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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, NY, with his wife Chaya Mushka and their three children.
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Discussion (77)
November 5, 2013
RE; Population
we Jews have the lowest birthrate in the world. If the Jew doesn't start bearing larger families, we will slowly fade away as a race of people...........
ken barkowsky
Bronx NY
September 3, 2013
Star of David
I was 10 years old, when a brother to my grandfather who I never met said," From the eyes of a grandmother [3] your Jewish. Roger- can be French, Frank is French, and your last name, is a name you hide behind. Armstrong, Forbes, Mac Master, your Jewish grandmothers can be found, in the Marsh as well. The Star of David, David is not the Star, the 7 tribes are, and those 7 tribes represent 7 mothers. The knowledge of life is in the stars, and the rigging connects to us. " Keep this under your hat, "he said.
Anonymous
July 12, 2013
Star of David
I was once taught this.

A triangle is formed by writing the first ten letters of the aleph-bet.
A letter is removed from the middle giving a line of 9 letters, which is them placed below the first line with indent.
This is done successively until a line with one letter, א.

We now have a triangle with alephs down one side.
Another triangle is them formed from inverting the first triangle.

The triangle are them imposed on one another to form the star.
The alephs denote Hashem.

This star, denoting that Hashem is in front of us, was used by David Hamelech when he went into battle.

Can anyone tell me the source of this?

I was taught this over 50 years ago and cannot remember the source.
Jethro Cadbury
Glastonbury, UK
May 8, 2013
Thanks
Thank you, very informative.

Rev John L Kennedh
53094
March 26, 2013
Significence of the Star of David
I liked all the explanations. Very interesting!
Angela Safonoff
Arizona, USA
March 2, 2013
RE: Idolatry and Venerating symbols:
In the same way that symbols only symoblize, a metaphor is not reality, the map is not the actual place- so too a 6 pointed star shape is only that. In the context of Jewish tradition, it is a teaching tool that helps us understand our real relationship to G-d and the Laws given to us alluded to by the geometric shape. One of the fundamental principles of Judaism is to grow beyond veneration of symbols, icons, statues, objects of devotion, etc as that is precisely what Judaism is not as explicated in Torah. Please refer to first paragraph of R. Silberberg's excellent article.

"The triangle represents the connection between these three entities."
Judy
Olam Hazeh
chabadiowacity.com
February 28, 2013
I love the meaning that has been ascribed by your write-up to the Star of David.How can this Magen David mystic be related to the scriptures,precisely the Law and the prophets? Is the symbol an object to be venerated just like the Ark of Covenant was?
Miriam
nigeria
February 27, 2013
Referring to our Creator
Hi Phillip: There are some wonderful articles in the Chabad website that discuss this in depth from a rabbinical perspective. I tried to make an answer, but there wasn't enough 'space' here to explain something that is infinite. One way to look at it is the 'o' is a place holder for the Infinite (Ein Sof) and by not writing it, we give respect to- and remind ourselves- of that which is holy, beyond our human ability to grasp and can not therefore be named, symbolized or represented. Abraham grew up as an idolator, the son of an idol maker. Abraham's life and teachings- our Jewish inheritance- is a greater understanding (from what humans previously understood) of our relationship with the Creator beyond the material and conceptual (which is idolatry). The silent 'o' -and its absence- speaks volumes . . . There is so much more...this is an 'ask the Rabbi' type question, but in a small nutshell, that is my understanding. Hope that helps.
Judy
Olam Hazeh
February 27, 2013
PLEASE RABBI'S TAKE NOTE
Why do the writer and other contributors on this discussion always reffered or write
G-d as the name of the Almighty? Please some one educate me on this
1. Is it how is pronounce in Torah?
2. Is this the english translation of the Name?
3. Is there any secret in calling the Holy name
Thanks From Philip
Philip
South African
February 27, 2013
Magen David and again number Seven
The seven spaces of the Magen David reminds of the importance of the number seven in all the human issues.

I won't detail one to one all of them here but only two of them very special:

1 The days of the creation of the world by G-d and the Shabbat according to the Torah

2 The directions in the material world (six) and the whole, the not visible presence of G-d in the Universe.

Only a small thought to complement a great article of Chabad as always very didactic and delightful, clear and elevated.
DANIEL N.
R.O.U.
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