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Top Jewish Symbols You Need to Know

There are a number of symbols commonly associated with Judaism and the Jewish people, and we’re breaking down the most important ones as well as their meanings and common usage below!

There are a number of different symbols found in and used by Jewish communities around the world, some of which are more religious and originating in the Hebrew Bible, while others may be more cultural. Some are more common than others and even universal around the Jewish world; some are more ancient than others; and some are exclusive to Judaism while others can be found in other cultures as well.

These Jewish symbols appear on various forms of Jewish artistic expression, such as home art and jewelry, as well as on ritual items and synagogue decor.

Below are the most prominent Jewish symbols that hold deep significance to many Jews today!

1. Star of David

Stars of David on stacks of kippahs sold in Jerusalem


The Star of David, also known as the Magen David (Hebrew for "Shield of David"), is a prominent cultural symbol in Judaism, representing the Jewish people.

Comprising two interlocking triangles, some interpret it as symbolizing the relationship between God and humanity, as well as the unity of the Jewish people. The Star of David is also sometimes associated with protection, and it has been a symbol of Jewish identity for centuries, adorning synagogues, Jewish ritual objects, and the Israeli flag.

Today it's also often associated with Jewish pride and a sense of belonging to the Jewish peoplehood, and it's one of the most ubiquitous and universal of Jewish symbols used by communities everywhere.

Read more details about the history and rich symbolism of the Star of David here, and shop Star of David jewelry from Israel!

2. Chai

Chai as part of a Jewish necklace


The Hebrew word "chai" translates to "life," and the Chai symbol holds great significance in Jewish culture. Represented by the letters Chet and Yud, which have numerical values of 8 and 10, respectively, Chai signifies the number 18, considered auspicious in Jewish tradition.

It is a common practice to give gifts or donations in multiples of 18 to express good wishes for a long and prosperous life. The Chai symbol is also often worn as jewelry or other items as a positive affirmation of life.

Read more about the Chai here, and explore magnificent Chai jewelry from Israel!

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3. Hamsa

A Jewish Hamsa hung inside a car as a protective amulet 


The Hamsa is a popular symbol in various Middle Eastern cultures, including Judaism. Shaped like an open hand, the Hamsa is believed to provide protection against the "evil eye" and to bring good fortune and harmony.

In Jewish tradition, the fingers of the Hamsa may also be interpreted to symbolize the five books of the Torah or the Biblical statement that "God took Israel out of Egypt with a strong hand and an outstretched arm" during the Exodus. The Hamsa may be adorned with additional symbols like the Star of David or Chai, or an eye image to ward off the "evil eye."

Whether they believe in the Hamsa's protective powers or not, many Jews today wear or display the Hamsa as a reminder of God's protection or a statement of their Jewish identity.

Read more about the Hamsa's role in Jewish culture, and shop beautiful Hamsa jewelry by Israeli artists!

4. Seven-Branched Menorah

An image of a seven-branched Menorah along with Stars of David on an old synagogue building in Ukraine


The seven-branched Menorah holds deep significance in Judaism, representing the ancient candelabrum that stood in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, and Menorah imagery has been used as a symbol to represent Judaism and the Jewish people since ancient times.

The Menorah features prominently in the Hanukkah story symbolizing the miracle of the oil lasting eight days, and we light a modified, nine-branched version during the holiday.

This powerful symbol serves as a reminder of Jewish history, resilience, and the eternal flame that continues to illuminate the faith and heritage of the Jewish people. Although most Jews don't light seven-branched Menorahs today, some keep a representation of it at home as a reminder of our ancient history, or wear the image as jewelry. It is also the national emblem of the State of Israel.

Read more about the history of the seven-branched Menorah, and get your own as unique Jewish decor for your home!

5. Tree of Life

Tree of Life symbol


In Jewish tradition, the Tree of Life represents the interconnectedness of all life and the continuity of existence, and originally comes from the Creation story in the Book of Genesis.

Often depicted with branches reaching towards the heavens and roots grounding in the earth, it symbolizes the link between the Divine and the earthly realms, as well as the Divine creative forces in the world. The Tree of Life is associated with wisdom, growth, and the Torah, serving as a metaphor for the ongoing cycle of life.

Tree of Life imagery can be found in Kabbalah, and features prominently in Jewish art.

Read more about the Tree of Life here, and shop beautiful Tree of Life gifts from Israel!

6. Lion of Judah

The Lion of Judah as part of the emblem and flag of the city of Jerusalem


The Lion of Judah is a Biblical symbol representing the Tribe of Judah, one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.

The lion is associated with strength, courage, and majesty. For some it also represents the future redemption of the Jewish people, or the Jewish nationhood itself since most Jews today are descended from the Tribe of Judah. Today the image of the lion is also the official emblem of the city of Jerusalem, as a nod to the fact that Jerusalem was once the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Judah.

Read more details about the Lion of Judah here, and browse our meaningful gifts and jewelry featuring this powerful symbol!

7. Holiday Symbols

Hanukkah symbols and Stars of David projected on the ancient stone walls of the Old City of Jerusalem


Objects that are commonly associated with some of the most popular or significant Jewish holidays have also become important icons and emblems in Jewish culture. More than just representing their respective holidays, these images appear in various Jewish art and can be a source of Jewish pride in their own right:

Rosh Hashanah: Shofar, Pomegranate, Apples & Honey

Sukkot: Lulav & Etrog

Hanukkah: 9-Branched Hanukkah Menorah, Dreidel

Passover: Matzah, Seder Plate


A variety of Jewish holiday items and symbols


Other Jewish Symbols

Some other prominent Jewish symbols that appear in Jewish art, jewelry, and Judaica include:


Now that you've brushed up on the most prominent Jewish symbols, browse our site to see your favorite ones come to life on stunning Jewish jewelry, Judaica, Biblical gifts and more!


Blog Topics

/jewish jewelry/star of david jewelry/star of david necklaces & pendants


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