Finally my curiosity got the best of me, after seeing the icon for Mi Yodeya appear in the "Hot Network Questions" sidebar so many times. I joined this community just to ask:

What is the swirly magical looking tree in the site logo of Mi Yodeya / judaism.SE?

I gather it must be pretty important, but it's not common knowledge to me.

Please explain it in a way someone with limited knowledge of Judaism can understand.

An answer might give an overview that touches on, for example:

  • What is the tree's name?
  • What is it's significance?
  • Are there some notable stories involving it that curious people should know about?
  • Is it related to the Kabbalah / Tree of Life?

Links to explore specific aspects in further detail are welcome. Thank you.

  • 2
    This is probably a better question for the meta site, but one I'd like to know
    – user34203
    Commented Mar 19 at 2:08
  • 1
    @PaulWalker I was on the fence considering whether to post here or on the meta, but I feel like all the answers will be pertaining to Judaism more than the SE Network or site design/functionality/moderation sorts of topics.
    – Mentalist
    Commented Mar 19 at 2:11
  • Note that the answer to the above-linked Meta question quotes the guy who designed the tree logo. So it's about as definitive as you can get.
    – msh210 Mod
    Commented Mar 19 at 20:20
  • @IsaacMoses This sounds like one for you or GershonGold... Commented Mar 19 at 20:37
  • Thanks to those who contributed to the discussion and linked to the existing Q&A on Meta. My curiosity has been satisfied. I wondered if this style of depiction of the tree predated the SE site and was a universally recognized Judaic symbol, but it seems it conceived of for the site. (I mean the shape and style of its depiction, not the tree itself, of course.)
    – Mentalist
    Commented Mar 21 at 8:07

1 Answer 1


It's the Tree of Knowledge (of Good and Evil). It symbolizes how, once you subscribe, every action you do in the site will be judged and you will gain points or lose points.

Just like how a holy kabbalist can receive favors from the Almighty, someone with a lot of points here can get moderator privileges.

Some may say that it is the Tree of Life, but if you want life then get off the Internet and go play outside.

  • Best answer on the site - "...if you want life then get off the Internet and go play outside" - and off I go!!
    – user34203
    Commented Mar 19 at 2:50
  • I take it this is commentary on the moderation politics of this SE community? :-) Well, I'm neutral. I just got here. lol While your answer is entertaining, I don't feel like it has helped me learn much more about the tree or why it was chosen as the symbol of Judaism in this community.
    – Mentalist
    Commented Mar 19 at 2:51
  • 1
    Plus it's not called Mi Yichye
    – shmosel
    Commented Mar 19 at 2:51
  • Moderators are elected. It's not about points.
    – Harel13
    Commented Mar 19 at 20:10
  • On your profile, in the summary box, you can see how many points you need before you get privileges such as making new tags, voting on closing, etc. I was referring to these. Commented Mar 19 at 20:54

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