Monday, August 28, 2006

Kitty Necklace

Picture of this cute Star of David Necklace is courtesy of "jilbean3"  who published it on Flicker under the title Jewish Kitty.

Friday, August 25, 2006


Star of David doorknob in an uninhabited house in Valparaiso, Chile
Picture is courtesy of "d.composed" who published it on Flickr

Star of David as a Jewish Symbol on a Turkish Flag

The Star of David was used as a Jewish Symbol in the 16th century CE. It was drawn on the war flag of Chief Hizir Hayreddin (Barbarossa) along with the symbols of Christianity and Islam.
Chief Hizir Hayreddin (Barbarossa) was the Great Admiral of the navy of Suleiman the Magnificent from 1534 until his death on 1546. Now the flag is at the Naval Museum of Istanbul.
Picture is copied from Wikipedia


Christian hexagram with Tetragrammaton Dove and Cross
on a blackprint issued for celebrating 400 years to the Synod Zilina
Sent to me by Chastven Miloje (c) From Ashdod Israel

Tetragrammaton magen david at Templo de la Congregación Israelita Buenos Aires Synagogue is courtesy of Robert Pollack who published it on Flicker and it shows a Tetragrammaton surrounded by a Star of David surrounded by a circle.
Tetragrammaton in Greek means "The Four Letters"; it stands for the name of God which is comprised of four Hebrew letters (Yod, He, Vav and He).
Robert Pollack wrote to me:

It is a strong symbol, and one that suggests unity and interconnectedness. It always reminds me of an elaborate knot.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hexagram window

Hexagram windowHexagram window picture is courtesy of "mattd1974" who published it on Flickr as one of a series of amazing photos he shot in a palace in Istanbul. I guess it was made by a Muslim artist. 

Tile Work in Istanbul

Picture is courtesy of "mattd1974" who published it on Flicker under the title Magen Davids.

The gold adds to the Star of David a majestic touch which fits its majestic origin (from King David)...

First Star of David Flag

The Magen David of the Altneushul (Old-New) Synagogue

Copyright: "mattd1974" from Flickr
The following paragraph is from Dr. Asher Eder’s book The Star of David, which was published in 1987 in English in Jerusalem by Rubin Mass Ltd. 

King of Bohemia Charles IV allowed the Jews of Prague to carry a similar flag in 1354 but this flag is a replica of another flag from 1648 that the Jews of Prague were again allowed to have as an acknowledgment of their part in defending the city against the Swedes. This affinity of Prague’s medieval Jewish community with the hexagram was then honored by an official recognition. It was in 1354, roughly 70 or 80 years after the synagogue was built, that Charles IV, King of Bohemia, on the occasion of his accession to the throne of the Holy Roman Empire with Prague as its capital, granted the Jewish community the privilege of bearing its own flag.16 This flag, red in color, displayed a hexagram near its pole site, distinguishing the Jewish community by this symbol.
Since Emperor Charles IV made justice and law the principle of his government (his constitution is known as the Golden Bull), we may safely assume that he did not impose this symbol on the community, although the practice of then to make a visible distinction between Jews and Christians may well have played its role, too. Yet this privilege to show its own flag implied both the community’s self-identification with the hexagram on the one hand, and its official recognition by the emperor and his court17 on the other hand.
This is remarkable in several respects:
a) There, the hexagram was obviously adopted by the Jewish congregation, and not merely by individuals as was customary so far;
b) the synagogue's name, usually written "Altneuschul" (=old-new-school) derives from Hebrew על-תנאי , al-tnai, literally "on condition of". A legend had it that a stone from the destroyed Temple of Jerusalem was brought over from there, and used as a foundation stone for the synagogue with the promise ("condition") to return it to its proper place as soon as the Temple could be rebuild, an event in which the congregation would take part;
c) the Altneuschul is the oldest still existing synagogue in Europe - in fact in Europe's first capital, Prague;
d) the synagogue survived undamaged the nazi-furor. It was not an act of piety of theirs which prevented them from destroying it: their intend was to turn it after their victory into a museum demonstrating their hoped-for triumph over the "chosen people".
This flag of 1354 was later referred to in documents18 as "the flag of King David, similar to the flag of the great synagogue".19
The custom of showing a flag while greeting a king apparently spread to Hungary, where the Jewish community of Ofen (Budapest) greeted King Matthias Corvinus in 1460 on the occasion of his second marriage. Their flag, also red, contained two hexagrams with two other stars.20 The practice of showing a flag with the hexagram was repeated in 1527 in an honor ceremony greeting Rudolph II, and again in 1648 when the Jews were given credit for their bravery against Swedish invaders. The Jews were then granted the right to show their flag with its six-pointed star. Curiously enough, the latter features in its center the picture of a hat usually considered to be a Swedish army cap. However, it might simply depict the "Jewish hat" by which Jews were labeled in the Middle Ages. A duplicate of that flag, made in 1716, is preserved in Prague's famous synagogue Altneuschul . Miraculously, both the Altneuschul and this flag survived the Nazi furor.
Gershom Scholem, who published the most authoritative research about the Star of David, wrote in his book (The Messianic Idea in Judaism. New York, Schocken,1971 p. 259.) that
The hexagon is not a Jewish symbol, much less "the symbol of Judaism.” None of the marks of a true symbol nor its manner of origin… apply to it. It expresses no “idea,” awakens no primeval associations which have become entwined with the roots of our experiences, and it does not spontaneously comprise any spiritual reality. It calls to mind nothing of biblical or rabbinical Judaism; it arouses no hopes. Insofar as it had any connection at all with the emotional world of pious Jew it was on the level of fears which might overcome by magic.

