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ViewMate Posting VM 54434

Submitted by Peggy Teich

Information Picture Question
Category: Do you recognize?
Approval Date: 4/16/2017 4:07 PM
Family Surname: Prager
Country: Germany
Date of Image: Before 1937
Click the picture to enlarge

While going through her parents' things, my cousin recently found this little pendant. It was her grandfather's pendant. (so .. late 19th or early 20th century). Our families were from Germany.
Her father was unsure what the symbolism of the pendant was, but it clearly contains a cross, has the Hebrew word YHWH - Jehovah - and is triangular in shape. The pendant is gold and tiny - 3/4" all around.
We were hoping someone might have an idea of what this small pendant represents.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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On  Response 
4/16/2017 8:10 PM Hello Peggy,

Since you indicate that its owner lived in Germany, my first suggestion would be to contact a specialist in German Jewish artifacts. The size is rather small, so could it possibly have been a child's pendant?

My personal thoughts would depend on whether the family were deeply steeped in their religious observance or if they were rather secular and possibly encompassing two faiths....Jo
4/17/2017 2:28 AM Indeed, it does not look very Jewish to me, sometimes christians like[d] to use Hebrew for emphasis. A Jewish child-pendant would probably only have the letter ×” [Hei] with or without an apostroph on the left.
4/17/2017 3:49 AM perhaps Loge Jewish Freemasons...
4/17/2017 10:07 AM this is definitely NOT jewish, as jews would not wear a cross. christians, on the other hand, sometimes appropriated what they thought were jewish symbols, in the same way that madonna wears a red thread around her wrist, "for kabbalistic reasons". and even the triangular shape is pure christian symbolism (i.e. the trinity).

how and why a jew might have such a thing is puzzling.
4/17/2017 10:21 AM This must be a Christian religious artefact, It's contrary to Jewish law to pronounce the name oreven write it, and the cross confirms that. If a Christian choses to use Hebrew letters in a pendant, there is nothing to stop them.
If you lookon the back of the pendant, you may find a tiny hallmark, which will give you the date and place of manufacture, as well as possibly the maker of the pendant.
4/17/2017 9:53 PM It's most likely a good luck charm. It's similar to a Chai or hand or 'Mazel Tov' pendant or amulet. You can buy pendants that have the tetragrammaton on them today easily.

I doubt it has any more significance than good luck.
4/18/2017 3:46 AM I don't know the answer to your question but when I saw a picture of the pendant the first thing it reminded me of was the triangular one recently found at Sobibor that was almost identical to Anne Frank's:
http://www.standard.co.uk/Front/rare-pendant-almost-identical-to-one-owned-by-anne-frank-dug-up-at-nazi-death-camp-a3441511.html

The article says: "Historians have found no other pendants like those belonging to the two girls". Your's isn't like the one found at Sobibor other than it is triangular in shape, which itself seems rare, based on the results of a quick google search.

Perhaps its purpose may reveal more about the symbolism of your's? The triangular shape may represent one of the two triangles that form the star of David.

I hope this may be of some help.
4/18/2017 6:48 AM Mot jewellery has some clue as toits provenance on the back.
It would probably help if you could post a clear image of any hallmark.
4/19/2017 6:46 AM I, like previous responders, believe it is not a Jewish symbol. Check out Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Also here is a an abstrtact to Wikipedia :
Contemporary movements[edit]
Jewish Christians are ethnic Jews who have converted to or have been raised in Christianity. They are mostly members of Catholic and Protestant congregations, and are generally assimilated culturally into the Christian mainstream, although they retain a strong sense of their Jewish identity. Some such Jewish Christians also refer to themselves as "Hebrew Christians". Examples include the Nasrani (Saint Thomas Christians) and Tamil-Portuguese Jews (Parava) of India, who historically have strong Jewish ties and still retain certain Jewish traditions. There is also a distinct movement of Hebrew Catholics in full communion with the Holy See.

The 19th century saw at least 250,000 Jews convert to Christianity according to existing records of various societies.[51] Data from the Pew Research Center has it that, as of 2013, about 1.6 million adult American Jews identify themselves as Christians, most as Protestants.[52][53][54] According to the same data, most of the Jews who identify themselves as some sort of Christian (1.6 million) were raised as Jews or are Jews by ancestry.[53] According to a 2012 study, 17% of Jews in Russia identify themselves as Christians.[55][56]

The Hebrew Christian movement of the 19th century was a largely Anglican-led and largely integrated initiative, led by figures such as Michael Solomon Alexander, Bishop of Jerusalem 1842-1845; some figures, such as Joseph Frey, founder of the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews, were more assertive of Jewish identity and independence.

Messianic Judaism is a religious movement that incorporates elements of Judaism with the tenets of Christianity. Adherents, many of whom are ethnically Jewish, worship in congregations that include Hebrew prayers. They baptize messianic believers who are of the age of accountability (able to accept Jesus as the Messiah), often observe kosher dietary laws and Saturday as the Sabbath. Although they do recognize the Christian New Testament as holy scripture, most do not use the label "Christian" to describe themselves.[citation needed]

The two groups are not completely distinct; some adherents, for example, favor Messianic congregations but freely live in both worlds, such as theologian Arnold Fruchtenbaum, the founder of Ariel Ministries.[57]
4/19/2017 1:33 PM As a convert to Jehovah's Witnesses I assure you this has nothing to do with us! We have rejected any use of the cross for almost a century and have never linked it to the Tetragrammaton or HaShem.

Although it is neither a Jewish nor JW relic, the Latinized form of The Name is the basis for the familiar English name, is linked with the Catholic Church since the 13-14th century. I have seen it used as an ornament on churches. In those cases it appears alongside inscriptions or artwork attempting to link it to the Trinity of Christendom.

That also has nothing to do with JW, who are strict monotheists. We have never believed the trinity is a Biblical teaching but developed afterwards inside the Catholic church councils after the third century C.E.

Interestingly, there is no firm understanding of how the Talmudic prohibitions against writing The Name or pronouncing it aloud developed. In Hebrew texts of the Bible The Name appears thousands of times. Masoritic texts insert the vowels of Adonai or Elohim. We know from commentaries on the Septuagint of the first century C.E. or earlier the Tetragrammaton was inserted in Hebrew characters although the body of the text was in Greek.

Additionally, the scriptures often use the form Jah which is also in personal names like Jeremiah and terms like Hallelujah. There is no prohibition against writing, reading, or saying these words aloud even among the devout and Orthodox.

I know this is tangential and apologize if any part of the text gives offense. After all of this I go back to suggesting the origin of the pendant is Catholic. It may have been a gift to your relative from someone who thought the Hebrew characters made it an appropriate gift for a Jewish friend. It also is not connected with any sort of Marranos or forced converts to Catholicism.

Hope this gives you some ideas that may help your hunt bear fruit.
4/20/2017 2:56 PM It is a part of the Sephirot tree (Ez Chajim) of Jewish Kabbalah. The tetragram JHWH represents the Sephira Keter/crown. Jud is for Chokhmah/wisdom, He for Binah/understanding, Waw for the six other sefirot (emotions) and the last He for Shechinah (malchut)
This could also have an esoteric meaning, some graphics does exist which includes the Tarot cards inside of the tree of life.

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