siddur is a Jewish prayer book, containing a set order of daily prayers. This article discusses how some of these prayers evolved, and how the siddur, as it is known today has developed...

, the traditional Jewish prayer book, where it poetically refers to the Divine protection of ancient King David and the anticipated restoration of his dynastic house, perhaps based on Psalm 18, which is attributed to David, and in which God is compared to a shield (v. 31 and v. 36). The term occurs at the end of the "Samkhaynu/Gladden us" blessing, which is recited after the reading of the Haftara portion on Saturday and holidays.

The earliest known text related to Judaism which mentions a sign called the "Shield of David" is Eshkol Ha-Kofer
Judah Hadassi
Judah ben Elijah Hadassi was a Karaite Jewish scholar, controversialist, and liturgist who flourished at Constantinople in the middle of the twelfth century...

by the Karaite Judah Hadassi
Judah Hadassi
Judah ben Elijah Hadassi was a Karaite Jewish scholar, controversialist, and liturgist who flourished at Constantinople in the middle of the twelfth century...

, in the mid-12th century CE:

Seven names of angels precede the mezuzah
Mezuzah
A mezuzah is usually a metal or wooden rectangular object that is fastened to a doorpost of a Jewish house. Inside it is a piece of parchment inscribed with specified Hebrew verses from the Torah...

: Michael, Gabriel, etc. …Tetragrammaton
Tetragrammaton
The term Tetragrammaton refers to the name of the God of Israel YHWH used in the Hebrew Bible.-Hebrew Bible:...

 protect you! And likewise the sign, called the "Shield of David", is placed beside the name of each angel.


This book is of Karaite, and not of Rabbinic Jewish
Rabbinic Judaism
Rabbinic Judaism or Rabbinism has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century CE, after the codification of the Talmud...

 origin, and it does not describe the shape of the sign in any way.

Kabbalistic use

A Shield of David has been noted on a Jewish tombstone in Taranto
Taranto
Taranto is a coastal city in Apulia, Southern Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Taranto and is an important commercial port as well as the main Italian naval base....

, Apulia
History of the Jews in Apulia
The history of the Jews in Apulia can be traced to over two millennia. Apulia, in Hebrew:פוליה) is a mountainous region in the "boot heel" of the peninsula of Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea. The Jews have had a presence in Apulia for at least 2000 years...


in Southern Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, which may date as early as the third century CE
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

. The Jews of Apulia were noted for their scholarship in Kabbalah
Kabbalah
Kabbalah/Kabala is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the esoteric aspect of Rabbinic Judaism. It was systematized in 11th-13th century Hachmei Provence and Spain, and again after the Expulsion from Spain, in 16th century Ottoman Palestine...

, which has been connected to the use of the Star of David.

Medieval Kabbalistic grimoire
Grimoire
A grimoire is a textbook of magic. Such books typically include instructions on how to create magical objects like talismans and amulets, how to perform magical spells, charms and divination and also how to summon or invoke supernatural entities such as angels, spirits, and demons...

s show hexagrams among the tables of segulot, but without identifying them as "Shield of David".

In the Renaissance Period, in the 16th-century Land of Israel, the book Ets Khayim
Etz Chaim
Etz Chaim Center for Jewish Learning is an Orthodox Jewish organization designed to reach out to secular and non-Orthodox Jews in the hopes of bring them into the Baal teshuva Movement . It is under the direction of...

 conveys the Kabbalah of Ha-Ari (Rabbi Isaac Luria) who arranges the traditional items on the seder plate for Passover
Passover
Passover is a Jewish holiday and festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt...

 into two triangles, where they explicitly correspond to Jewish mystical concepts. The six sfirot of the masculine Zer Anpin correspond to the six items on the seder plate, while the seventh sfira being the feminine Malkhut corresponds to the plate itself.

However, these seder-plate triangles are parallel, one above the other, and do not actually form a hexagram,.

According to G.S. Oegema (1996)
Isaac Luria
Isaac Luria
Isaac Luria , also called Yitzhak Ben Shlomo Ashkenazi acronym "The Ari" "Ari-Hakadosh", or "Arizal", meaning "The Lion", was a foremost rabbi and Jewish mystic in the community of Safed in the Galilee region of Ottoman Palestine...

 provided the Shield of David with a further mystical meaning. In his book Etz Chayim
Tree of life (Kabbalah)
The Tree of Life, or Etz haChayim in Hebrew, is a mystical symbol used in the Kabbalah of esoteric Judaism to describe the path to God and the manner in which he created the world ex nihilo...

he teaches that the elements of the plate for the Seder evening have to be placed in the order of the hexagram: above the three sefirot "Crown", "Wisdom", and "Insight", below the other seven.

