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Interestingly, the more common iteration of the tablets, featuring rounded tops, is a historical inaccuracy introduced by renaissance artists. According to Talmudic tradition, the tablets were made from sapphire and shaped like cubes. Read: What Shape Were the Luchot?

Using a Torah Portion's Symbols and Metaphors to Create a Dvar Torah

The seven-branched golden menorah candelabra featured prominently in the Tabernacle Moses built in the desert, as well as the Holy Temples later built in Jerusalem. Interestingly, this symbol is also often misrepresented with rounded branches as it is depicted on the Arch of Titus , while many authentic Jewish sources suggest slanted, straight branches. At times, the eight-branched menorah, the kind used in Jewish homes to celebrate the holiday of Chanukah , is also used as a Jewish symbol on synagogues, letter heads, and more.

Explore the differences between the Chanukah and Temple menorahs. An open Torah scroll is often used as the central part of a logo of a yeshivah or other institution of Torah study. The sages say that the , letters in the Torah scroll correspond to the , collective Jewish souls understand the math of this equation , as every single Jew has a portion of the Torah, and there is a portion of every Jew within the Torah. Thus the message of this symbol is that the Torah should not just sit in the holy ark ; it should be opened, read, studied, and internalized by every member of the Jewish nation.

In addition to Stars of David see below , scrolls, and tablets, Jewish gravestones often feature several unique symbols. A pair of hands with the fingers spread in the Vulcan salute indicates that a Kohen , a member of the priestly clan who bless the Jewish people while holding their hands in this position , is buried there. A gravestone marked with a pitcher of water is generally that of a Levite , who is honored with washing the hands of the Kohen before the Priestly Blessing is administered.

Chai (symbol) - Wikipedia

By the same token, a lit candelabra usually with several branches is often used to decorate the grave of a righteous Jewish woman, who was surely particular to light the Shabbat candles in her home every Friday afternoon and on the eve of Jewish holidays. Torah scroll covers and the holy arks in which they are stored are often decorated with lions their forepaws atop the two Tablets. Eagles are also not uncommon on synagogue accoutrements, such as the silver crowns placed atop Torah scrolls. First, it should be noted that the lion is the symbol of the tribe of Judah , which produced David , Solomon , and other great kings, including the Messiah.

In ancient times, the four species that are taken together on the holiday of Sukkot —the lulav palm branch , etrog citron , hadas myrtle , and aravah willow —were used as a prominent Jewish symbol and can still be seen on some of the recovered coins from the short-lived Bar Kochba revolt CE. The Midrash teaches that each of the four species represents a different type of Jew, yet the mitzvah can only be performed when we have all four together, symbolizing the unity of our nation. Read more about the unity of the Four Species. Scripture describes the seven species with which the land of Israel was blessed: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.

Even in exile, the Jews maintained these symbols of their homeland.


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Probably the most ubiquitous of Jewish symbols, but also the least significant, is the six-pointed star or hexagram. Discover the Mystical Significance of the Star of David. The dove and the olive branch have become a universal symbol of peace due to the somewhat misunderstood biblical story of the dove bringing back an olive leaf to Noah to signify that the waters had receded after the Great Flood.

At the same time, each has been used individually as a symbol and metaphor for the Jewish people since Biblical times. Explore the Jewish symbolism of the dove. After the Star of David, the chai is probably the next most popular Jewish pendant. This explains why Jews love giving birthday presents, donations and other gifts in multiples of 18 36, 54, 72, 90 etc. More about giving gifts in multiples of What Does "Maccabee" Mean? Often found in synagogues, frequently embroidered on the curtain covering the holy ark that houses the Torah scrolls, the breastplate choshen was one of the eight priestly garments worn by the high priest kohen gadol while serving in the Holy Temple.

Chai (symbol)

It featured 12 precious gemstones, corresponding to the 12 tribes of Israel. Likewise, one can often find depictions of the flags, animals, or produce that symbolize each tribe based on the blessing Jacob gave his children before he passed away. Although we may come from different backgrounds and even different tribes with many distinct customs, we remain one unified nation. The Hamsa, a symmetrical image of a palm with an eye in its center, is common to many cultures, including Judaism.

There are those who question whether it is a legitimate Jewish symbol, and many people refrain from wearing the Hamsa or hanging it in their homes. Apparently, he did not consider it a problem.


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It is important to keep in mind that the Talmud says the evil eye only affects you if you place importance on it and worry about it. If you ignore it, the evil eye does not affect you at all. What Is an Evil Eye? Pseudo psychology. There's is no truly scientific proof that the brain ignores the "do not".

In my opinion, those who ignore it are weak of mind. Set Alef. Set Bet.


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Set Gimel. Set Dalet. Set Hey. Set Vav.

The weekly portion or Sedrah is followed by the recitation of part of another of the Jewish holy writings. The Torah scrolls are entirely handwritten in Hebrew by a sofer scribe on parchment from a kosher animal.

3. Torah Scroll

This is usually a cow. It can take up to 18 months to complete the whole process from the complex preparation of the animal skins to the writing of the final words. Great accuracy is needed when the sofer writes the scroll. If he makes any mistakes it can make the whole scroll pasul invalid. The completed scroll is known as a Sefer Torah from sefer which is the Hebrew for book. A Sefer Torah is so sacred to Jews it is said that if one is accidentally dropped in the synagogue the whole congregation must fast for 40 days.

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When Jewish communities have suffered persecution, great efforts would be made to preserve these scrolls. This demonstrates just how symbolically and physically important the Torah is to Jews. Alongside the written law Jews believe God also told Moses the spoken or oral law. The letter Pei as well as being the Hebrew word for mouth is the 17th letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Pei has a numerical value of 80 which Jews believe is the age that Moses was when he led them out from slavery in Egypt. Although given at the same time this law was to be passed down orally from generation to generation. It is the information Jews need to practise fully the commandments in the written law. It was codified in the 2nd Century C. Search term:. Read more. This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets CSS enabled.

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