Sunday, September 24, 2006

Chinese Checkers

Trying to define the Star of David by its shape alone is not enough - even though the Star of David is a hexagram not every hexagram is a Star of David. This is a source of confusion for many people who see it on Indian temples, or as sheriffs' badges, or as Chinese checkers etc.

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

Photo is courtesy of "sfsweetness" who published it on Flickr under the title "Lava Star of David"; I don't agree with this title since the lava stones arranged in the shape of a six pointed hexagram has nothing to do with the Jewish meaning or theJewish name of this shape. To be on the safe side it could have been a corect title if it read: "Lava in the shape of Star of David"...
"sfsweetness" wrote to me:

This was taken at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on the Halema'uma'u Trail.

Modern Mosaic

It looks old and Jewish but it is Modern Mosaic with artistic stars.
Photo is courtesy of Austin Sage who published it on Flickr and wrote to me:
I just thought it was a pretty mosaic design in a garden here in Austin.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Home Blessing

I think Star of David OR Chamsa could do the job of blessing homes but here we have Star of David AND Chamsa in order to cover all bases. Got it from my mum for my birthday.

On My Neighbour's Gate

I live here for many years and never noticed that there is a Star of David on my neighbour's gate. Now that I started collecting these symbols it gets harder for them to hide...

37s collector

Picture of 37 magen David tiles is courtesy of mag3737 who wrote to me:
I collect 37s. it so happens that the Star of David pattern is one very simple arrangement of 37 objects in a hexagonal grid pattern. These tiles, btw, are on the floor of a building located in the gastown area of Vancouver, BC. It was a repeating pattern.
On my way to collect as much as I can about the Star of David I encountered many illustrations that use the numerology behind this shape to make a point. You must admit that the excuse of mag3737 to publish this photo is original.
The excuse of mag3737 doesn't mean that the designer of this floor didn't have a numerological reason for making it...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Magen David Adom

Magen David Adom
Photo courtesy of "rts boink"
who published it on Flickr. He wrote to me:
Among the things I collect are mililtary and medical patches

Qait Bey Citadel, Alexandria

Citadel, Alexandria Solomon's sealQAIT Bey Citadel is one of the most important citadels in Egypt. It was build by the Mamluk Sultan al Ashraf Abul- Nasr Qait Bey in 1477 A.D.
Photo is courtesy of “wolftracker” who published it on Flickr. Wolftracker wrote to me:
This is the floor design throughout most of Qait Bey Citadel in Alexandria, Egypt. I took the picture because I find the prevalence of the Star of David in Islamic architecture to be very interesting. The Citadel was built in the late 1400s on the remains of the Lighthouse of Alexandria during the Mamluk period. The mosque it contains is believed to be among the oldest in Alex.

Humayun's tomb, Delhi, India

This Picture of a hexagram is courtesy of Andy Mason from Flickr.
Humayun's tomb [(1605-1613] is known to have inspired the Taj Mahal and many later Mughal(Mogul)tombs.
There are a few explanations to the existence of this hexagram in the archway:
1. It is a Hindu symbol
2. It is a Mandala symbol
3. It is a Persian import

Sukkah Lampshade in Jerusalem Mall

Today we hanged Yevu Yashir Sukkah Lampshades in the shape of 3D Star of David in a mall in Jerusalem. It looks quite small in the huge space of the Mall, but a lot of people who come to the mall for the High Holidays will be able to raise their heads and enjoy them.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mosque at Bakhchysaray, Crimea

Picture is courtesy of "Ken and Nyetta" from Flickr who wrote to me:
A Star of David inside the prayer niche of a 16th century mosque at Bakhchysaray.
While I intellectually know that the image in the mosque was not intended to be a Jewish symbol (in the 16th century it was still a symbol of peace and harmony), simply seeing a Star of David prominently displayed in a mosque made a strong impact on me.
The name Bakhchysaray means "garden palace" in Turkish.

Paphos- A Swastica next to a Star of David

Picture of a Swastica next to a Star of David is courtesy of Ken and Nyetta from Flickr.
Here is an example where the Swastica and Star of Davidy appear together with many other religious symbols (and the Christian Cross) on a mosaic floor from the 3rd to 5th century in Paphos, Cyprus
House of Dionysus
Ken and Nyetta wrote to me the following:
I took the photo for several reasons. One simple one is that I love mosaics and photograph many of them. This one was particularly interesting to me because I was doing a great deal of work on Holocaust and Polish-Jewish reconciliation issues in Krakow, Poland. Lastly, I think this image -- and my gut reaction when I first saw the mosaic -- is a good example of the power of symbols and the way they derive their power from our experiences. As I'm sure you know, the six-pointed, double-triangle star became known as the Star of David only fairly recently (in the last 100 - 150 years). Similarly, the bent-armed sign that everyone in the world now associates with Nazism was a symbol of peace and strength through harmony until Hitler adopted it. These symbols have power over us because of their recent historical connections.
I do not agree with Ken and Nyetta about the short Jewish history of the Star of David – I just think it wasn’t researched enough

