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4
votes
1answer
52 views

“Qof, Qof” What does this mean?

An old (formerly used) synagogue building in my town has this sign on the front of it. The text says "Shaaray Torah", the name of the congregation, but what is the meaning of the two qofs above it?
6
votes
5answers
698 views

Should the Christian cross be seen as an idol?

As Christianity is Avodah Zarah, is a Christian cross which people kiss, pay respect to, and face toward when praying, considered to be an idol? Here is a brief excerpt from a scholarly Christian ...
6
votes
2answers
208 views

Symbolism behind earrings used for the golden calf?

Shemos 32:2-3 tells us that the gold materials requested and used for the making of the golden calf were earrings. The Jews clearly had other gold items, including other golden jewlery (ibid 35:22). ...
2
votes
0answers
53 views

What does a porcupine have to do with a berit milah?

R' Natan Slifkin, in this recent blog post, presents the above-embedded picture of a porcupine from the Rothschild Miscellany (Italy, 15th Century CE), which adorns a yotzer (seasonal additional ...
4
votes
2answers
146 views

The meaning of Trees

Do the trees in scriptures have meaning? Abraham is under a oak, Deborah under a Palm, Gideon is met by an angel under a terebinth tree and there are many, many more. I feel I am missing out on some ...
14
votes
3answers
469 views

Shape of the Luchot

According to the Talmud in Bava Batra 14a, the Luchot HabBerit were square. Where did the common "tablet" shape come from, with rectangles and a rounded top? Besides in pictures, I see it in ...
1
vote
0answers
95 views

Is there a difference between an Icon and an Idol in Judaism [closed]

Many of the Christians refer the Idols of Jesus or cross as "Icon" and say that since they are actually religious symbols and hence cannot be Idols. It sounds absurd but does Judaism differentiate ...
7
votes
2answers
478 views

What to do with the Cross on the Chess King?

Many (perhaps most) Chess sets come with a King piece that has a cross on the top of it. Is there any problem with owning or using such a chess set? Should one break off the cross?
0
votes
1answer
81 views

Using a flag as a tallit

Would a rectangular cloth be halachically invalid as a tallit (kattan or gadol) because it happens to be a national flag? Would any other specific pattern or logo make a difference?
0
votes
3answers
44 views

How did the plagues symbolize God's rule?

I once heard that the ten plagues were supposed to reveal how God rules over everything. Does anyone have a source that explains this in detail: how each plagues revealed one aspect of this?
2
votes
0answers
99 views

Meaning of dreams with some kinds of animals

The gemara in berachot says: "All kinds of beasts are a good sign in a dream, except the elephant, the monkey and the long-tailed ape" (57b). Why is a dream with an elephant, a monkey or a long-tailed ...
1
vote
0answers
65 views

What is the meaning of the signs that Elijah was shown at mount Horeb

It is written in 1 Kings Chapter 19 that Elijah went to mount Horeb and was shown three signs: wind, earthquake, and fire. 8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

can I still wear my star of david

Hi I am just curious my mother is Jewish but my father is christian and I was raised in the christian church but I still have alot of respect for my jewish heritage, would it be wrong to wear a star ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

What's the source that rain is a sign of blessing?

I've heard rain is considered a symbol of blessing, perhaps because of the flood: that Hashem doesn't repeat the flood so He sends rain in much smaller proportions and to give the land its ...
5
votes
1answer
146 views

Parshas Tzav - 96 Pesukim?

At the end of each Parsha many Chumashim have the number of Pesukim that are in that Parsha. By Parshas Tzav they all say 96 which is the Gematria of Tzav צו. However if counted there are 97 Pesukim. ...
5
votes
2answers
250 views

Not interlacing fingers in prayer

I have heard from an unauthoritative source that one should not interlace his fingers while praying, because, l'havdil, Christians do. Is there any authoritative source for the claim that it's ...
3
votes
1answer
187 views

Meaning of a Double Rainbow

After my mum died and while we were planning for her funeral, during one dramatic day after we had left the funeral home, my dad and I saw a giant double rainbow in the sky. I understand that single ...
2
votes
0answers
40 views

Why paint Kohanim in ram's blood?

