The Star of David is a hexagram, made up of two equilateral triangles. It is a symbol that is commonly recognized as representing Jewish identity. It is actually a relatively new symbol.
What does the Star of David represent?
According to some, the upper-facing triangle represents a striving towards G-d, whereas the lower triangle strives downwards towards the real world. Perhaps this represents the Jewish ideal of bringing down G-dliness from on High down into the physical, every-day world that we live in. it is the synthesis of the two worlds- spiritual and physical that sets Judaism apart from other religions.
Others say that the Star of David is made up of twelve lines representing the twelve tribes of Israel who are the sons of Jacob and ancestors of Israel. It may be that the twelve tribes making up a unified Star of David could represent the idea of Unity- another strong motif in Judaism. Ultimately, the Jewish people are striving for a world where they will live in peace with their brethren and through doing so will achieve unity with G-d. Today it is very common for Jewish people to wear Star of David Necklace.
What is the origin of the Star of David?
Stars of David appear in Jewish contexts since antiquity. There is even a Star of David on the arch of a Synagogue that dates back to the third or fourth century in the Galil. The use of the Star of David as a meaningful symbol probably first appears in the Leningrad Codex which is a Tanakh manu that dates back to 1008.
What is the origin of the name "Star of David"?
The origin of "Magen David"- the Hebrew for the Star of David and literally translated as "Shield of David" is a poetic reference to G-d. This name hints to the fact that King David's glory was not due to his own might but due to G-d's assistance. Additionally, on Shabbat after the Haftora reading in the Synagogue, we bless G-d calling him "Shield of David".
What is the modern use of the Star of David?
In the Holocaust, Hitler, may his name and memory be erased, forced every Jew to wear a yellow Star of David with the word "Jude"- "Jew" in German boldly written in the centre. This was an invitation for others to ridicule, mock, harm and denigrate the wearer.
Today, the Jewish people merited to return to the Land of Israel, to live as a people in their own right. They took the symbol that was a source of shame in the Holocaust and proudly displayed it on their national flag. In 1948, the blue Star of David between two horizontal blue stripes officially became Israel's flag.