Thought of the week
What does the Star of David symbolise? Is there meaning behind it? Why is it considered the Jewish symbol? And where did it come from?
There is in an ancient kabbalistic text called Raziel Hamalach. It is named after an angel who taught mystical secrets to the first man,
Adam. The earliest appearance of what we call the Star of David is found in that book. While its teachings are way beyond our understanding, here is a thought that we can relate to.
One of the most important ideas in Judaism is the concept of Shabbos, the day of rest. The seven day week is a biblical invention. Without it, we may have never got the weekend off.
But Shabbos is much more than just a weekend.
During the working week we are preoccupiedwith mundane activities. We don't have as much time to think about what is really important, like our relationships, our life direction, our soul. We can sometimes lose ourselves in a routine that seems endless and pointless.
Shabbos gives us a chance to stop and focus on why we do what we do. Instead of being outwardly focused, for one day a week we turn inwards. For six days we may call ourselves doctors or lawyers, mechanics or students. On Shabbos we are human beings. For six days we challenge ourselves to achieve, invent and develop the world outside of us. On Shabbos we go back to the world within us, appreciating ourselves and our loved ones not for what we have achieved, but for the people we are.
Shabbos is not just the seventh day of the week. It completes the week, it gives the other six days purpose, shape and meaning. Without Shabbos our week is a disjointed series of days, a monotonous cycle. Shabbos gives shape to our week and meaning to our days.
This is all hidden in the Star of David. It has six little triangles, each one pointing outwards in different directions. These triangles converge to create a hexagonal space in the middle. The triangles represent the six days of the week, when we are outwardlyfocused. The inner space is the Shabbos, the soul that energizes the other days and unites them into a meaningful shape.
The Star of David has become the Jewish symbol, because it illustrates a core Jewish message. Connect to your inner self. Know who you are and why you are here. Only then can you face life and its challenges with confidence. You too can become a star.
PS. The name 'Star of David' fits in with this idea, as King David was the seventh in a line of spiritual leaders of the Jewish people: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph and David.
(By Rabbi Moss)