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Annual Holiday Light Display Near Pittsburgh

More than two million lights are used for this holiday light display, which is 3- to 40-feet tall.
Picture is courtesy of "nonesuch" who published it on Flickr and wrote to me:

I took the photo in January when I was touring the annual holiday light display at Hartwood Acres near my home in Pittsburgh…

Date inside a Star of David

This is the first Star of David I stumbled upon which has a date in its
hexagonal frame. It makes me think about decorating my Emails' date with this kind of design.
Picture is courtesy of Nerissa Atkinson who wrote to me: 

it was taken in the old Jewish quarter of Krakow Poland, in the same street as the old synagogue - I don't really know much more about it than that, but there were a couple on the wall in the same street

Yair Davidiy

I am grateful to Yair Davidiy, the publisher of Brit-Am newsletter, who referred me to two of the most important Star of David artifacts. I get his newsletter regularly and I noticed that on the cover of his Hebrew book about the lost tribes, "Achim Acharim", there is a Star of David within a Star of David, and on the opening page of his huge website there is another Star of David in red, white, and blue. I asked him about these and here’s his answer:
e believe that descendants of the Lost Ten Tribes are primarily in Western Countries. The primary colors of Ancient Israel (as seen in the Tabernacle) were red, white, and blue. These are also the colors of many nations we identify as containing within their boundaries descendants of the Lost Ten Tribes, e.g. USA, Britain, France, etc. This is why we use red, white, and blue in our design. The Magen David shape is to emphasize the connection of the Lost Ten tribes to the Jews of Judah.
The book cover of our work in Hebrew, "Achim Acharim", was designed by my son Oriel Davidiy. The book was published on behalf of Brit-Am by Russell-Davis Publishing. The book traces the Lost Ten Tribes to the west using Biblical, Rabbinical, Historical, Linguistic, and related sources.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Star of David is a Homoshape

Yesterday I asked on Yahoo Answers:
How do we call the same shape when it has more than one meaning? Can you give an example?
On the details section I explained:
When the same word has different meanings we call it a homonym.
My example: The Star of David is a shape that has different meanings in different cultures...
In a few hours I got some interesting answers:
It was used as the logo of some European beer, but after the Nazis made it famous, the beer company changed its logo.
Cross is used in churches and it has a different meaning when you see it in the hospital.
How about "O"?
Can be used as a circle, a zero, the alphabet O.
In the feedback section I wrote:
Very good examples but no name - I'll have to invent one myself - I'll call it a homoshape.

Star of David in the Vatican

Picture is courtesy of Nathan Gibbs from Flickr who wrote to me:

I shot it for several reasons. First, the lines and color drew my eye. There's a lot of movement and I imagine it took some time to assemble the mosaic. I also thought it was curious that the symbol was on the floor of the Vatican Museum. It always seems a little odd to put sacred symbols on the floor people walk on, but I was also curious why this Jewish symbol would be on.

I am sure the designers of this floor didn't mean to hurt anybody's feelings. There are many mosaic floors with the symbol of the cross all around the world. As for this photo I hope to find out where and when exactly it was made. 

Polymer Clay Bracelet

Picture of Polymer Clay Bracelet is courtesy of "shir_M" who published it on Flickr. 
Only after reading the title I started to understand what is going on in this lovely photo. Anyhow I liked the personal touch with which each Star of David is put on the bead, and the fitness of the colors.

Herzl's Birthplace

Herzl was born on 2-May-1860 in Dohany Street Synagogue, Budapest. 
Picture is courtesy of "Lawrence L" who published it on Flickr.
I believe most people are attracted to the central point of this photo and read what's written on the sign - I'm attracted to the bottom left where an iron gray Star of David is peeping just to remind us about the connection between the founder of Zionism and its emblem.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Agra Fort, India

Picture is courtesy of "Funki Sock Munki" who published it on Flickr
Jeff Zolitor wrote that lately he found Stars of David in two unexpected places: at a bazaar in Tijuana, Mexico, and at Agra Fort in India. In both cases locals told him they were just ornaments. Moreover, what about the four swastikas that surround it- are they too just ornaments?

