The unicorn in Judaism

With the High Holidays coming up, it is a good time to reflect on the unicorn within Judaism. The unicorn is considered one of the four beasts of the Tabernacle, sacrificing itself so that the Tabernacle could use its hide for the curtains. The unicorn is a symbol of Joseph, Jacob’s son. The dreamer who wore a multicolored coat, who saved both Egypt and his people.

In this ceiling painting, the flowers suggest paradise, and the placing of the horn in the lion’s mouth may be a symbol of the horn blown to announce the holiest of the Jewish holidays.

The lion is also an enduring symbol within Judaism, referring to the tribe of Judah itself.

Most of the references to unicorns in English translations of Jewish scripture are a mis-translation of re-em, which is a auroch. Aurochs were wild cattle, extremely large and powerful. They’re the ancestors of most modern cattle.

However, in the book of Daniel, there is a battle between a two horned ram and a one horned goat. This is the singular reference to a unicorn which can not be explained as a mis-translation of re-em.

To my Jewish friends and family, l’shana tova tikateyvu!

If you wish to learn more about unicorns, try my forthcoming book, The Reality, Mythology, and Fantasies of Unicorns available for purchase at:


Amazon
Barns & Noble

and at the publisher’s bookstore.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s