Similarly, M. Costa wrote that M. Gudemann and other researchers in the 1920s claimed that Isaac Luria
Isaac Luria
Isaac Luria , also called Yitzhak Ben Shlomo Ashkenazi acronym "The Ari" "Ari-Hakadosh", or "Arizal", meaning "The Lion", was a foremost rabbi and Jewish mystic in the community of Safed in the Galilee region of Ottoman Palestine...

 was influential in turning the Star of David into a national Jewish emblem by teaching that the elements of the plate for the Seder
Passover Seder
The Passover Seder is a Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover. It is conducted on the evenings of the 14th day of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar, and on the 15th by traditionally observant Jews living outside Israel. This corresponds to late March or April in...

 evening have to be placed in the order of the hexagram
Gershom Scholem
Gershom Scholem
Gerhard Scholem who, after his immigration from Germany to Palestine, changed his name to Gershom Scholem , was a German-born Israeli Jewish philosopher and historian, born and raised in Germany...

 (1990) disagrees with this view, arguing that Isaac Luria talked about parallel triangles one beneath the other and not about the hexagram.

The Star of David at least since the 20th century remains associated with the number seven and thus with the Menorah, and popular accounts associate it with he six directions of space plus the center (under the influence of the description of space found in the Sefer Yetsira
Sefer Yetzirah
Sefer Yetzirah is the title of the earliest extant book on Jewish esotericism, although some early commentators treated it as a treatise on mathematical and linguistic theory as opposed to Kabbalah...

: Up, Down, East, West, South, North, and Center), or the Six Sefirot of the Male (Zeir Anpin
Zeir Anpin
Zeir Anpin is a revealed aspect of God in Kabbalah, comprising the emotional sephirot attributes: Chesed, Geburah, Tiphereth, Netzach, Hod and Yesod.The Zohar's imagery expoundes its role in Creation, where it is the microscopic equivalent of Arich Anpin in...

) united with the Seventh Sefirot of the Female (Nukva).

Jewish flags

In 1354, King of Bohemia Charles IV
Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles IV , born Wenceslaus , was the second king of Bohemia from the House of Luxembourg, and the first king of Bohemia to also become Holy Roman Emperor....

 prescribed for the Jews of Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 a red flag with both David's shield and Solomon's seal
Seal of Solomon
In Medieval Jewish, Christian and Islamic legends, the Seal of Solomon was a magical signet ring said to have been possessed by King Solomon, which variously gave him the power to command demons, genies , or to speak with animals.-In legend :...

, while the red flag with which the Jews met King Matthias of Hungary in the 15th century showed two pentagrams with two golden stars.

In 1460, the Jews of Ofen (Budapest
Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

, Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

) received King Matthias Corvinus
Matthias Corvinus of Hungary
Matthias Corvinus , also called the Just in folk tales, was King of Hungary and Croatia from 1458, at the age of 14 until his death...

 with a red flag on which were two Shields of David and two stars. In the first Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

 prayer book, printed in Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 in 1512, a large Shield of David appears on the cover. In the colophon
Colophon (publishing)
In publishing, a colophon is either:* A brief description of publication or production notes relevant to the edition, in modern books usually located at the reverse of the title page, but can also sometimes be located at the end of the book, or...

 is written: "Each man beneath his flag according to the house of their fathers…and he will merit to bestow a bountiful gift on anyone who grasps the Shield of David." In 1592, Mordechai Maizel was allowed to affix "a flag of King David, similar to that located on the Main Synagogue" on his synagogue in Prague. In 1648, the Jews of Prague were again allowed a flag, in acknowledgment of their part in defending the city against the Swedes
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

. On a red background was a yellow Shield of David, in the center of which was a Swedish star.

As a symbol of Judaism

In the 17th century, the Shield of David as the hexagram began to represent the Jewish community generally, when the Jewish quarter of Vienna was formally distinguished from the rest of the city by a boundary stone having the hexagram on one side and the Christian cross on the other. By the 18th century, the Shield appeared to represent the Jewish people in both secular (politics) and religious (synagogue) contexts. The Star of David can be found on the tombstones of religious Jews in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 since the 18th century. Following Jewish emancipation
Jewish Emancipation
Jewish emancipation was the external and internal process of freeing the Jewish people of Europe, including recognition of their rights as equal citizens, and the formal granting of citizenship as individuals; it occurred gradually between the late 18th century and the early 20th century...

 after the French revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, Jewish communities chose the Star of David to represent themselves, comparable to the cross used by most Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

s. Then in the 19th century, it began to signify the Jewish people internationally, when the early Zionist movement adopted it as the symbol of the Jewish people, after the Dreyfus affair
Dreyfus Affair
The Dreyfus affair was a political scandal that divided France in the 1890s and the early 1900s. It involved the conviction for treason in November 1894 of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a young French artillery officer of Alsatian Jewish descent...

 in France in the 19th century. From here, other Jewish community organizations adopted it too.

