The lion as a symbol of the Tribe of Judah (get this piece of art on a ceramic plaque here!)
The Tribe of Judah was more than just one of the Biblical Twelve Tribes of Israel, having had major historical and cultural significance for the Jewish people.
During ancient times it was a powerful tribe that the kings and rulers came from, and it controlled the Kingdom of Judah and Jerusalem, which was the center of the Israelites’ worship and culture. The name “Judea” comes from the Tribe of Judah, and from there we get the modern words for Jews and Judaism.
This tribe was one of few to survive the expulsions of the Israelites by the Babylonians and Assyrians, and has become the backbone of the Jewish people.
Due to the might and significance of the Tribe of Judah, the original Biblical image stuck, and the tribe continued being associated a roaring lion to represent its leadership, strength, and fearlessness.
Since most of today's Jews are considered to be the descendants of the Tribe of Judah, the Lion of Judah has been used as a general Jewish symbol for generations!