But as you can see the name of God and the Shema Israel appear in big and outstanding Hebrew letters on the Altneushul flag !

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Jewish Starfish

When Uri Ofir published his research about The Jewish Origin of The Star Of David he checked six pointed flowers and six pointed snowflakes, but he missed THIS one. Usually starfish has five points but it seems that this one is an exception ( at first glance I was sure it's a Photoshop hoax).
Copyright: Paul Dillingham from Flickr

See also
Starfish on a Stamp

Iranian Star of David

14th century Mullah Jacub's Synagogue, Isfahan, Iran

Hamed is a brave Iranian and I salute him for what he wrote in Flickr under this photo:
And to my Muslim friends who asked me to remove this shot:
I won't do so! We (Jews and Muslims) both worship the same God! We (Muslims) must respect their prophet Moses (p.b.u.h.), because he's respected by our prophet and our holy Quran!

Copyright: Hamed Saber from Flickr.

Star of David on a Christmas Tree

Christmas tree with the Jewish Star

TubaOrNotTuba wrote to me:

This ornament is from the president of the company that Jay's dad (Otto) works at. ... Though Jay's family is Christian, they have many, many friends from the Jewish community...

I like this photo because it transmits an innocent optimism about Jewish-Christian future relationships...

Copyright: "TubaOrNotTuba" from Flickr

Rana Raslan

On March 9 1999 Rana Raslan, an Arab woman, was named Miss Israel for the first time in the history of this country. Rana Raslan, 21-year-old kindergarten teacher from Haifa, participated later in the Miss Universe competition where she wore a blue and white Star of David dress. Galit Levy designed the dress to resemble the Israeli flag.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Exquisite Tunisian Blue Door

Exquisite Tunisian Blue Door Solomon's Seal
Star of David on a blue door, Tunis Medina

Dr Rachel Milstein, Specialist in Islamic art, and director of the Near Eastern Studies Department at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, lectured in the Israeli President's house about ancient Bible decorations and here is my translation for an excerpt of this lecture:
The star symbol, especially the one made of two intertwined opposite triangles called Solomon's seal (which was later named by Jews as Star of David) stands for the great name of the Lord, for the knowledge that originates from the Lord, for Heaven and the movement of the planets, and for all the meanings of the concept of kingship. The combination of all these meanings in the symbol of the star endows it an immense power, and that's why it serves also for magical purposes; and thus it continues a long tradition of attaching talismans to the walls of cities. In Fostat it is found on arc cornices of a residence from the 9th century, and in Tunis it is widespread even in our days.

