Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Star of David - a Poem by Rick Black

I am loath
to open the archival box
in which it is kept.

Yet I can not resist
and delicately
lift the top

to find white gauze
beneath which is a hint
of yellow,

a precious jewel.
I unwrap it slowly, the infamous


so naked,
so innocent,
so dark,

the graceful letters
set against the yellow star.
Where has it been,

this scrap of cloth?
Who wore it, long forgotten,
in which ghetto?

Go ahead,
try to calculate
its weight,

resting in my hand,
a swallowtail that can
no longer fly.

Courtesy of  Rick Black (c)
This poem is from his book
 Star of David 
which is a collection of poems 
see more on:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Symbol of Synagogue vs. Symbol of Church

Star of David appears on a flag held by the allegorical figure representing the Synagogue (Synagogua) that stands next to the allegorical figure representing the Church (Ecclesia) and holding a Cross, in a 14th-century Catalan manuscript of the Breviar d'amor by Matfre d'Ermengaud (Ms. of Yates Thompson 31 f 8, Tree of life, in the British Museum).

Star of David on the allegorical figure representing the Synagogue
Bamberg Cathedral, Germany, 13th Century
Source: Wikimedia, courtesy of Johannes Otto Först

Monday, September 01, 2014

My new Gallery on Flickr: More Roman Stars of David

Roman Star of David Graffiti

Picture shows Roman Star of David Graffiti from the 1st century C.E. found in the kitchen of the villa San Marco at Stabia, Naples.
Usually Roman Stars of David appear accompanied by other symbols on mosaics or on lintels, but here we see it standing alone in a graffiti, which reminds us of the one engraved on the floor of the Antonia Fortress in Jerusalem.
another Star of David that was found in Stabia is here:
Thanks to Karl from
for letting me publish his photo here.

Star of David in Pompeii

This Mosaic floor, from the 1st century C.E., at the House of Triptolemus in Pompeii is mentioned, along with many other simillar designs, in M.E. Blake’s ’The pavements of the Roman buildings of the Republic and the Early Empire’, Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome, Vol. VIII, 1930, pl. 39,3, VII, VII, 5, but her spelling of Triptolemus is different (Casa di Trittolemo) and her photos are low resolution b&w. I hope that in time I"ll publish here all her photos in a higher relolution and in color.
In  this design we notice that the center is filled with the symbol of the six petals, which are actually more geometric product of using the compass than a vegetative motif. this six-petals symbol is surrounded by several hexagons, and, along with the star of David by three circles, which are surrounded by squares - so, all in all, we are confronted here with a complicated combination of geometrical elements.
This combination raises the question whether a symbol (like the Star of David) maintains its original meaning when it stops standing alone. A good illustration to this problem is the addition of two blue stripes to the blue Star of David in the Israeli flag, which changes the Jewish symbol (Star of David) into a symbol of the Jewish State.
the six- petals symbol combined with the Star of David symbol appears also, as mentioned by my teacher, Dr. Ze'ev Goldmann,  in another three Mosaic Floors at the same place:
1. M.E. Blake, ibid. pl. 33, 4, Pompeii VI, VIII, 20
2. M.E. Blake, ibid. pl 38, 3. Pompeii VI, XVI, 7
3. M.E. Blake, ibid. pl 33, I. Pompeii VIII, V, 16 and 38
as well as in:
Mosaic Floor, where it is surrounded similarily by a hexagon, but in combination with the apotropaic pelta symbol (Amazon Shield) , the Ivy symbol and with the geometrical elements of the Guilloche and the successive stepped triangles.
5. In Capernaum the six- petals symbol appears with the Star of David symbol on the same lintel along with many other symbols.
Thanks to Karl from
for letting me publish his photo here. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Jewish Tokens

From Dr. Amir Zohar's Collection

Jewish day chicago 1933

DVEM 1891
If you know details about this coin please let me know

Comment by  Yosef22Adar: MAYBE the coin is from Morocco based on
Haim Zafrani :"Two Thousand Years of Jewish Life in Morocco"  Chapter 4, page 141:
...The expressions "old money", "heavy money", and "square coins" in Hebrew, Arabic or Spanish, also occur..