Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Theodor Herzl Window Design

magen David Theodor Herzl Window Design

Star of David hovers over Theodor Herzl - stained glass window by Ephraim Moshe Lilien in "Bney brith" club in Hamburg, November 1904 . Title:"Moses"
It seems that because of his prominent role in the history of the Star of David Theodor Herzl and the Star of David tend to appear together, like twin brothers. 
Source: Wikimedia

Star of David hovers over Rabbi Hillel
Stained glass window by Ephraim Moshe Lilien in "Bney brith" club in Hamburg, November 1904 .

Theodor Herzl's tombstone

Theodor Herzl's tombstone Stars of David

Picture is courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
There are a lot of Stars of David on Theodore Herzl's tombstone. He was buried in Vienna on the 7 July 1904, next to his father. Die Welt reported that six thousand people came to the funeral from all over the world.
BTW if one sums the digits of the day and month of his funeral [7 July (7th month)] it equals14 which is the sum of the digits in the Hebrew letters of David and the same goes for the sum of the digits of the year 1904. Experts on numerology will probably understand what this means. For me it's just an association that Theodore Herzl was a Shield (of David) that protected the Jewish People from its numerous enemies.
Stars of David surrounded Herzl at least since June 4 1897 when he published the first issue of Die Welt.

WWII Normandy American Cemetery

Star of David Picture from WWII American Cemetery in Normandy  is courtesy of "tmmiller' from Flickr.

The graves of soldiers of Jewish faith were marked with the Star of David

The Star of David is a Star

As I already mentioned earlier there are many synonyms for the term Star of David and the most elementary one is that it is a certain star in the Sky.
That's how Benjamin Disraeli used it in his historical romance Alroy:
As I gazed upon the Star of David, a sudden halo rose around its rays, and ever and anon a meteor shot from out the silver veil.
When I read Disraeli's book I was looking for a detailed description of David Alroy's Shield, but instead I came up with the above mentioned excerpt..
To this simple interpretation we may add Rashi and Iben Ezra's comment that Bilam's prediction
["There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel" (Numbers 24:17)] is about King David. Maybe this is the source of the questionable translation of the Hebrew words Magen (Shield) David into the English words Star of David.

Krakov Ghetto Gate

Krakov Ghetto Gate magen David
magen David over Krakov Ghetto Gate

Missing Demands

In Capernaum synagogue there's a stone with an engraving in the shape of the Star of David on it. Since this stone is in a Jewish environment researchers guess that it was a Jewish symbol. The fact is that nobody knows whether the community that used this synagogue ascribed to this shape the meaning that we ascribe to it today (sign of Judaism and/or Zionism and/or Israel) and nobody knows if the community that used this synagogue named it in the same name as we do.
Anyhow, there's quite a difference between the terms "symbol of Judaism" and "Jewish Symbol". Most of the papers I read so far bring a list of artifacts similar to the one found in Capernaum, artifacts that were found on different sites in ancient Israel. These have the shape of the Star of David but they don't have the matching name or meaning. We don't even know WHAT they symbolized.
IMHO a Star of David must meet all the above three demands (shape name and meaning) in order to differentiate it from other cultures' hexagram. Since all the artifacts found in ancient Israel have for certain only the shape of the symbol I don't consider them as more than hexagrams until the missing demands will be completed.