What Does the Star of David Symbolize?

The Star of David, intended to represent the shape of King David’s shield, is a symbol for Judaism and the Jewish community. There are several interpretations for its symbolic significance. One such view is that it represents an inner spiritual center supported by six universal sides. Another view is that the two overlapping triangles represent the dichotomies of good and evil.

Some theological interpretations of the symbol’s significance support the view of the Star of David as a symbol of dichotomy. In this interpretation of the symbol, the top triangle strives upward toward God, while the lower triangle points downward toward the real world.

The Star of David rose to prominence as a symbol for Judaism relatively recently. There are few references to the symbol in early Jewish literature and artwork. Historically, Jews used the hexagram as a decorative motif, with its first appearance found on early synagogues and in religious texts.

In Germany during the Holocaust era, the Nazis forced Jews to wear yellow badges with Star of David symbols as a form of racial identification. However, the practice of forcing Jewish people to wear badges to identify themselves predates Nazi Germany and actually goes back to Europe’s Medieval period.