Friday, March 31, 2006

Sending Emails about our Stars of David

Star of David is called in Hebrew Magen David, but Magen David has also another meaning: it is the name of one of the Jewish blessings. There are many Congregations and synagogues around the world called "Magen David": for example: in Rockville Maryland, in North Dallas, Texas, in Brooklyn, NY, In Bombay, India, In Israel… I think all these are taking their names from the Magen-David-blessing and not from the Magen-David-symbol. I saw a picture of the Rockville Synagogue but I didn't notice a Magen-David-symbol on the front of the building.

Anyhow I sent a few emails to these Congregations hoping that the identical name of our Stars of David and their name of Congregation will trigger some dialog. My hopes for an answer are low since nowadays people tend to ignore emails from strangers but anyhow - it keeps me busy…  

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Flags of the world Star of David

I found interesting information about Stars of David on "flags of the World"  website:


1. First Star of David flag

Dov Gutterman wrote that in 1354 the Jewish community in Prague put the Star of David on its flag and that's the first recorded appearance of a Star of David on a flag.


2. Druze soldiers' Star of David flag

Dov Gutterman wrote that Druze soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have a flag with a white Magen David on a green triangle.


3. Birobidzhan Jewish Autonomous Region Star of David flag

Muhamed Mesic wrote that one of his friends saw a strange flag hanging from the windows in Birobidzhan, and it includes a Magen David in the center.


4. Proposed Jewish Flag for Sweden

Natan Zlotnik designed a yellow badge on a blue background and expressed his wish to fly it at Jewish holidays.


Tzav Pius

Tzav Pius is an organization that tries to avoid civil war in Israel. They started acting in 1996 after Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination. Their "flag Campaign" shows the two blue triangles that compose the Star of David on the Israeli flag while they are apart, and they have a film in which the two blue triangles get back to their original places. 
The graphic concept is so similar to my thaumatrope that many people asked me whether I helped make this film. In fact I contacted the Tzav Pius offices in Jerusalem and offered they use my film about the thaumatrope but they said they didn't find it useful for their campaign.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Star of David decoration proposal to the Jewish National Fund

kkl jnf magen david
3D paper Star of David decoration proposal to the Jewish National Fund. It is handmade from 4 different photos of a pine tree. The JNF covered the bare lands of Israel with forests of pines.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Expensive Glass Star of David

Today I got the following Flickr Mail from dc chen:

I saw this Star of David at a local glass shop in downtown Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. I didn't plan on purchasing it (too expensive) but thought it was cool and decided to take a picture of it. In general, as a Bible beliving Christian, I'm interested in Jewish history, though I don't know about it as much as I'd
like to. I did, however, just recently purchased a book on the Six-Day War in 1967.

Copyright: "dc chen" from Flickr

Potentially Offensive Star of David

You can say that the Star of David is just an innocent symbol, but it makes some people react aggressively-which means that it is a powerful symbol...

For example: I read on Aftenposten from 05 Feb 2004 that Teacher Inge Telhaug, who teaches immigrants Norwegian language and culture at the Kristiansand Adult education center in Norway, was told to stop wearing around his neck the Star of David, because the principal of that school, Kjell Gislefoss, felt that the Star of David can be interpreted as a political symbol and can offend Palestinian  students.



Monday, March 27, 2006

Moscow Synagogue Star of David

moscow synagogue magen david
Photo is courtesy of Larry Schenker (Binenbaum) who published it on Webshots.

In  2001 the Jewish community celebrated the restoration of the roof with the golden Star of David of the Moscow Synagogue, which was built in 1779 and after one year Tsar Alexander III ordered to destroy it. 





Sunday, March 26, 2006

Asia Gallery - 3D Stars of David - Exhibiton

gallery magen david-2
Our 3D folding silver and gold paper Stars of David exhibited on Asia Gallery, near the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, Israel.

Exhibiton - Asia Gallery - 3D Stars of David

gallery magen david-1
This is a closer view of Our 3D silver and gold paper Stars of David which are exhibited on Asia Gallery.

Star of David stamp

Robert Prather ("robertrazrblog") from Flickr sent me the following email:

I actually found this stamp at a Garden Ridge  for $1.00 and couldn't resist buying it. I currently don't really have a use for it, but I usually can't resist buying such things.
Copyright: Robert Prather 2006

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Star of David-Clock

I bought this beatiful Star of David-Clock from Asaf at his factory in Rosh Haayine, Israel.

Preparing Star of David Lampshade Paper

After making the framework my son started to cover the star of david with an expensive paper.

Preparing Star of David Lampshade Framework

This is the beginning of the long journey to build an original 3D folded paper Star of David.


magen david lantern hand made
60-cm-high Star-of-David-lampshade hand made by my son

Star-of-David Where-to

star of david maze
Sometimes it is not clear where is Zionism headed and it looks like a maze...
Designed on my Photoshop.

The Hebrew word on the bottom means bewilderment, but it comes from the same root as the Hebrew word for maze (Mavoch and Mevucha).


jewish magen david Clock
I designed this Jewish-Clock on my Photoshop and later on found out that Asaf from Rosh Haayin is manufacturing it... Isn't that a coincidence?