The Holocaust

A Star of David, often yellow-colored, was used by the Nazis
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 during the Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

 as a method of identifying Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

. After the German invasion of Poland
Invasion of Poland (1939)
The Invasion of Poland, also known as the September Campaign or 1939 Defensive War in Poland and the Poland Campaign in Germany, was an invasion of Poland by Germany, the Soviet Union, and a small Slovak contingent that marked the start of World War II in Europe...

 in 1939 there were initially different local decrees forcing Jews to wear a distinct sign – in the General Government
General Government
The General Government was an area of Second Republic of Poland under Nazi German rule during World War II; designated as a separate region of the Third Reich between 1939–1945...

 e.g. a white armband with a blue Star of David on it, in the Warthegau
Reichsgau Wartheland
Reichsgau Wartheland was a Nazi German Reichsgau formed from Polish territory annexed in 1939. It comprised the Greater Poland and adjacent areas, and only in part matched the area of the similarly named pre-Versailles Prussian province of Posen...

 a yellow badge
Yellow badge
The yellow badge , also referred to as a Jewish badge, was a cloth patch that Jews were ordered to sew on their outer garments in order to mark them as Jews in public. It is intended to be a badge of shame associated with antisemitism...

 in the form of a Star of David on the left side of the breast and on the back. If a Jew was found without wearing the star in public, they could be subjected to severe punishment. The requirement to wear the Star of David with the word Jude (German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 for Jew) inscribed was then extended to all Jews over the age of six in the Reich
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was the majority ethnic-Czech protectorate which Nazi Germany established in the central parts of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia in what is today the Czech Republic...

 (by a decree issued on September 1, 1941 signed by Reinhard Heydrich
Reinhard Heydrich
Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich , also known as The Hangman, was a high-ranking German Nazi official.He was SS-Obergruppenführer and General der Polizei, chief of the Reich Main Security Office and Stellvertretender Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia...

 ) and was gradually introduced in other German-occupied areas.

Modern use

The flag of Israel
Flag of Israel
The flag of Israel was adopted on October 28, 1948, five months after the country's establishment. It depicts a blue Star of David on a white background, between two horizontal blue stripes...

, depicting a blue Star of David on a white background, between two horizontal blue stripes was adopted on October 28, 1948, five months after the country's establishment. The origins of the flag's design date from the First Zionist Congress
First Zionist Congress
The First Zionist Congress was the inaugural congress of the Zionist Organization held in Basel , Switzerland, from August 29 to August 31, 1897. It was convened and chaired by Theodor Herzl, the founder of the modern Zionism movement...

 in 1897; the flag has subsequently been known as the "flag of Zion".

Contemporary use

Some Orthodox Jewish
Orthodox Judaism
Orthodox Judaism , is the approach to Judaism which adheres to the traditional interpretation and application of the laws and ethics of the Torah as legislated in the Talmudic texts by the Sanhedrin and subsequently developed and applied by the later authorities known as the Gaonim, Rishonim, and...

 groups reject the use of the Jewish Star of David because of its association with magic
Magic (paranormal)
Magic is the claimed art of manipulating aspects of reality either by supernatural means or through knowledge of occult laws unknown to science. It is in contrast to science, in that science does not accept anything not subject to either direct or indirect observation, and subject to logical...

.
Neturei Karta
Neturei Karta
Neturei Karta is a Haredi Jewish group formally created in Jerusalem, British Mandate of Palestine, in 1938, splitting off from Agudas Yisroel...

 and Satmar
Satmar (Hasidic dynasty)
Satmar is a Hasidic movement comprising mostly Hungarian and Romanian Hasidic Jewish Holocaust survivors and their descendants. It was founded and led by the late Hungarian-born Grand Rebbe Yoel Teitelbaum , who was the rabbi of Szatmárnémeti, Hungary...

 reject it because they associate it with Zionism
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

.