Copyright: Brian MxMorrow from PBase

Monday, August 21, 2006

Turkish Hexagram

1. J Gutmann wrote in his book The Jewish Sanctuary Page 21 (1983) that
In the medieval Islamic world the hexagram was popular and was widely used.
2. There's a hexagram on a coin of Nasir al-Din Artuq Arslan (1201 - 1239 AD).
3. The Islamic Turkish 13th century beyliks used the hexagram on their flag.
4. The author of an article about The Importance of the Number Six in Islamic Symbolism claims that:
The number 6, as symbolized by the letter "wav", has importance in the religion of Islam and, as a consequence, in Islamic culture and art, with the use and repetition of motifs and designs comprising 6 repeated elements… the 6 days that God took to create the world…
The above quote resembles Jewish explanations about the meaning of the Star of David. The following excerpt is uniquely Muslim:
Then there are the 6,666 verses (ayet) in the Holy Koran, while the numerical equivalent of the letters that comprise the word "Allah" (God), equals 66 that is the letter "wav" mirrored forming 6 and 6, 66. There are 6 points to the star that forms the seal of the Prophet Suleyman (Soloman), employed as a design in many 13th century Anatolian mosques and medrese, such as in the cut tilework of the interior of the dome of the Ulu Cami of Malatya of 1224 and on the tilework in the interior of the Karatay Medrese of Konya of 1251. This "Seal of Suleyman" formed the device on the flag of the Alanya 14th century Beylik and was deployed on coins and other objects in many other parts of the Islamic world including Persia, before its adoption as the "Star of David" on the Israeli flag today.

Red and White

In the desert Moses made flags for every tribe. Moses also made an Israeli flag for all the tribes, but what was the design of this flag?
From Athol Bloomer's elaborate article about the Mystical Rose one might guess that the flag of Moses might have included the Star of David since:
As Prince Dudumose Moses also bore on his battle shield the red Magen David (double dalet) design with the two base lines in a vertical formation. The Star of Miriam on her drum was the white Magen David (double mem) with the base lines horizontal.


half a Star of David bookThis was for me an exercise in paying attention to details, because only after I edited the emblem of Keter publishing house in Photoshop I was convinced that it was designed as half a Star of David. The designer made a subtle work here trying to convey the message that this publishing house is the best and at the same time he tried to touch a patriotic chamber in the heart of his potential customers.

This is one more way to look at this many faceted emblem - two crowns, one upward, one down.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Yevu Yashir Sukkah Lampshades at Jerusalem Fair

3D Star of David folded Sukkah Lampshades Yevu Yashir 3D Star of David folded Sukkah Lampshades at Jerusalem Chutzot Hayotzer Art Fair.

Yakov Agam Yizkor Sculpture at the Wailing Wall

Yakov Agam Magen DavidMy good old friend Yehuda heard about my interest in Stars of David and recommended I'll take a look at Yakov Agam Yizkor sculpture at the Wailing Wall in the old city of Jerusalem.
The sculpture is made from six big white Stars of David lit by gas. The six stars represent the six million holocaust Jewish victims. Between the stars there are the Hebrew letters of Yizkor, the Memorial prayer recited in memory of parents, children, wives or husbands, and martyrs.
When I arrived there at night I couldn't see it so I asked Yehuda on the mobile phone to direct me more accurately and then I saw it but its lighting was off.
A few days later I came back at day light and took a picture of it. I asked the owners of the roof where the sculpture is situated why is the lighting off and they answered it is because of safety problems with the gas.
I wander what Yaakov Agam thinks about this strike…
BTW Yaakov Agam has a special interest in Stars of David and many of his works deal with this symbol. I'd like to publish here more of his brilliant works but they are copyrighted…


Evasive Magen DavidWhat you see here is a hexagon inside a Star of David inside a hexagon in a pavement just at Zion Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel.
An Arab door keeper at Dormition Church referred me to this pavement but even when I stood on it I didn't understand that it was a Star of David - I guess it happens to most people who step on it every day. It is easier to grasp it from the air, or from a distant spot, but maybe it is hard to notice it because it is evasive…

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Local Symbols

The Star of David is good against a Jewish vampire, but if we tried to use it on a Muslim vampire, it would just make him angry!