In parshas Tetzaveh 29:20 the Torah explains the details about painting different parts of the Kohen in ram's blood. I get the whole idea of the symbolism of the different parts of the body ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Relationship between Gold and Awe of G-d

Rav Gedalya Schorr in Ohr Gedalyahu (2nd maamar on parshas Terumah) writes that kesef (silver) hints to a desire of love of G-d in man, while zahav (gold) hints at the awe of the L-rd. He brings some ...
8
votes
4answers
9k views

What are the symbols of the 12 tribes?

I remember that every tribe has his own symbol, e.g. Benjamin's symbol is a wolf. What are the symbols of the 12 tribes? (I am especially interested in knowing what the symbol is for Levi.)
4
votes
2answers
48 views

What is the symbolism of Choni Ha'Magel's circle?

In Taanis 3:8 we learn that Choni Ha'Magel drew a circle which he stood in while praying for rain. I would like to know if there is any symbolism to his use of this shape as opposed to any other.
4
votes
1answer
82 views

What Kashrut Agency Uses this Symbol?

I found this symbol on a box of chocolates today: It was on a box of chocolates from this company - http://www.hauserchocolates.com. Anybody recognize the agency?
4
votes
0answers
98 views

Are gold (or silver) jewelry charms considered avodah zarah?

Many years ago, I started to buy small gold charms specifically with Jewish symbols for my mother who added them to a necklace, much like gold charm bracelets circa 50 years ago. Among them were tiny ...
1
vote
2answers
266 views

Is there a Jewish symbol for evil?

Is there a Jewish equivalent to Christian's upside-down cross, a symbol that some Christians believe to mean "evil" or the "devil." Does the "average" Jew have a visual symbol which might be taken to ...
1
vote
1answer
136 views

Jewish dervishes and “Darkeihem”

This photo shows a pair of Jewish dervishes. It has been going around the Jewish-oriented pages of the internet and social media lately, and it got me wondering: would this be a problem of following ...
5
votes
2answers
242 views

Color meanings in Judaism

Do colors have a specific symbolic meaning in the Torah? (For ex. is it brought down anywhere that blue is holy?)
13
votes
5answers
8k views

Would a non-Jew wearing the Star of David together with a cross be offensive?

I am not Jewish, although I come from a Jewish heritage. My great-grandmother was Jewish. I have, since childhood, found the religion fascinating, even though my belief in Jesus has firmly placed me ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the significance of bears in Judaism? Why has Dov (or Dov Ber) been such a common Jewish name?

I understand, to some extent at least, why lions are an important symbol in Judaism. After all, in the beginning of the Shulchan Aruch we are told we should rise like a lion to serve our Creator, and ...
3
votes
2answers
105 views

What does the concept of rehovot hanahar mean?

I have seen the phrase Rehovot HaNahar (wideness of the river) used, often in a kabbalistic context, but am not sure what it symbolizes. The phrase can be found in the shabbos song Kel Mistater (the ...
14
votes
1answer
537 views

What does this pointing hand symbol mean?

I've seen in the Shulchan Aruch the hand symbol ( ☜ ) appearing quite a few times. What does it do? Does it reference to mforshim on the side?
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Is getting a tattoo of the Star of David “ironic”?

Amare Stoudemire, a professional basketball player and practicing Jew, has a Star of David tattoo. In an article at ProBasketballTalk, Kurt Helin calls this tattoo "ironic." But he links to a ...
15
votes
4answers
507 views

What is the source of the Magen Dovid (Star of David)?

