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