Prayer and Religious Articles: Tzitzis, Tefillin, Torah Scrolls, and Mezuzos: The Jewish Star:
What is the origin of the Jewish Star?
The hexagram (six-pointed star) has been used as an ornament, and possibly
as a magical sign, in many cultures since ancient times. It was used by Jews
as well, but was not especially a Jewish symbol. In Byzantine and Arab
sources it became known as the "seal of Solomon", and this name was also
adopted in Jewish sources. By the late Middle Ages the name had gradually
changed to "shield of David" (magen David). It was used as an official
emblem by various Jewish families and communities beginning about 500 years
ago, and was widely adopted as a Jewish symbol in the 19th century. In
particular, it was adopted by the Zionist movement, and thus become an
official Israeli symbol. For more details on its history see the article
Magen David in the Encyclopedia Judaica, Vol. 11, cols. 687-697.
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