The Jewish Symbols are said to be very significant by the people of the Jewish tradition. The existence and evidence of these symbols are present in various sacred texts, scriptures and holy books.
Jewish Symbols depict various stories & incidents which were linked to them & tell the religious devotees about the traditions, culture, and the ritual practices of the Jewish people.
In this article, we have tried to cover the best and the most important 11 symbols of Judaism along with their history and significance.
List of important Jewish Symbols
The most important Jewish Symbols and Signs are listed below:
1. High Priest’s Breastplate
The high priest breastplate is used as a symbol that is seen frequently embroidered on the curtain coverings with the Holy Bible that houses the Scrolls.
While the breastplate is considered to be one of the 8 exclusive garments which are worn by the high priest Kohen Gödel.
The king used to serve in the holy temple. One can also see the 12 precious gemstones which are featured in this particular symbol which corresponds to the twelve tribes which are present in Israel.
One can also see various definitions of the animals and plants, which symbolizes the different tribes based on their blessings.
Although all the people may come from a very different background and even from the different tribes which follow different customs, we remain one unified Nation.
2. Chai Pendant
The chai pendant is usually worn by females and is said to be a very important Jewish symbol. After the star of David, this particular symbol is considered to be the next most popular Jewish pendant.
The meaning of the term chai in the Hebrew language is life. This particular word is written using two letters Chet and Yud.
These two words when combined give the numeric value of 18, which is why the Jewish people love giving birthday presents under nominations which are multiple of 18.
3. Hebrew Magen David Six Pointed Stars
Magen David’s six-pointed star is said to be one of the most ubiquitous Jewish symbols but at the same time also the least significant. It is in the form of a six-pointed star or hexagram.
Very little is known about the origin of this particular star but it has been linked with a very long time with the traditions of the Jewish people and has graced thousands of people all around the world.
4. On Gravestones
Another very important member from the list of Jewish symbols is the open hands and the pitcher on gravestones. These gravestones are often featured at various places and have several unique symbols.
Pair of hands can be seen with fingers spread in the shape of Vulcan salute which indicates that king Kohen who was the member of the clan of the priests.
He was blessed by the Jewish people while he was holding their hands in this particular position when he was buried there.
The Agri stone, which is marked with this particular symbol of water is considered to be that of a Levite. This particular famous character is honoured to wash the hands of the king before the blessings of the priest were administered.
By the same procedure, candelabra which has several branches is used to measure the surety of the times for decorating the grave of the right Jewish woman who was Shirley, particular to light the candles in a home in the afternoon of every Friday, on the eve of the Jewish holidays.
The menorah which is also famous by the name of candelabra is a seven brand golden symbol that prominently features the tabernacle Moses built in the desert as well as the various holy temples which were later built in the city of Jerusalem.
This particular symbol is sometimes misinterpreted with round branches but many authentic Jewish sources have suggested that instead of the round shape these branches are slanted or straight in the shape.
The predictions, which are related to this particular symbol can be traced to the king Solomon era.
The eight branches of this particular symbol are sometimes also used to celebrate the holiday of Chanukah.
Another important member of the list of the Jewish symbols is the Maccabee shield.
This particular symbol displays the Hebrew word Maccabee on a banner or a flag like structure which is present back to the second temple period when a small band of Jewish people who are known as the Maccabees was able to successfully revolt against the Greek oppressors.
From that particular moment, this world has become a symbol of small & powerless people overcoming powerful people against all the odds.
The classical explanation of this particular word is composed with the help of the initial letters of the words which are said by the Jewish people Mi Kamocha ba’eilim Hashem.
Even if the good people are weak and outnumbered, it is believed by them that with the trust and God they would be able to overcome all the problems.
7. Dove and Olive
The dove and the Olive branch is considered to be a symbol of Universal peace because it is somewhat misunderstood due to the story present in the Bible.
It says that the dove brought back an olive leaf to the great Noah for signifying that the waters had receded after the great flood.
This has also been used for detecting a metaphor among the Jewish people since biblical times. Another explanation for this particular symbol is that
“just as the leaves of the olive tree do not fall off either in summer or in winter, neither shall the Jewish people be cast off, either in this world or in the world-to-come (Talmud, Menachot 53b).”
The particular term dove has been also used as an adjective, which is used for describing the bride in the Jewish people.
One explanation of the same is that it is considered to be the symbolism and is also stated in the lines,
“Just like a dove, once she meets her mate, never leaves him for another and just as a dove whose fledglings are taken from her nest still doesn’t abandon her nest, so are the Jewish people faithful to G‑d.”6
8. The Seven Species
The seven species are described in scripture with the help of which the land of Israel was blessed with various eatables & crops like grapes, barley, pomegranates, olives, wheat, dates, and figs.
The depictions of some of these are used quite commonly at various places and can also be easily found in the ancient archaeological ruins and on the Jewish coins going back to the Bar Kochva period.
Even at the time of the exile, the Jewish people maintained on these Jewish symbols of their homeland.
9. Torah Decor
The Torah Decor has lines and angles which are printed over the maroon color cloth. The scroll of Torah covers and the holy arcs are usually decorated with the help of lions in the places where they are stored.
The Eagles are not so common on synagogue like the Silver crowns, which are placed at the top of the Torah scroll.
The lion is considered to be the symbol of the tribe of Judah, which produced many great kings like Messiah, David, and Solomon. This particular symbol invokes the words of Judah Ben Teima.
10. Torah Scroll
The Torah scroll is an open scroll which is often used as the middle part of the logo of Yeshiva or any other institution of the Torah study.
It is considered to be an important symbol amongst all the Jewish symbols. The actual School contains 5 books of Moses which are handwritten on parchment in Hebrew by a trained Scribe.
Many people say that the 6 lakh letters which are present in the scroll of Torah correspond to the 6 lakh collective Jews souls because every single Jew has a portion of the Torah.
Thus, the message of this particular symbol is that the Torah should just not sit in the holy bible but should be opened, studied, and read by every member of the Jewish Nation.
Luchot is a Jewish symbol that has appeared in the hospitals and also on the reform with Jewish offices present in the US military.
Some more common iteration of this particular symbol, which features around tops is considered to be a historical inaccuracy, which is introduced by the Renaissance artists.
The Jewish symbols are considered to be an important part of the Jewish culture and traditions. Various rituals are linked with these symbols as they are related to the major happening of Jewish traditions in the past.
These symbols are respected and followed religiously by the Jewish people present all around the world, and also by some people of other religions.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
How old are the Jewish symbols?
It is believed that the Jewish symbols are somewhat more than 1500 years old. Their first mention was somewhere around in the 10th century AD.
Which Jewish Symbol is considered to be the most important in Jewish history?
If we look in general terms, then all the Jewish symbols are equally important. But, the Olive and Dove symbol is considered to be the most significant symbol out of all.
Which King is related to the various Jewish Symbols?
King Kohen is the one who is related to the various Jewish symbols. He is associated with the Breastplate of the high priest and with the On Gravestones.