3 Most Common Jewish Symbols and their Meanings

The Jewish faith is ripe with symbolism thanks to its thousands of years old history and the numerous events which have occurred over the millennia. There are many symbols which hold special meaning to Jews, but these four are among the most common. They may be so “common,” in fact, that we forget the special significance behind them, so let’s recall and explore their spiritual meaning and remember how far we’ve come thanks to the sacrifice of so many before us.

  1. Candles/menorah. Light is a huge symbol in the Jewish faith, and it’s one that is present in all of our lives, every day, to the point where we barely think about it. Yet the next time you light a candle during your Passover vacation at The Prime Experience and especially when you put that candle in the menorah, consider that God has called each and every one of us in the Jewish faith to be a light in the world: peaceful yet shining, bright yet gentle.
  2. The Star of David. While the Star of David, or magen david, which is two interlocking triangles creating a six-pointed star, has been found on ancient artifacts, its close association with the Jewish faith is more recent, as of the establishment of the state of Israel. Some scholars have described the points on top and on bottom as reaching upward toward God and indicating the humans on earth, respectively, and they are separate yet interlocked.
  3. Yarmelka or kippah. Worn only by men in the Orthodox synagogues, the yarmelka is a small round cap that sits on the crown of the head and reminds the wearer that he is perpetually in the presence – and under the hand – of God.

Jewish symbolism is fascinating, especially when you consider that the meaning of some objects reaches back into a past that we can hardly recognize, yet is still as pertinent today as it was then.