With Lions

Photo is courtesy of "striatic" who published it on Flickr and wrote to me:
i shot it because my girlfriend and i were celebrating a little hanukkah in our little apartment and i added photography to the nightly ritual. this built up into something of a time lapse animation

What I (zeevveez) see in this photo is two lions holding a Star of David. Today the lion is the symbol of Jerusalem municipality, but it was the symbol of Judea tribe, whose name is the source of the name Jew.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Electric Menorah

Star of David on an Electric Menorah!

Picture is courtesy of "hfabulous" from Flickr who wrote to me the following:
Well, it definitely called to me in the sea of Christmas materials that I found in a small town Target in Western Washington last year.
It's the least authentic hunk of Judaica that I've come across in a while, but endearing with its attention to America's car-culture and love for all things rock 'n' roll. Kind of like if Ratfink was going to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah. Or if Iron Butterfly converted.


Stars of DavidPicture is courtesy of "Ladyhawke" who published it on Flickr. 
I, as a Stars of David collector, liked the fact that I found them on a scrapbook.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Magnetic Sculpture

Cameraphone Magnetic Sculpture picture is courtesy of "bpendleton" who published it on Flickr. I like three dimensional Stars of David...maybe because I helped develop one myself.

Star of David on a Manhole

Japanese Manhole
 CC picture by "opencage" from Flickr

Star of David on a Manhole

  Hexagram on a Manhole in Copenhagen
Picture is courtesy of "smoking_redmoon" who published it on Flickr. She wrote to me that she doesn't know what were the reasons to put a Star of David in such a place

 Hexagram on a Manhole in Cancale  France
CC Picture by Juanjo Marin from Flickr

Hexagram on a Manhole in Cancale  France
CC Picture by Aviruthia from Flickr

Hexagram on a Manhole in New York
CC Picture by i_follow from Flickr

decorated window in Cochin

Picture is courtesy of "williewonker" who published it on Flickr.
Cochin Jews say they settled there after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70ce. Some sources suggest they came even earlier, with King Solomon’s fleet. It could have been significant for the history of the Star of David if there were found any artifacts from these times, but all the Stars of David that one can see there today are modern, like the one in this photo...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Word Peace inside a Star of David

Picture of a stained glass window in a Jewish mausoleum in Paris is courtesy of Fugue who published it on Flickr. He wrote to me:
The Star of David itself doesn't have any specific meaning to me; I'm not Jewish and not very religious. But it was a lovely mausoleum, like a small granite Tardis with a window looking out on strange and beautiful worlds.

One day I'll make a list of all the words I found inside these emblems. It seems that only "important" words like the names of God, Zion, Israel, feel comfortable in this frame...


Star of David Perforation

Mordechai Kafri, Sculptor [1920-2001] built in 1973 in Mount Herzl, Jerusalem, Israel, 300X400X100 cm memorial to the Israeli soldiers whose burial place is unknown. He made a perforation in the shape of a Star of David in a gray rock. Through it one could see the blue skies. Since then the plants around it grew so that now one sees through this shape green leaves.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Using Photoshop to illustrate a Psalms verse

Shield of David photoshop
Dvoit Ben Shaul made this illustration which includes the verse in Psalms where King David prays to the Lord, his shield, the Shield of David. In order to strengthen the association to the Bible I added the fonts of the Bible with Photoshop clonning brush and replaced the white background of the books' page with clouds filter that used Dvorits colors.

It Takes a Whole Village to Raise a Blog

Star of David village
This is the third illustration of Psalms 18:3 made by Dvorit Ben Shaul that I publish here on this blog.
Dvorit introduced me to Dr. Goldmann who taught me a lot about Stars of David. I learned a lot also from
Uri Ofir who let me translate into English his Hebrew research about the Jewish origin of the Star of David . There is a strange coincidence concerning these names- Ofir in Hebrew is a kind of gold. Last week a painter called Ofira Oriel sent me her Star of David Mandalas to publish. Ofira means-gold
This coincidence reflects my gratitude to all those who help me raise this blog - to me they all look as if they were made from pure gold...

When was the Star of David invented

Star of David invented
IMHO King David, who according to the Jewish tradition composed Psalms, invented the concept of the Shield of David. In Chapter 18:3 King David prays to the Lord, using the word shield - and that's when the concept of the Shield of David entered our world.
It happened around 1010 BCE, after escaping from King Saul, a few years before 1004 when David became a king. He ruled until 965 BCE and lived, like us, in the turn of a millennium...