Friday, March 24, 2006

Star of David Building

The Hesder Yeshiva in the Jewish settlement 
Neve Dekalim (top left)

I know of two buildings in the Shape of a Star of David:
 1.  The Hesder Yeshiva in the Jewish settlement Neve Dekalim. This building was designed by Architect Gershon Shevach.  Neve Dekalim was evacuated on 19 August 2005. See photos on:
2. "In Macedonia, a man plans to build a Holocaust museum… a white, Star of David-shaped building on three floors. The ground floor would house a museum to show Jewish life through history. The second floor would feature an education center and the third a research center".

Star of David on Yahoo Answers

I like reading asking and answering questions on Yahoo Answers – it is a human search engine and it is much more entertaining than learning from a machine. There are right now 115 results for the search words "Star of David" but only few of them are worth reading. Here are some of them:

1. Why is the Star of David the Jewish symbol???

2. What are the origins of David star?

3. What is the Star of David? What does it represent? Is it a Jewish or Christian symbol?

4. What is a brief description of the Star of David but in historical way?

5. Why did Hitler make the Jews put the Star of David during the war?

6. What do you think about when you see the Star of David?

7. Why Israel chose this star as a symbol?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Star of David Plate

Clay Star of David plate, which was made by my friend Tamar while she was studying ceramics.

Folded Stars of David

The gold 3D  folded paper star of David lanterns are "closed" when one gets them and need to be "opened" "pocket" by "pocket".

3D Silver Star of David Near My Window

silver david star lantern
You cannot see here how it moves elegantly in the breeze, changing colors and shades, reflecting the objects around it.

Silver Star of David During Assembly

This silver star of David lantern is folded and one has to open it "pocket" by "pocket".

Colorful Star-of-David Lampshade

This red 3D folded paper Magen David was made by my son from the paper of the Indian-5-pointed-stars he imported. The paper is printed and the shapes are cut inside it.

White Lily

White Lily magen david
Today I spoke on the phone with Uri Ofir, The author of a book called Hadegel, ("the flag") which sums up Uri's long research about the origins of the Star of David.
Uri discovered that the Star of David comes from the White Lily, a flower that grows wild in Israel. The Menora in the Temple had a stand for each of the seven candles and the stand was in the shape of "bud and flower". Sages recognized the flower as the (White) Lily.
Today Uri has a permanent exhibition of his findings called "Mikraor".
Uri started his research after lecturing to high school students about the Star of David. One of the students said that the Star of David is relatively new and it could have been replaced by any other emblem and another student said he saw the Star of David in ancient temples in India. As a reaction to these claims Uri felt that he must come up with one unequivocal exhaustive answer.
Uri invited me to visit him in "Mikraor" and I promised to come and show him the thaumatrope and the 3D Star of David.
Picture courtesy of Uri Ofir in which the Star of David is seen clearly

Amethyst Star of David

Victor Barr Designed this 25 mm protective Talisman,
engraved in Hebrew letters are the words for God protects me.

3D Star of David on a Stand

Our 3D Magen David folded paperlantern at Waldorf Astoria 

Waldorf Astoria Photomontage

Waldorf Astoria magen david lantern
Bar Ilan University reception for Hillary Clinton in New York Waldorf Astoria 5 March 2006 in which celebration designer Michael Stern used 3D Stars of David made by Yevu Yashir. I used my Photoshop to add the 3D Stars of David to the entrace.

Preparations for the Reception for Hillary Clinton

Assmbling the 3D Stars of David before the Bar Ilan University reception for Hillary Clinton in New York on 5 March 2006

Israeli Flag Thaumatrop Film

Thaumatrop Film video
See the video clip on director Aran patinkin's website:

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Israeli Flag Thaumatrope

On the winter of 2005 I invented "the Israeli flag thaumatrope game".

It all began about a year ago when my son and I saw a film called Sleepy Hollow with the actor Johnny Depp. In the film there is a scene in which Johnny is a baby and his mother shows him a thaumatrope, a paper disk which has a bird on one side and a cage on the other and when his mother twirls it on a string Johnny Depp sees the bird inside the cage. Immediately after the film I told my son that we have to find out who makes thaumatropes and to import them. 

A year passed by and one day my son asked me if I can think of a product to import. I described him the thaumatrope that we saw on the film, but I forgot the name "thaumatrope" and the name of the film. My son remembered the name of the film and borrowed a copy of it from the neighborhood video store. We saw the scene of the thaumatrope frame by frame dozen times. Then I looked it up on the Internet and found the name "thaumatrope" and the instructions how to build it. The next week my son and I were busy making all kinds of thaumatropes: clowns with hats, puppies in a frame of a television, and a six pointed star. This last design was original and I thought it captures the essence of Zionism, which is composed of complementary parts that make sense only when they work together; parts like people and country, vision and fulfillment, center and Diaspora.
When the flag was ready my son was not sure if it would sell. A friend of us who is a sculptor thought maybe if we make a three-dimensional weathercock flag people will put it on their cars on Independence Day. Everybody knows that on Independence Day flag makers are making a fortune. So we talked a lot about how such a flag could look, but eventually we had no idea how to make it.
When we had the first Israeli flag thaumatrope in our hands I came up with a new idea: let's make a film, a very short film, to promote the product, and put it on our website so that we could refer potential clients to our domain. My son and film director Aran Patinkin, my friend, agreed to make the film and in two days it was all over, with music and all. I was very proud in my first film and so was my son. It came out better than we thought because the flag was twirling with a wild drum beat on the background and the total effect was just funny.

