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For we shall march into the Promised Land carrying the badge of honor. The talith (prayer shawl) with which we wrap ourselves when we pray: that is our symbol.David Wolffsohn (1856–1914), a businessman prominent in the early Zionist movement, was aware that the nascent Zionist movement had no official flag, and that the design proposed by Theodor Herzl was gaining no significant support, wrote: At the behest of our leader Herzl, I came to Basle to make preparations for the Zionist Congress. Let us take this Talith from its bag and unroll it before the eyes of Israel and the eyes of all nations.The term "Shield of David" is also used in the Siddur (Jewish prayer book) as a title of the God of Israel.The hexagram does appear occasionally in Jewish contexts since antiquity, apparently as a decorative motif.In the early 20th century, the symbol began to be used to express Jewish affiliations in sports.
Isaac Luria provided the hexagram with a further mystical meaning.
For example, in Israel, there is a stone bearing a hexagram from the arch of a 3rd–4th century synagogue in the Galilee.
Originally, the hexagram may have been employed as an architectural ornament on synagogues, as it is, for example, on the cathedrals of Brandenburg and Stendal, and on the Marktkirche at Hanover.
The use of the hexagram in a Jewish context as a possibly meaningful symbol may occur as early as the 11th century, in the decoration of the carpet page of the famous Tanakh manuscript, the Leningrad Codex dated 1008.
Similarly, the symbol illuminates a medieval Tanakh manuscript dated 1307 belonging to Rabbi Yosef bar Yehuda ben Marvas from Toledo, Spain.This article is about the use of the hexagram as a Jewish symbol.