The Lion and the Unicorn

lion and unicorn gate

Did you know that the lion and the unicorn were Jewish symbols for the tribes of Judah and Joseph respectively (in Jewish iconography), and that English heraldry’s famous “fight for the crown” may actually represent a spiritual battle over which of the two will produce the ultimate Jewish Messiah?  

Kabbalistic sources talk of two messiahs, one from Joseph and one from Judah. Although there are different interpretations of what happens to them, the prevailing opinion is that they will war and that eventually one will kill the other.

Here are the lion and unicorn from the ceiling of a Seventeenth Century synagogue in Hodorov (Poland), and the image blow it is a similar scene from a German wooden synagogue reconstructed at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.


lion unicorn

Here are the lion and unicorn in our succah, which are also a souvenir of our visit to the state rooms at Buckingham Palace!


There is plenty more to write on this subject, and I hope to find the time to do so soon.



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