Ofira Oriel - Mandala

Mandala Magen DavidThis amazing colorful painting is the last in a series of four mandala designs made by Ofira Oriel, which were published on this blog

Who is the Star of David

Star of David Psalms Usually we ask "what is the Star of David" but in Psalms 18:3 which was written by King David the Shield is a verb, not a noun, and it stands for the Lord. My friend the painter Dvorit Ben Shaul helped me express it as an image.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Hamsa with Star of David designed by Aviel Barklay ("soferet" from Flickr)
The Hamsa symbol appears frequently along with the Star of David, and I have the impression that the reason for that in the last ten years or so is commercial.

Fire Amulet

Picture of Fire Amulet Magen David is courtesy of Aviel Barclay who published it on Flickr.
Aviel Barclay has a unique profession - she is a soferet (ritual Hebrew scribe).
She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and makes Judaica articles.
Aviel Barclay designed this amulet of the Hebrew holy name of the Lord inside David's Shield for Lag Baomer, Jewish holiday in which kids are making bonfires
and added a warning:
& remember, kids: only YOU can prevent forest fires…

Seagull Mandala

Seagull Mandala Magen DavidSeagull Mandala picture is Courtesy of Ofira Oriel, Israeli mandala painter and a fan of Jewish Stars

Monday, September 11, 2006

dinner is ready

Picture is courtesy of "leonapoleon" from Flickr who found this road sign above a stake house restaurant in south Tel Aviv - Israel, and published it under the title knife and fork

Episcopal Star

This picture of a hexagram on an Episcopal Church in Salisbury, Maryland is courtesy of Big Mike 42 who published it on Flickr under the title: St. Peter's Church
Big Mike 42 wrote to me that he doesn't know what this Star of David is doing in this place but he'll ask and update me if he gets an answer.

Psalms 121:5

Psalms 121:5 Magen DavidPicture is courtesy of Ofira Oriel, Israeli Mandala painter who includes many Stars of David in her works. The Hebrew words are taken from Psalms 121:5
The LORD [is] thy keeper: the LORD [is] thy shade upon thy right hand.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Mamilla Mamluk Cemetery

A Solomon’s seal on a tombstone in old Mamilla, or Ma’man Allah(Sanctuary of God), a 13th century Mamluk Cemetery, which used to be, until 1948, Jerusalem’s main Muslim cemetery.

Picture is courtesy of sethfrantzman who published it on Flickr and asked:

what is the story behind the Star of David on the left hand side?

I guess the answer is connected to the Mamluks who used the hexagrams also on the walls of Jerusalem.

Bizarre Japanese T-shirt

Picture is courtesy of MFinChina who published it on Flickr and wrote to me:

Here's another example of a Star of David showing up in a strange place: I think the shirt is promoting some music label or band -- I think it's connected with Rastarianism (there was sort of a Rasta color scheme to the front of the shirt), which uses the Star of David in its iconography too. The shirt is one made in China for the Japanese market.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Star of David Inside a Star of David

Star of David Inside a Star of David Picture is courtesy of Ofira Oriel, Israeli mandala painter, who developed a special attitude towards the Star of David emblem.

Chinese Bus upholstery

Picture is courtesy of MFinChina who took this shot on a bus from Menghun to Menghai and published it on Flickr. MFinChina wrote to me:

I have no idea how that upholstery ended up on the bus -- maybe some foreign customer had requested a big order of this pattern, and whoever upholstered the bus used the remnants. I doubt the Chinese people on the minibus had any idea what the symbol means -- they probably just think it is pleasing because it is made up of lines intersecting in a symmetrical pattern. That's an important motif in Chinese architecture, especially of window design.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hexagram in a Mosque

Al-Ghouri mosque Cairo ,1356
CC Picture by Dr. Pat (c) from Flickr

Jewish Stained Glass

This Jewish Stained Glass picture is courtesy of "jgoldpac' from Flickr. 

The Star of David is first of all a geometric shape and this background of rhombs makes this point very clear.

In the Shadow of the Holocaust

Picture is courtesy of "Coblat" from Flickr who shot it inside a monument to the Holocaust in Poland and wrote under it:

The star is a Star of David, or in Hebrew, Magen David, which means "Protector of David."
I found this sadly ironic and symbolic.
In other words the question is why didn't the Shield of David, which was created for protecting the Jewish people fulfill its destination when it was extremely needed?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Venice's Jewish Ghetto

Picture of Star of David with Menorah in Venice's Jewish Ghetto is courtesy of "Overture" from Flicker who wrote to me:

The Ghetto Vechio is really evocative of the way in which the Jews were treated in Europe during the middle ages through to the renaissance. The star, in this context, is spiritual beacon - an enclave righteousness. 

This is an example of the strong link between the Star of David and the Menorah. I started collecting such examples after reading Uri Ofir's theory about the origin of this Jewish symbol from the Menorah.