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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 ...
10
votes
2answers
634 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?
9
votes
4answers
12k 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.)
14
votes
3answers
499 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
9k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
140 views
+250

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, ...
12
votes
3answers
548 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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
546 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?
6
votes
1answer
648 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
184 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
3answers
447 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
742 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
526 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?
6
votes
2answers
125 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
120 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?
5
votes
1answer
156 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
277 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
93 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
104 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
566 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?