Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [symbols-symbology]

The tag has no usage guidance.

16
votes
4answers
32k 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

What was the shape of the Luchot?

According to the Talmud in Bava Batra 14a, the Luchot HaBrit were square. As a side note, I have seen those "correctly-modeled Luchot" in the Shteblach of Meah Shearim. Where did the common "tablet" ...
13
votes
2answers
1k 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?
10
votes
2answers
3k 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, ...
9
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
191 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, etc....
12
votes
4answers
52k 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.)
17
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
2k 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?
9
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
194 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
676 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
275 views

Source for not having picture taken

Is there any source, halachic or otherwise, for an aversion to having one's picture taken?
19
votes
4answers
1k 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?
9
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 well-...
8
votes
1answer
157 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
5k 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:
3
votes
1answer
68 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
160 views

Wearing cruciform orders

Most European chivalric orders, both historic and otherwise, as well as many other awards issued were cruciform (for different examples of styles, see the Pour le Mérite, the Iron Cross, and the ...
7
votes
6answers
710 views

Why specifically an 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
702 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
1answer
1k views

What is “Metatron's cube” in Judaism ? Is it truly mentionned in Jewish mysticism?

according to wikipedia The derivation of Metatron's Cube from the Flower of Life, which Jewish texts states, was excluded from human experience during the exile from Eden. Is Metatron's cube ...
1
vote
2answers
134 views

Why would Pharaoh's heart be made כבד by G-D?

I've always loved the account of the 10 plagues (who doesn't?), but I always felt a little odd about the several times (7, in fact) Pharoah's heart was made "hard/heavy" by G-d because I'm a strong ...
8
votes
2answers
1k 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). ...
8
votes
1answer
393 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?
6
votes
2answers
364 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?
6
votes
0answers
153 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
580 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
1answer
326 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
452 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
191 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Is Ahimsa related to Hamsa? [closed]

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?