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What Is the Mystical Significance of the Star of David?

What Is the Mystical Significance of the Star of David?

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The Zohar (3:73a) states, “There are three knots connecting [three entities] one to another: the Holy One, blessed be He; Torah; and Israel.” The Jewish soul connects to its Creator through the study and observance of Torah. The triangle represents the connection between these three entities.1

The essence of the soul connects with G‑d’s essence through the study of the teachings of Kabbalah

These three entities are each comprised of a pnimiyut (inner dimension) and a chitzoniyut (external dimension). The Torah is comprised of both exoteric teachings (the Talmud, Jewish law, etc.) as well as esoteric teachings (the Kabbalah). G‑d’s “revealed” energy permeates and provides existence to all worlds, but His essence is completely hidden, transcending all of creation. Similarly, the soul (which is a reflection of G‑d2) has a revealed element, that level that expresses itself within and vivifies the body, as well as an essence that transcends the body.

The double triangle of the Star of David (Magen David) symbolizes the connection of both dimensions of G‑d, Torah and Israel: the external level of the soul connects to the external expression of G‑d via studying the exoteric parts of Torah; the essence of the soul connects with G‑d’s essence through the study and application of the teachings of Kabbalah.


Another explanation:

Kabbalah teaches that G‑d created the world with seven spiritual building blocks—His seven “emotional” attributes. Accordingly, the entire creation is a reflection of these seven foundational attributes.

They are: chesed (kindness), gevurah (severity), tiferet (harmony), netzach (perseverance), hod (splendor), yesod (foundation) and malchut (royalty).

These attributes are divided into three columns: right, center and left:

Gevurah

Tiferet

Chesed

Hod

Yesod

Netzach

 

Malchut

 

Correspondingly, the Star of David contains seven compartments—six peaks protruding from a center.

The upper right wing is chesed.

The upper left wing is gevurah.

Correspondingly, the star contains seven compartments—six peaks protruding from a center

The upper center peak is tiferet. Kabbalah teaches that tiferet finds its source in keter, “the Crown,” which is infinitely higher than all the divine attributes which are involved in the “mundane” pursuit of creating worlds.

The lower right wing is netzach.

The lower left wing is hod.

The center is yesod. Yesod is “Foundation,” and as such, all the other attributes are rooted in, and rise from, this attribute.

The star’s bottom that descends from its belly is malchut—the attribute that absorbs the energies of the higher six attributes and uses them to actually descend and create everything—and to “reign” over them.

Footnotes
1.

The fact that in a triangle each of the three corners are connect to the two other ones demonstrates that the Jewish soul is itself knotted to G‑d. Torah study and observance doesn’t create a connection between the Jew and G‑d—it merely brings it to light.

2.

As it is stated in Job (19:26), “From my flesh I can perceive G‑d.”

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg is a writer, editor and director of the curriculum department at the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute. Rabbi Silberberg resides in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, Chaya Mushka, and their three children.
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Discussion (92)
July 25, 2016
Thank you for the breakdown. Short and to the "point"...
Larry
Portland OR
May 17, 2016
Why can't you write God? Why the dash in place of the "o"?
Sandy
Canada
April 22, 2016
what three planets comprise the star of david
david delmarcelle
February 24, 2016
I read a book that showed that the Star of David has really to do with his name using the original Hebrew alphabet. The original Dalet was a triangle and David's name has 2 Dalets/triangles. The numerical value of his name is 14 also, so we have two dalets/triangles each equalling a 4 and a Vav which is a 6. So we have 6 points of the two dalets/triangles equalling the number 6 and two triangles/dalets each equalling the number 4. The Phoenician and ancient Hebrew alphabets were alike.
Telma Anijar Andersen
February 11, 2016
How is the star of David connected with the 12 tribes of Israel? Wouldn't the star have to be a 12 pointed star in that case?
Jared Jacobs
New York
January 24, 2016
We know that historically the so called 'star of David' was used by pagans long before Jews adopted this symbol. Possibly it may have come through one of King Solomon's pagan wives. We may not know for sure but we do know it is nothing more than a hexagram and the Eternal repudiates it, Amos 5:26. There is no word in the Tanach to use it, it is an idol adopted by Israel.
Shoshana
September 27, 2015
I had read somewhere that the six points of the Star of David represent the six directions that David was protected from north, south, east, and west, above and below. Is this completely wrong or is that one way it can be deciphered?
Anonymous
September 16, 2015
I saw somewhere the Magen David first appeared on a flag Jews in
chechoslovakia were permitted to create to represent their community
Anonymous
Phoenix AZ
September 16, 2015
Doesn't all of this explanation simply seek to spiritualize the symbol and does nothing to explain the origin of the symbol and why segments of Judaism want it to represent Israel?
Russ Hadley
Rhode Island
April 27, 2015
For those interested in more on the Magen David, Rabbi Avraham Arieh Trugman has an excellent book "The Secrets of the Magen David"
Yoel Leib