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Posted by Yevgeni Kuritski on 21st Aug 2015
Peoples and nations alike are so often tied to mythologized, seemingly larger-than-life figures, the values their legend claims to represent, and the symbols and iconography associated with them. The United Kingdom immortalized both the legendary King Arthur and historical Richard the Lionheart as larger-than-life statues, William Wallace still looms large for Scots across the realm, and America has come to mythologize both George Washington and the creation of the original American flag as used by the Thirteen Colonies.
Even so, few figures can match the magnitude and symbolic resonance of King David and the Star which now not only bears his name, but flies in Judea today as the standard of the Israeli nation. Indeed, it might be seen as the only logical choice for the flag of a Jewish state, as the Star of David has come to be taken as the international symbol of the Jewish people from Tel Aviv to Leipzig, London, Los Angeles and back again. The flag is that of the Israel, but the Star of David and the tradition, perseverance, unity and—as the Israeli national anthem states—the “hope of two thousand years” it represents is indeed an ideal in which Jews from all over the world can share and take solace.
We at yourholylandstore.com are proud to pay homage to the Israeli flag as a uniquely “Jewish” flag, with all the history both recent and ancient alike wrapped up in that banner adorned by Blue, White and, most importantly of all, the Star of David.
The comedian and incredible wit Eddie Izzard famously satirized the propensity of nationalism to tie itself to flags, and yet this oh-so-Jewish flag, like so many others before and since, really does reflect the history and nature of the people it represents. The American flag has thirteen Stripes for the original Thirteen Colonies and fifty Stars, one for each state in the Union. The flag of the United Kingdom “unites” the centuries-old flags of England, Scotland and Ireland. For all of that, however, the Israeli flag, as a Jewish flag representing the Jewish people, takes its seemingly simple iconography from even more iconic elements. Blue and White have been the “colors” of the Jewish people for millennia, and may be seen as representing Divinity and Purity, respectively. On a secular level, these may again may be seen as the traditional colors of the Jewish people, the colors that have been used by and associated with them through good times and bad, and so have become as distinctly and forever “Jewish” as England’s Red Cross is definitely “English.” There is a sense of continuity and solidarity in those colors, in the tallit-like layout of the two blue stripes set alongside the white middle, and especially the Star of David itself, which like the legendary king for whom its named has come to stand not just for Israel and Jewish communities not merely as people, but indeed, a People—Distinct, singular, and even in moments of division, united in that common sense and millennia-old, ever-evolving ideal of “Jewishness” the Star of David represents.
Turkey and Pakistan feature the Sickle and Star of Islam. Many nations—including the United Kingdom—feature the Cross so central and iconic in Christianity.
But there is one state that flies the one singular symbol of the Jewish people, has done so through war, trial, hardship and support from all across the Diaspora, and it is in that sense of unity and community that the Israeli Flag and its Star of David truly becomes the Jewish flag for the Jewish state and, even more importantly, the Jewish People—then and now and forevermore.
Congratulations—or, if you prefer, mazel tov—you’ve been invited to your first Rosh Hashanah party! …But you don’t know the first thing about Rosh Hashanah, what it means, why it’s celebrated, or even how to celebrate it. You want to go, of course, but you don’t want to come across as being ignorant or unaware in front of the other guests [...]
When celebrating Passover, an essential element of the holiday is the food, which is both a traditional one, as well as a particularity of the celebration.There are several foods to be found on the Passover table. The following paragraphs shall present them in great detail, together with the traditions accompanying them, which should be respected to the core in order [...]
A Jewish Passover Seder (ritual dinner) can best be characterized by tradition and symbolism. Nothing is left to chance, with every dish and piece of cutlery and china being chosen for a specific reason and placed in a particular place on the table. Everything, starting with the china and silverware used on the occasion, followed by the dishes served and [...]
There are many traditions to be followed when celebrating Passover. Most traditions refer to the Passover meal and the setting of the proper table for the holiday. One of these traditions is the Haggadah, which is a text establishing the manner in which the Passover Seder is to take place. Reading the Haggadah at the Seder (a special dinner [...]
Passover, also known as Pesach, is a highly important and well-known Jewish festival. The event celebrates a particular event of Jewish history – the liberation of the Jewish people from the Egypt of the Pharaohs, after a 3.300 years’ slavery and their constitution as a nation under the leadership of Moses. The liberation and fleeing of Egypt is depicted [...]
A Bar Mitzvah is an important event in the life of a Jew. The celebration takes place when a boy is 13 years old and highlights the importance of the coming of age. Apart from the symbolic entering into adulthood and the embracing of responsibilities, this day is also a commemoration of the efforts made by the respective child [...]
Chai is a Hebrew word (translated as ”living” or ”life” due to the fact that in Hebrew, the word ”chaya” means ”living things” or ”animal”) which is part of the more modern Jewish culture. The spelling includes the Hebrew letters Het (ח) and Yud (י), resulting in the word “chai” written as follows: Chai (חי) and pronounced as if saying [...]
”Ana BeKoach” is an important prayer chanted in the Kaballah.The prayer dates back to the first century and is the product of a Kabalistic rabbi – Rabbi Nehonia. The prayer can also be found in the following ways: ”Ana BeCoach” or ”Ana B’Koach” and is composed of seven lines, each line having six words. After taking each first letter of [...]
The phrase ”Ani ledodi vedodi li” means ”I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine”. The words originate from the ”Song of Songs” and are believed to be an actual celebration of the bride and groom and the love there is between them. Although it has not been fully established, scholars considered that the groom referred to in [...]