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11
votes
4answers
18k 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.)
6
votes
3answers
418 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?)
2
votes
0answers
137 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
60 views

How far do orthodox Jews go to avoid symbols that are superficially from other religions?

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plus_and_minus_signs the use of ﬩ (Hebrew letter alternative plus sign) is common in primary schools in Israel instead of + found in most other countries. It ...
16
votes
4answers
652 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it problematic to own and use a SwissGear bag, due to the “plus” logo?

SwissGear brand bags and back packs have the image of the Swiss flag (usually in color, red and white, and made out of a hard material) sewn into the material. Often the Swiss flag's image is put on ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

KORC - Kosher Symbol

I was in Costco today and saw chopped romaine lettuce with the KORC symbol. I was wondering if anyone knows if this symbol is accepted by the OU or other large Kashrus organizations.
6
votes
0answers
81 views

Is it allright to use/wave the Argentinian flag?

The Sun of May in the flag is inspired by an ancient Inca god. It is used by the Argentinian flag and the Uruguayan flag. It is a representation used as a homage to the ancient empire, inspired by ...
6
votes
2answers
213 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?
1
vote
2answers
91 views

Rabban Gamliel says we must mention moror at the seder. Is it just a word association?

Mishna Pesochim Perek 10 mishnah 5. Rabban Gamliel requires us to mention three things at the seder and gives the reasons. פסח, על שום שפסח המקום על בתי אבותינו במצרים. מצה, על שום שנגאלו ...
6
votes
1answer
69 views

What is the symbolism of the pomegranate in Judaism?

The pomegranate as a symbol in adorning the robe of the high priest, engraved on the pillars of the temple and brought by the spies to show the fruits of the land of Israel. Is there an explanation of ...
2
votes
1answer
800 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?
7
votes
1answer
613 views

Who or what is OV? (kosher symbol)

In the store earlier, I saw a kosher symbol I had never seen before, and was wondering if anyone here knows what organization it represents. Here is the symbol:
8
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
377 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
139 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? ...
3
votes
1answer
39 views

Tefillin as an Ot

The commandment of the arm-tefillin is וקשרתם לאות על ידך, "And you shall bind it as an sign upon your yad". (Devarim 6:8, Devarim 11:18) However, having just read an answer by Shalom, defining a ...
2
votes
1answer
198 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
151 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, ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I still wear my Star of David?

My mother is Jewish but my father is Christian and I was raised in the Christian church, but I still have a lot of respect for my Jewish heritage. Would it be wrong to wear a Star of David necklace, ...
8
votes
2answers
440 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
-4
votes
1answer
68 views

Do axes have a symbolic meaning in Tanakh or Jewish mythology? [closed]

Do axes have a symbolic meaning in Tanakh or Jewish mythology? I was asked by someone i assume to be Jewish to "Axe him a question!" Now this sound like a joke, but i assure you it is NOT. It is of ...
9
votes
5answers
1k 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
260 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
83 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
167 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
153 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
1k 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
111 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
56 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
123 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
179 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
243 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
321 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
50 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
62 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
60 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.
7
votes
1answer
139 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
136 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
13k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
140 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
643 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?
17
votes
4answers
622 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
258 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
163 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
212 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
216 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
667 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
766 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 ...