What is the origin of the Star of David, that six-pointed star recognized the world over as denoting Jews and Judaism? Where did it come from and how did it become the symbol for the flag of Israel, synagogues, sacred vessels, Zionism and Magen David Adom, the Israeli version of the Red Cross?
Judaism forbids any images of God. The Jewish faith was and still is opposed to the use of symbols to represent the Holy One, and the Magen David, or Shield of David, is not mentioned in the Bible or rabbinical literature. It is, therefore, probably correct to assume that the symbol did not originate within rabbinical Judaism, the official and dominant stream of Judaism for more than 2,000 years.
The earliest reported example of David’s Shield in a Jewish context was found on a Jewish tombstone at Tarentum, in southern Italy, dating as early as the third century AD, according to the Encyclopedia Judaica. The earliest Jewish literary source that mentions the Star of David is in “Eshkol ha-Kofer,” the...
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