This wonderful joke is on the Warners' DVD of The Fearless Vampire Killers or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck (1967, Directed by Roman Polanski). It shows brilliantly how local are our symbols.
Another example is to try and tell this joke to different villagers in remote places all over the world (like in the Amazons) and to watch how they react to it – I'm sure nobody will laugh, and if some of them will giggle it will be because of the wrong reasons.

Visual Palindrome

Visual PalindromeThis Palindrome picture is copied from Wikimedia where it appears in black and white; I, using Photoshop, added the colors.
The Star of David is a visual palindrome: from every direction it looks the same:
From above as from below
From the front as from the behind
From the right as from the left
This shape expresses the concept that the opposites, any pair of contrasts, are united on a level, which includes them; like breath includes inhaling and exhaling.
The Star of David is the place where it doesn't matter if you are rightist or leftist, rich or poor, at the top of the social ladder or at its bottom.
It is interesting to note that this visual palindrome attracts another visual palindrome - the Roman magic square called sator, where each word can be read the same way from right to left and vice versa, from top to bottom and vice versa. M. Costa in his book about the golden section and Solomon's seal bring a photograph of a whole page of a book from the Middle Ages in which a Star of David surrounds this magic square.
The Star of David attracts also Hebrew verbal palindromes:
The word David (DVD), which appears in the name of this shape
The word Six (Shesh in Hebrew) indicating the number of triangles that surrounds the hexagon, which dwells inside this shape. Shesh is the stem of the word Shoshan (lily), the flower that looks from above like a Star of David. Researcher Uri Ofir claims that the Shoshan is the origin of this shape.
The word Choach (thorn) from the verse in the Song of Songs
"Like a rose among the thorns"

Friday, August 18, 2006

White on Black Star of David

Star of David engraved on a black tombstone 
Wilkiecoco wrote to me:
The photo is part of a series I took one Sunday morning at the Montreal Jewish Cemetery on de la Savanne Street. It is where my father and many other members of my family are buried. The photo is of one of the many headstones marked in the traditional Jewish way of leaving a small stone to commemorate your visit to the grave.

Copyright: Wilkiecoco from Flickr 

Star in daylight sky

Yellow Star of David, outside the Jewish Museum, Amsterdam
Tamara Eden wrote to me:
I simply took it because I liked the starkness of the yellow against the clear sky. It was quite rainy most of the time in Amsterdam so this photo just popped when
I saw it.

Copyright: Tamara Eden from Flickr.

Militant Shield of David

Copyright: Andrew Carton  2006 who published it on Flickr under the title War It Is which alludes to Hezbollah, who forced Israel to draw the sword.
Sometimes we tend to perceive this symbol out of context, but here it is hard to forget that it all started when David fought Goliath.
BTW Hezbollah is more famous than I thought - if you enter search word Hezbollah into Google you get 188,000,000 results...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Good Old Friends

The Menorah was for generations Israel's national emblem - archeologists found a lot more Menorahs than Stars of David in their excavations. Nowadays it seems that the Star of David is more prominent, but still they often tend to appear together, like good old friends...
Picture is courtesy of C. Holden who published it on Flickr and sent me the following:
I took this photo within weeks of purchasing my very first digicam. I wanted to shoot everything I could see. As we were in the Chanukah season my congregation was decorated. I decided to shoot this in order to remember that night. I decided to post it because it represents something about my worldview.

TikkunGer's Star of David

I like this shiny ambience - it glorifies the Star of David and suits its inner meaning...
Photographed by TikkunGer from Flickr (a very catchy WWW-name) who sent me the following:
The photograph was taken last winter, either in late January or early February. I just purchased a digital camera and was entering the world of photography for the first time in my life. I have no real photographic background or experience taking pictures. Anyhow I was learning the different features on my camera and wanted to practice with macro and super macro settings, so I gathered all of the subject items I could find to photograph in my apartment and began snapping pictures. This picture is out of my Hanukiah and is one of my first Judaica purchases, as I'm just recently becoming more involved with leading an observant life. There really isn't much spiritual significance, other than I'm trying to capture my growth as a jew in all sorts of interesting ways including through photography.
Copyright: TikkunGer 2006

