Saturday, July 22, 2006

German Pentateuch

There's a Star of David on the c. 1300 illumination for the Duke of Sussex Pentateuch and in it there's an elephant. The book is located nowadays in the British Library in London.
On page 61 in his book Dreams of Subversion in Medieval Jewish Art and Literature (1997) Marc Michael Epstein claims that in the beginning of the 14th century for medieval German Jews the Star of David represented the Torah.
The Duke of Sussex's German Pentateuch was written and illuminated by a scribe-artist known as Hayyim, working in southern Germany around 1300
I found on the WWW two pages out of five of this illumination but couldn't find the one Marc Michael Epstein talks about. Anyhow his theory is worth consideration and that's why I decided to include it in this blook.

Messianic Seal

In 1990 Tech Otecus, an old monk who lived as a hermit in the Old City of Jerusalem, showed Ludwig Schneider, editor of "Israel today" magazine, a collection of artifacts he found in a cave on Mount Zion. On some of these artifacts there was engraved a Star of David between a Menorah at the top and a fish at the bottom. Otecus said that in the 1960s he had personally excavated about 40 artifacts bearing the Messianic Seal from an ancient grotto located in Mount Zion. The Israeli Museum never published these findings. Maybe they suspected they are faked.
Faked or not the Messianic Jews use this symbol as their logo, and explain that the Star of David stands for Judaism while the fish stands for Jesus.