Star of David – a hexagram made up of two equilateral triangles, nowadays serves as the emblem of Judaism. According to legend, the shield of King David was just of this shape, so the original Hebrew name for the star of David is Magendavid, or Magen David, which means “Shield of David.” The image of Magen David is often placed upon synagogues, sacred vessels, etc. It also serves as the emblem of the Zionist organization and many other institutions.
Jewish law prohibits the image of G-d, as well as the use of any symbols, and the Star of David is not mentioned even once in the Talmud. Therefore, it can hardly be assumed that Magen David appeared in the era of the Talmud, although his image was recently discovered on a tombstone in Tarentum (southern Italy), which should be attributed to the 3rd century AD.
For the first time, Magen David is mentioned in Eshkol a-Kofer of Karaite Yehuda Gadassi (mid-12th century), where he says: “Seven angelic names precede the Mezuzah: Michael, Gabriel … let him protect you a-shem! And in the same way, a sign called the Shield of David is placed next to the name of every angel. ”
Apparently, Magen David was then a sign on amulets. On magic papyruses, images of the pentagram and star are often found, in which the names of the Almighty are inscribed, but hexagrams are not found in them. There is no Magen David in the large magical papyruses of Paris and London, although there is a triangle there – perhaps it is put here instead of a hexagram. The six-pointed star is also missing from the illustrations of the amulets of Budge in his Egyptian Magic (London 1899).
Most likely, Magen David got his fame from Kabbalah.
The pentagram, otherwise called the seal of Shlomo (Solomon), also serves as a talisman. Henry believes that the Hindus borrowed it from the Semites (Magie dans l “Inde antique, p. 93, Paris 1904), although its name cannot serve as evidence of Jewish or Semitic origin. The Hindus used the hexagram as a” talisman. “It is very possible that they used it as a decoration for mezuzah in the synagogues, and the name Shield of David speaks of its “protective” power. As an ornament, it could initially be used to decorate synagogues. Such an ornament is available, for example, at Brandenburg and Stendhal Cathedrals and at Marktkirche in Hannover.
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