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The historical flag of Prague"s Jewish community. Øyvind Holmstad, via Wikimedia Commons

By now, the six-pointed star feels inseparable native Jewish identity. So as soon as presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald trump tweeted the end an image that Hillary Clinton through the symbol emblazoned with message accusing she of gift corrupt against a background the money critical week, critics lambasted Trump for fostering anti-Semitic propaganda.

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"The imagery is the classic trope that Jews and money implying the she"s elevating Jewish money, or something along those lines," Jonathan Greenblatt, the chairman the the Anti-Defamation League, tells CNN"s Jeremy Diamond.

Trump"s tweet may have actually originated native an anti-Semitic and also white superior online post board, reports Anthony blacksmith for Mic. The campaign"s society media director, Dan Scavino, released a statement on Monday evening the claimed the graphic to be taken from an "anti-Hillary" Twitter user, no an anti-Semitic site. Greenblatt, however, says he commonly receives sports of the tweet from anti-Semites and also white supremacists. 

The six-pointed prize is commonly described as the Star the David, a reference to the Biblical king and his legendary "shield." (There space more complicated interpretations that the symbol based on the ideas of Jewish mystics, however you deserve to read much more about those here.) if the hexagram may have become the most typical image symbolizing modern-day Jewish religion and also heritage (see: the Israeli flag), the six-pointed star is far native the only or the oldest image of Judaism. For countless years, Jews typically used the menorah, a seven-armed ceremonial candelabrum, together a price of their faith, follow to Haaretz’s Ronen Shnidman.

“Albeit no much longer as well-known a symbol together it when was, the menorah is still used as the main emblem that Israel and also its various government entities, and also it shows up on the ago of the 10-agorot coin,” Shnidman writes.

The earliest uses of the Star of David in Jewish society had little to do with religion. According to historian Alec Mishory, the star was originally provided by Jewish printers to note their ancestry, decorate your books and to differentiate themselves from your competitors. The was during the 19th century, when European Jews became more integrated with Christian communities, the Jews began to usage the star together a religious symbol.

“Jews necessary a symbol of Judaism parallel to the cross, the universal symbol that Christianity. In particular, they wanted something come adorn the walls of the modern-day Jewish home of worship that would certainly be symbolic favor the cross,” Mishory wrote for the Israeli set of international Affairs. “This is why the Star of David ended up being prominent in the <19th> century and why it was later used on ritual objects and also in synagogues and also eventually got to Poland and Russia.”

The star had become so ubiquitous that throughout the Holocaust, the Nazis tried come subvert its significance by forcing Jews to determine themselves by put on variations ~ above a yellow six-pointed star, intentionally designed to offer as a perversion of the Jewish symbol.

Unlike icons such as the menorah and the Lion of Judah, the six-pointed star is not a unique image to Judaism. Other religions, including Hinduism, additionally use the form as symbolic the the merger of spiritual facets such as the male and female and also as God and humanity, Shnidman writes.

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However, few groups room as closely tied to the six-pointed star together the Jewish community. The social emblem is therefore closely connected with Jewish identification that the trumped campaign"s insistence that the shape is invoking a sheriff’s star strains credulity.


Danny Lewis | | READ more

Danny Lewis is a multimedia journalist functioning in print, radio, and illustration. He focuses on stories with a health/science bent and also has reported some of his favorite piece from the prow that a canoe. Danny is based in Brooklyn, NY.