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Meaning of Prutah symbol

Rabbi Ari ShvatShevat 18, 5775
196
Question
What is the meaning of the symbols in the prutah in the time of the second temple. I had found out that there was a 8 ray star and a ship anchor on it? what is the meaning of it? and why is there a ’8’ ray star??
Answer
Jews have a religious problem with images of people and animals, which often were the focus of idolatry, and accordingly, the bronze prutahs of the the Second Temple period (until 70 C.E.), like Jewish coins before and after (until this day) were inanimate, including sheaves of wheat, a kingly booth built for shade, and an anchor. The symbolism of the anchor isn’t clear and the guesses range from a memorial to a victory at sea, or a symbol of conservatism, and keeping the situation status quo. The 8 ray star surrounded by a crown, was used on the other side of the anchor prutahs of King Alexander Yanai (even though some pagans worshiped stars, but he wasn’t so religious), which he used (with the crown) not for paganism but just as a symbol of kingdom and rule. He ruled from 104-76 BCE.
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