Thursday, 23 June 2016

Defining 'Magen David'

Here are 3 separate and interesting definitions of the term 'Magen David'-

The Magen David (Shield of David) Definitions

Magen David
It is said to be "The Shield of David", or Magen David in Hebrew. The Semitic root M-G-N has the same meaning in Hebrew and Arabic. The symbol was adopted by Jews in Prague in the 17th century, with somesources quoting the 14th century instead. The earliest mention of theMagen is in a 12th century Karaite book by Judah Hadassi. Some sources mention it as a Cannanite symbol, but archeological digs in Palestine have failed to confirm neither a Hebrew nor a Canaanite origin. It was adoped by some American Jewish publications in 1873, and by the Zionist Congress of Basel.

- Star of David - Solomon's Seal,

The Magen David
(Shield of David), the six-pointed star made of two triangles, appeared according to Jewish tradition on the shield of King David. According to the same tradition the same symbols appeared also on King Solomon's ring and therefore it is also called the Seal of Solomon. This symbol was considered to have magical powers and as a defence from the evil spirits. Such symbol without any connection to Judaism was found in India. The symbol was also considered as magical by the Moslems (as Solomon Seal) and appeared as the symbol of Nigeria. It was also used by the Ethiopian monarchs who, according to their tradition, were the descendants of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheva, and was also known there as Solomon Seal. Sources: Hebrew Encyclopedia; Encyclopaedia Britannica (Hebrew version); From the Foundation, 1986. Dov Gutterman, 4 March 1999

- Shield of David - Magen David,

("David's shield") The hexagram formed by the combination of two equilateral triangles; used as the symbol of Judaism. It is placed upon synagogues, sacred vessels, and the like, and was adopted as a device by the American Jewish Publication Society in 1873, the Zionist Congress of Basel- hence by "Die Welt" (Vienna), the official organ of Zionism-and by other bodies. The Hebra Haddisha of the Jewish community of Johannesburg, South Africa, calls itself 'Hebra Haddisha zum Rothen Magen David,' following the designation of the 'red cross' societies.

- Magen Dawid, Jewish

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