Kabbalah & Mysticism
The True Secret Behind the Star of David
What does the Star of David symbolize? What is the origin of the "Star of David"? Rabbi Zamir Cohen explains the deeper meaning of the Magen David
There is a tradition that King David went out to battle with a shield that had two triangles drawn on it; one upright and one upside down. This is the reason this symbol is called the ‘Magen David’ - The Star of David.
What does it symbolize?
There are many aspects and secrets to the Star of David. On a simple level the two triangles symbolize the male and female; two opposites that form a whole. According to Judaism, creation is based upon the principle that two opposites in nature form a whole. Therefore an unmarried man or women is considered a partial person, when they marry they become ‘whole’.
On a deeper level, when these two triangles unite, they form six smaller triangular spaces that surround an inner hexagonal space. The Maharal of Prague, one of the great Kabbalists writes that the number six expresses physicality. All physical materials are limited by six sides, East, West, North, South, above and below; the seventh, is the inner spiritual dimension within the physical.
For example, the electrons in the atom are the spiritual force that sustains the physical, as well as the soul inside the body is the spiritual dimension that sustains the physical.
This is the reason why the number seven is such a common theme throughout Judaism. The seventh day is Shabbat, the seventh year is Shmittah, the Holidays are seven days, a bride and groom celebrate seven festive days, a mourner mourns for seven days, family purity is seven days, there are seven arms of the Menorah, the Tefillin straps are wrapped seven times and so on.
The reason for this, is because the seventh dimension in nature is the inner spirituality that sustains and preserves all of the physicality that surrounds us. That is why Shabbat is called ‘the source of blessing’, the day of Shabbat is actually in the centre as it illuminates the three days before it and after it.
When a person works during the week he creates materials, money and physicality; though without spirituality it has no existence. Having blessing in your money is not about what’s written in your bank account, rather it’s about enjoying every dollar.
The Maharal explains that Shabbat observance allows the seventh spiritual dimension to enter into the six physical dimensions and at that point there is true existence.
On an even deeper level, the Star of David, is made up of an upper line and a lower line. The upper line symbolizes the higher worlds and the heavens, where as the lower line symbolizes this world.
The nature of man is to first have great aspirations, he feels the vast spaces around him, he advances and exerts himself, though as he reaches his goal and destination it becomes narrower until it ends.
On the other, when it comes to spiritual matters it is exactly the opposite. When one begins at a small point it becomes wider and wider for eternity.
The wider part of the upside down triangle is endless, because both sides can continue forever, whereas the upright triangle begins wide at the bottom and eventually the two lines meet at a certain point.
The Sages of the mystics teach us that a person's behaviour in this world influences the upper worlds. Once the upper worlds have been affected, the abundance rebounds back into this world.
This is also alluded to in the Star of David. When a person performs an action in this world it doesn’t remain there, on the lower line, rather it travels up and penetrates the upper worlds. Thereafter it rebounds back into the physical world causing goodness and blessings in accordance with the actions of the individual.