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Jewish Symbols

Magen David (Star Of David)

Magen David

 Very old symbol, both with 5 or 6 points.

During times of persecution Jews were often forced to wear this symbol.

It is today used on the Israeli Flag as a badge of honour.

Menorah

Menorah

 7 Branch oil lamp – God told the people of Israel to make a golden lampstand to light the tabernacle and the temple. The menorah is the major symbol of Israel

Hannukkiah

Hannoukiah

 9 Branch Lampstand. This is a special lamp for the Holyday of Hanukah. This Holyday symbolize the period when Jews people were being persecuted by the Greeks, about 160 years BC. The temple had been defiled and a family called the Maccabbees stood against the pagan Greeks and cleansed the temple. A supply of oil which would normally have lasted for one day miraculously lasted for eight days. This is why the Hanukah menorah has eight candles plus one called the servant candle which lights the others.

The Chalice – Kiddush Cup

Every Friday night, as the Sabbath begins, the head of each Jewish household raises a cup of wine and says the blessing: “”Blessed art Thou, O Lord of god, King of the Universe, who gives us fruit of the vine.
Chalice

Torah Scroll

Scroll

The Torah – the first five books of the Bible – is written Hebrew on a scroll by a specially trained scribe with a special ink and parchment. Men from the congregation are honoured by being chosen to come forward and read the proper portion of scripture for that Shabbath. The scroll is treated with great respect.

Dreidel- A Toy for Hanukah 

Dreidel

At Hanuka, which occurs in December, Jewish children play a game using this top or draydel. They get money or gifts from family and friends for spinning the top and having it land on the right letter. The letters stand for the words “A Great Miracle Happened There” In Israel, it says “A Great Miracle Happened Here”.

Chai – Hebrew for Life

ChaiThe letters Het and Yod make the Hebrew word Chai. Since Hebrew words always have numerical value, because letters are used for numbers, the numerical value of Chai is “18”. The symbol is used in many ways.

 Through all their years of persecution, Jewish people have learned to celebrate life. Christians can join in the celebration because we have been grafted into the Jewish root of the olive tree through Jesus our Messiah. By getting acquainted with our Jewish roots, we can learn much about celebration and the Joy of Life.

Shofar – Ram’s Horn

shofar

In the Bible God told the people of Israel to use a ram’s horn as a trumpet to call the people to prayer and worship. The Jewish people have used this type of trumpet ever since. Even today the Jewish neighbours use a highly polished ram’s horn to call the congregation to worship on special Holidays such as Rosh HaShana (1st Day of the Year) and Yom Kippour.


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