Many Modern Orthodox
Modern Orthodox Judaism
Modern Orthodox Judaism is a movement within Orthodox Judaism that attempts to synthesize Jewish values and the observance of Jewish law, with the secular, modern world....

 synagogues, and many synagogues of other Jewish movements, however, have the Israeli flag with the Star of David prominently displayed at the front of the synagogues near the Ark containing the Torah scrolls.

Magen David Adom
Magen David Adom
The Magen David Adom is Israel's national emergency medical, disaster, ambulance and blood bank service. The name means "Red Star of David"...

 (MDA) (Red Star of David or, translated literally, Red Shield of David) is Israel's only official emergency medical, disaster, ambulance service. It is an official member of the International Committee of the Red Cross
International Committee of the Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross is a private humanitarian institution based in Geneva, Switzerland. States parties to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 and 2005, have given the ICRC a mandate to protect the victims of international and...

 since June 2006. According to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Magen David Adom was boycotted by the International Committee of the Red Cross, which refused to grant the organization membership because "it was…argued that having an emblem used by only one country was contrary to the principles of universality." Other commentators said the ICRC did not recognize the medical and humanitarian use of this Jewish symbol, a Red Shield, alongside the Christian cross and the Muslim crescent.

Athletes

Jewish major league baseball player Gabe Kapler
Gabe Kapler
Gabriel "Gabe" Stefan Kapler is an American Major League Baseball outfielder.He has played portions of 13 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, Colorado Rockies, Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Tampa Bay Rays...

 had a Star of David tattooed on his left calf in 2000, with the words "strong-willed" and "strong-minded", major leaguer Mike "SuperJew" Epstein
Mike Epstein
Michael Peter Epstein , nicknamed SuperJew, is a former Major League Baseball player for the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Senators, Oakland Athletics, Texas Rangers, and California Angels from –....

 drew a Star of David on his baseball glove, and major leaguer Ron Blomberg
Ron Blomberg
Ronald Mark Blomberg , nicknamed Boomer, is a former Major League Baseball designated hitter, first baseman, and right fielder...

 had a Star of David emblazoned in the knob of his bat which is on display at the Baseball Hall of Fame. NBA basketball star Amar'e Stoudemire, who says he is spiritually and culturally Jewish, had a Star of David tattoo put on his left hand in 2010. NFL football defensive end
Defensive end
Defensive end is the name of a defensive position in the sport of American and Canadian football.This position has designated the players at each end of the defensive line, but changes in formations have substantially changed how the position is played over the years...

 Igor Olshansky
Igor Olshansky
Igor Olshansky is a Ukrainian-born American football defensive end free agent in National Football League. He last played for the Miami Dolphins....

 has Star of David tattoos on each side of his neck, near his shoulders.

Jewish world light heavyweight
Light heavyweight
In boxing, the light heavyweight is a weight division above 168 pounds [12 Stone or 76.204 kilograms] and up to 175 pounds [12.5 stone or 79.38 kilograms]), falling between super middleweight and cruiserweight...

 world champion boxer Mike "The Jewish Bomber" Rossman
Mike Rossman
Mike Rossman is an American former world champion boxer. He is of Jewish/Italian origin, which led to his monikers "The Kosher Butcher" and "The Jewish Bomber." He finished his professional boxing career in 1983 with a record of 44–7–3, with 27 knockouts.-Life and career:Rossman was born in...

 fought with a Star of David embroidered on his boxing trunks, and also has a blue Star of David tattoo on the outside of his right calf. World heavyweight
Heavyweight
Heavyweight is a division, or weight class, in boxing. Fighters who weigh over 200 pounds are considered heavyweights by the major professional boxing organizations: the International Boxing Federation, the World Boxing Association, the World Boxing Council, and the World Boxing...

 boxing champion Max Baer fought with a Star of David on his trunks as well, notably, for the first time as he knocked out Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 hero Max Schmeling
Max Schmeling
Maximillian Adolph Otto Siegfried Schmeling was a German boxer who was heavyweight champion of the world between 1930 and 1932. His two fights with Joe Louis in the late 1930s transcended boxing, and became worldwide social events because of their national associations...

 in 1933; Hitler never permitted Scmheling to fight a Jew again. Other boxers who fought with Stars of David embroidered on their trunks to reflect their ethno-religious pride included world lightweight
Lightweight
Light-weight is a class of athletes in a particular sport, based on their weight.-Professional boxing:The lightweight division is over 130 pounds and up to 135 pounds weight class in the sport of boxing....

 champion Benny "the Ghetto Wizard" Leonard
Benny Leonard
Benny Leonard was an American lightweight boxer. He was named as number 8 on Ring Magazine's list of the 80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years and number 7 on ESPN's 50 Greatest Boxers of All-Time....