What is the source of the Magen Dovid (Star of David) in Rabbinic Judaism? When was it first used, and for what?
-2
votes
1answer
206 views

the symbol of transformation in Judaism

Would you please telling me about the symbol of transformation in Judaism? By transformation, I meant the upgrade from something earthy, lower in nature to higher, or even sacred entities. Here are ...
8
votes
2answers
156 views

If two separate studies intersect, is it a good sign?

There is an expression that I have always heard, which is that when two separate Torah studies one is learning happen to reference each other, it is a good sign. A variant of this that I've heard is ...
0
votes
1answer
491 views

Is Ahimsa related to Hamsa?

Is Ahimsa related to Hamsa (both the symbol and the name)? If so, does this lend credence to those who view Hamsa as being of non-Jewish (at best, or pagan, at worst) origin?
5
votes
1answer
197 views

Is it Asur to wear apparel with the Versace symbol on it?

The Versace symbol is a Medusa which stems from Greek mythology. Is there a problem with wearing their apparel with this symbol? Additionally since it Asur to learn Greek mythology (see Shulhan Aruch ...
5
votes
6answers
179 views

Apple on Rosh HaShanah

There is a custom of eating an apple dipped in honey on first night of Rosh HaShanah (among the other foods) as a sign that we should have a sweet year. Why is this done specifically with an apple and ...
12
votes
3answers
513 views

May a Jew be a Freemason?

According to what I've been told by several people who have inquired of "practicing" (is that the right word?) Freemasons, and supported by Wikipedia, "Freemasonry explicitly and openly states that it ...
6
votes
1answer
581 views

star of david and the cross

I am a Christian and our church has a group of women that make prayer shawls for those who are sick or hurting or who are just plain in need of some comfort. We collect these shawls all month long ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Rainbow as a bad omen

There is a popular idea that seeing a rainbow is a bad sign, as if the world is deserving of a deluge (c"v) and the only reason Hashem does not do so is because of His promise. Is there any source for ...
1
vote
2answers
86 views

Source for 4 species and the name of God?

I have seen many people say that one of the things that the arba minim (four species used on Succot) relate symbolically to the name of God, each species corresponding to another letter. What is the ...
4
votes
2answers
180 views

Source for not having picture taken

Is there any source, halachic or otherwise, for an aversion to having one's picture taken?
9
votes
2answers
748 views

A site to search Kosher Symbols by characteristics?

Several years ago, I found a website that let me search and sort Kosher symbols by look and other characteristics. It seemed like each symbol was tagged with its distinctive features. This was very ...
3
votes
1answer
182 views

A new knife for Rosh Hashanah?

There is a custom to buy a knife for Rosh Hashanah: the qualifier is that the knife not be serrated. What is the source for this custom and what is the significance of the knife not having edges?
6
votes
2answers
120 views

Why a Beitzah on the Seder Plate?

Why do we use a roasted (maybe?) egg on the Seder Plate to represent the Festival offering?
5
votes
1answer
146 views

Some years have a siman, what does it mean?

I saw on a calendar that each year has a siman, for example 5772 has the siman 517. Here are the simanim for the next few years: 5773: 203 5774: 1523 5775: 517 5776: 1217 Does anyone know ...
10
votes
2answers
597 views

Is hamsa allowed?

Does the Halacha allow the use of a hamsa as a good luck charm, considering that it originated as a Muslim symbol?
5
votes
0answers
100 views

Dictionary of symbology in Kodshim and Taharot

I'm wondering if anyone has ever put together a book that lists all the different elements that can come up in the realms of Kodshim and Taharot (e.g. bulls, the number seven, water, slaughtering, ...
9
votes
3answers
431 views

How did the Star of David become iconic?

We all recognize the iconic symbol of the Star of David, do we know where it came from and where it got its name? I always learned that the symbol appeared on King David's shield. True? How do we ...
4
votes
0answers
91 views

Sources for Hamsa

I know from Ben Ish Hai Shana Bet Parashat Pinehas siman 13 where he writes to make a Hamsa from wood. However, I am wondering if there any earlier sources to solidify the fact that this would ...