The Israeli Flag

In 1948, after nearly two thousand years of exile, the State of Israel was reestablished as the jewish homeland. The new flag of the modern state was unfurled at the United Nation in 1949. The flag has been a symbole of the proud return of the Jewish nation to its homeland.

How the Israeli Flag Was Chosen?

David Wolffsohn, who attended the First Zionist Congress in 1897, tells the story of the birth of the Israeli flag:

At the behest of our leader Herzl, I came to Basle to make preparations for the Zionist Congress. Among many other problems that occupied me then was one which contained something of the essence of the Jewish problem. What flag would we hang in the Congress Hall? Then an idea struck me. We have a flag--and it is blue and white. The talith (prayer ahawl) with which we wrap ouselves when we pray: that is our symbol. Let us take this Talith from its bag and unroll it before the eyes of Israel and the eyes of all nations. So I ordered a blue and white flag with the Shield of David painted upon it. That is how the national flag, that flew over Congress Hall, came into being.

The blue stripes above and below the Magen David remind us of the Talith. When we see the Israeli flag, we remember the faith and the prayers of the many generations of jews who longed for the return to their homeland.

The Magen David

The Magen David is a traditional symbol of Judaism. The star is made up of two triangles, one right-side up and the other upside down. One of them points upward toward all that is spiritual and holy. The other one points downward--toward all that is earthly and secular. By leading a life of Torah and mitzvot the Jew strives to bring together the worlds of spiritual and the earthly, the worlds of the holy and the secular.

Legend tells us that David the king of Israel adorned his shield with this six-pointed star, thus the star is named the Magen David.

Source: Joint Authority for Jewish Zionist Education in the Diaspora in Canada