Traditional Dress Code
Many customs and traditions are associated with the way observant Jewish men and women dress. For example, a man must not dress as a woman nor may a woman dress as a man. Another mitzvah, known as shatnez, prohibits combining wool and linen in a piece of clothing.
Although Jews are not commanded to “advertise” their Jewishness (except, perhaps, by wearing a kippah or tzitzit), some Jews like to demonstrate their beliefs or heritage by adorning themselves with certain symbolic objects.
The most popular symbol of Judaism is the magen david (the six-pointed Star of David), though there exists no proof whatsoever to substantiate the fact that the magen david has anything to do with King David. Indeed, it is very unlikely that the magen david dates back all the way to biblical times.
The magen david (Star of David)
No one can say with any certainty just when the magen david first appeared. By the seventeenth century, it had become a popular symbol for adorning synagogues. When the Zionist movement adopted the magen david as its emblem at the end of the nineteenth century, it became the universal symbol to represent Judaism and the Jewish people. Today, it is part of the flag of the modern state of Israel.
Another symbol that appears on necklaces and other jewelry is the chai. The chai consists of the two Hebrew letters, chet and yud, which make up the word for “life” or “living.” The chai's significance has to do with the value Judaism places upon life.
The chai (made up of letters chet and yud)
A less likely choice in terms of jewelry that represents Judaism, but one that is usually found in Jewish gift shops, is the hamesh (or hamsa), an inverted hand with the thumb and pinkie pointed outward. The hamesh hand is also found in Arab cultures and may originally have become popular as an amulet.