Making the thaumatrope was easy: we designed it on our computer, took it to a printing shop and made a few thousand flags. Then we had to make two holes on each flag, to put a string in each hole, and to tie the string. We succeeded to make only 100 cards in an hour, but when a salesman came with an offer to sell two hundred thousand flags to the Israeli national flight company we understood that without a machine it will be impossible to fulfill this order. So we went, my son and I, to an efficiency consultant laboratory.
At the beginning of our meeting I showed the consultant the thaumatrope film. He had no loudspeakers so half of the effect of the film was lost, but he couldn't stop twirling the flag in his hands. "By the way, it is an amazing coincidence that I have on my desk a three-dimensional weathercock Israeli flag" he said.
-"really", Asked my son ardently?
The consultant went to his desk and brought us the flag. He twirled it and we so clearly the six pointed blue star. It was so exciting we couldn't speak. What are the odds to find such a new invention? Even if you go to all the efficiency consultants in the world it is unimaginable that you will find what you are looking for. Anyhow the consultant suggested we go to a patent office to ask if we violate anybody's rights. Before we left the laboratory he told us: "I'm sure this flag will sell millions".

Then we went to a patent office and met a religious tall clerk. The clerk couldn't stop twirling the flag throughout the whole meeting. He said there is no violation of any rights because we didn't copy our design from anybody - we've invented a new design based on the invention of the thaumatrope in 1824 and nobody has patent rights on the thaumatrope. We told him that the Israeli national flight company is interested to buy two hundred thousand flags from us.

 "Can I ask you a personal favor?" asked the clerk. 

-"of course"
My brother is a manager in Lufthansa air flight company; can I show him the flag?
-"of course"
"By the way, concluded the clerk, "I'm sure this flag will sell millions".


Glass Star-of-David

Red and white glass Magen David that my son made while he tried to understand how to build the Merkaba 3 dimensional folded paper lampshade.


Transparent Star of David made by my son while he tried to learn how to build the Merkaba folded paper lampshade.

Star of David- Shenkar

Star of David lanterns hung under white Indian stars in Shenkar School End of Year Celebration

Gold and Silver

lantern magen-david
These are the first models of the Star of David decorations. The photo was edited in Photoshop and it has a special meaning for me.

Star of David - Introduction

Six years ago my son imported from India folded paper star shaped lampshades. There were times when the main street of the old city in Jerusalem was lighted by hundreds of those colorful lampshades. It was a beautiful scene. Michael Stern, the renowned event designer, suggested to make the lampshades six pointed so that it will look like a three dimensional Star of David. So we started improvising with the material of our Indian lampshades; but although we succeeded building a six pointed star the angels weren't right.
Later on we saw in the stores a Merkaba pendant, and a Merkaba crystal and it seemed clearer how to build our lampshade. (Merkaba is a three dimensional Star of David). After many more trials and a little help from an engineer we found the right angles and started manufacturing them. The first shipment was of Star of David decorations and the next shipments will be of Star of David lampshades.
The Star of David is also called Magen David or Mogen Dovid or Shield of David or Solomon's seal, or Seal of Solomon. It is recognized as the Israeli national emblem; but for me the Star of David has a very private meaning. I think that the one dimensional Star of David symbolizes the material aspect of Zionism – to build a homeland for the Jews and to blossom the desert. The two dimensional Star of David symbolizes the moral aspect of Zionism- to build a just society. The three dimensional Star of David symbolizes the spiritual aspect of Zionism – to personally get out of the friction energy and to become a light to the gentiles.
This is why a lot of my creative energy is dedicated to the Star of David. I designed a Jewish clock which is shaped like the Star of David. I designed a thaumatrope; a small disk of paper, a blue triangle and a blue stripe drawn on both sides, and the disk is suspended between two pieces of string. When the disk is twirled, the viewer can see the flag of Israel, which is the Star of David between two blue stripes. I made a 46 seconds film about that Star of David thaumatrope - I even ordered from a clay artist a plate that has the Star of David shape.
So now we have these Star of David decorations in our home and they start living their own lives:
· Michael Stern, who suggested making them, used a few dozens for a Bar Ilan University reception for Hillary Clinton in New York Waldorf Astoria on 5 March 2006. They looked very majestic, each one held in a glass of sugar in the middle of the table, sending sparks of light everywhere…
· Two Star of David decorations hang beautifully on Asia's jewelry store next to the King David Hotel.
· Another two Star of David decorations were exhibited on Shenkar Designers School end of the year celebration on 7 February 2006.
· Lately it started shining on the Website of judaica for kids.
We hope that the Star of David lampshades will arrive in time from the manufacturer so that people will be able to hang them in their Sukkah (Tabernacles Feast booth).