 (who said he felt as though he was fighting for all Jews), world light heavyweight boxing champion Battling Levinsky
Battling Levinsky
Barney Williams , was light heavyweight boxing champion of the world from 1916 to 1920.-Boxing career:...

, Barney Ross
Barney Ross
Barney Ross , born Beryl David Rosofsky, was a world champion boxer in three weight divisions and decorated veteran of World War II.-Early life:...

 (world champion as a lightweight, as a junior welterweight, and as a welterweight), world flyweight boxing champion Victor "Young" Peres
Victor Perez
Victor "Young" Perez was a Sephardic Jew born in French Tunisia, who became the World Flyweight Champion in 1931 and 1932. He was born to Khmaïssa Perez a household goods salesman and Khaïlou René Perez. He was raised along with his four siblings in Dar-El Berdgana, the Jewish quarter of Tunis...

 ("Young"), and more recently World Boxing Association
World Boxing Association
The World Boxing Association is a boxing organization that sanctions official matches, and awards the WBA world championship title at the professional level. It was previously known as the National Boxing Association before changing its name in 1962...

 super welterweight champion Yuri Foreman
Yuri Foreman
Yuri Foreman is a Belarusian-born Israeli-American professional boxer. He is a former World Boxing Association super welterweight champion...

 and light middleweight Boyd Melson
Boyd Melson
Boyd "Rainmaker" Melson is an American light middleweight boxer.As an amateur, Melson won the 48th World Military Boxing Championship gold medal in the 69 kg. weight class, and was a four-time United States Army champion, a three-time NCBA All-American boxer, a four-time West Point Brigade...

. Welterweight Dmitriy Salita even boxes under the nickname "Star of David".

Teams

Hakoah Vienna was a Jewish sports club founded in Vienna, Austria, in 1909 whose teams competed with the Star of David on the chest of their uniforms, and won the 1925 Austrian League soccer championship. Similarly, The Philadelphia Sphas
Philadelphia Sphas
The Philadelphia Sphas, also written SPHAs and SPHAS, were a team that competed in the Eastern Basketball League and then the American Basketball League 1925-55. They played their home games in social halls and, from 1938, in the ballroom of the Broadwood Hotel...

 basketball team in Philadelphia (whose name was an acronym of its founding South Philadelphia Hebrew Association) wore a large Star of David on their jerseys to proudly proclaim their Jewish identity, as they competed in the first half of the 20th century. Maccabi
Maccabi (sports)
Maccabi may refer to:* The Maccabi World Union, Maccabiah Games or any one of the following sport organizations around the world:...

 clubs still use the Star of David in their emblems.

Miscellaneous

  • In Unicode
    Unicode
    Unicode is a computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems...

    , the "Star of David" symbol is U+2721 ().
  • The world's largest Star of David (167 metres (547.9 ft) diameter) is in the Smoky Hill Weapons Range, Kansas
    Kansas
    Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

    , USA at 38.717704°N 97.80673°W.
  • At London Heathrow Airport in the early 1950's were built six runways in layout, each a bit over a mile long.

See also

  • Anahata
    Anahata
    Anahata is the fourth primary chakra according to the Hindu Yogic and Tantric traditions.In Sanskrit the word anahata - means unhurt, un-struck and unbeaten...

  • Chai symbol
    Chai (symbol)
    Chai is a symbol and word that figures prominently in Jewish culture. It consists of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet Chet and Yod .The Hebrew word "living" is related to the term for "life", chaim; ḥayyim....

  • G2 (mathematics)
  • Merkaba
  • Shatkona
    Shatkona
    The Shatkona is a symbol used in Hindu yantra that represents the union of both the male and feminine form. More specifically it is supposed to represent Purusha , and Prakriti...

    , an identical Hindu symbol.
  • Star of Bethlehem
    Star of Bethlehem
    In Christian tradition, the Star of Bethlehem, also called the Christmas Star, revealed the birth of Jesus to the magi, or "wise men", and later led them to Bethlehem. The star appears in the nativity story of the Gospel of Matthew, where magi "from the east" are inspired by the star to travel to...

  • Star of David theorem
    Star of David theorem
    The Star of David theorem is a mathematical result on arithmetic properties of binomial coefficients. It was discovered by H.W. Gould in 1972.- Statement :...

  • Star of Lakshmi
  • Unicursal hexagram
    Unicursal Hexagram
    The unicursal hexagram is a hexagram or six-pointed star that can be traced or drawn unicursally, in one continuous line rather than by two overlaid triangles...



External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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