Jewish Symbols

What are the Symbols of Judaism?

Name: Star of David

Also known as "the Shield of David," this hexagram has been used as a symbol in Judaism since the 17th century. The symbol may have derived from the use of protective amulets that pre-date the 17th century. A blue-colored Star of David is presently displayed on the flag of Israel. Learn more about Jewish beliefs here. See Judaism facts here.

Name: Chai - the Hebrew word for "life"

These Hebrew letters were adopted as a symbol for the Jewish religion in 18th century Europe. From right to left, the letters are "chet" and "yod.," which make up the Hebrew word "chai," meaning "life."

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Name: Passover Plate

The Passover is one of the most important events in the history of Judaism. The Passover was when the Angel of Death passed over the Israelites who applied blood to their door, saving their firstborn from death, on the eve of the Exodus. The plate is associated with the Passover meal. Learn about Jewish history here. Learn about Kosher in Judaism here.

Name: The Torah Scroll

The word "torah" literally means "instruction," though the term is also used as a label for the first five books of the Hebrew Bible - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

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Name: The Menorah

The menorah is a nine-branched candelabra associated with Hanukkah in Judaism. The eight left and right branches mark the eight-day holiday, while the middle candle is often called "the helper," which is used to light the other branches.

Learn more about Hanukkah in Judaism here. Learn more about Jewish history here.

Name: Dreidels

Dreidels are also associated with Hanukkah in Judaism. A dreidel is a spinning top with four sides, and each side is marked by different letters. In some cultures, such spinning tops have been used for gambling (like dice), but in Judaism they have been used as toys (also, like dice). Tradition says that when Jews were being persecuted and hiding out in caves, they passed the time playing dreidel games. See more about Hanukkah here. See Judaism facts here. See Judaism beliefs here.