Melly's Menorah - Back

Behind this Star of David picture is an interesting Jewish-Identity-story which "baslow" was kind enough to share with me: About the picture: I grew up in an Orthodox Jewish home but no longer practiced the religion by the time I met my wife, who is not Jewish. She still goes to church but, over the years, has changed from Catholic, to Lutheran, to Episcopalian depending on which church in our neighborhood afforded her the most nourishing community. Our children have always been free to choose their own paths with respect to religion and, as a result, they have developed very individual, non-classifiable beliefs. Although they are not Jewish by Jewish law they both consider themselves to have at least one foot in the Jewish community. They have a father who is Jewish and who tells stories of an Orthodox childhood; they have relatives who are Jewish, some of them still Orthodox; and they live in New York City, the capital of Judaism in the United States. They understand very well that they would have been "Jewish enough for Hitler". When the winter holiday season comes around (Christmas/Hanukkah) we usually bring out the old children's books that the kids enjoyed and read them out loud. Sometimes the kids, who have both developed interests in acting, will recite passages and perform episodes in the books. My daughter Ruth has a special affection for "Melly's Menorah", about a Jewish Gopher Girl (I'm not making this up). She especially loves to enact the moment when Melly recoils in horror as her father, cleaning the house in preparation for Hanukkah festivities, obliviously vacuums up all of the Hanukkah cards she has been making.
Copyright: "baslow" from Flickr

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Ice Star of David

There's a strong connection between the Menorah and the Star of David. Israeli researcher Uri Ofir claims the Menorah is the origin of this Jewish national emblem. I searched for Menorah on Flickr and got a few hundred results, out of which I chose those that showed the Magen David. This one is surely the most interesting since it is made from ice...

Picture is courtesy of Azyxa who wrote me:

I took a photo of it because it was a beautiful and impressive ice sculpture. No more, no less.

May David's Shield Protect You

May David's Shield Protect YouPicture is hoto courtesy of Ingrid who published it on Flickr under the cool title: May David's Shield Protect You, which sounds like the famous line from Stars War "May the Force be with you".
Ingrid added on her Flickr page that the photo shows the house of mourning In Cologne, Germany built in 1929/30 in neo-classicistic style by architect Robert Stern.
This morning I got the following e-mail from her:
By chance I discovered a little Jewish cemetery in Cologne, hidden under old trees, a magic place. I liked and still like it very much and my interest in the history of Jews in Cologne arose. Once having started I discovered more and more; I visited the synagogue (Roonstrase) and the cemetery in Koln-Bocklemund and I collected some information about Jewish rites of burial. I took the photo some time ago and I uploaded it just now because I wanted to underline my wish that God may protect little Israel in these bad times.


This amazing Star of David work is published here courtesy of Dzeni who published it on Flickr photo sharing software under the title Magen Sky. Dzeni added there that "This one may end up as a greeting card"
Dzeni wrote to me the following:
The Stars in question are fractals and were created with a
lovely little program called "Apophysis".
I don't know what fractals are and how Apophysis works but I do know that like this photo...a lot.


Theresienstadt Star of DavidPicture taken by Pierre Friedmann from Flickr who wrote to me the following:

This Star of David was shot outside the Theresienstadt concentration camp in the Czec Republic. It stands as a part of a small memorial in what used to be - if I am not mistaken - the town's morgue. The memorial consists of numerous empty ash boxes which can also be seen in the background.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Hex-alpha hexagram
The shape of the Star of David has many synonyms and is open to numerous interpretations; part of them even received an official name. The above one consists of six reiterations on the first letter of the Latin alphabet - A.
That's why this symbol's synonym is hex-alpha.
I designed it in Photoshop so that the A- units will stand out but usually the same shape that is called Star of David is also called hex-alpha.
In a similar way the shape of the five-pointed star is called pent alpha.
We can also visualize the triangles that surround the hexagon in the shape of the Star of David to thorns. This opens the way to an interesting interpretation of the verse from Song of Songs 2:2:
As a lily among thorns
So is my love among the daughters
-"my love" is the soul, the internal part of the human being, and it dwells, according to this verse, among six thorns… like the hexagon between its six triangles.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Perception Magen David Recently I wrote about the numerous potential possible designs of the Star of David and today I stumbled upon Max Black's theory which gives a logical explanation for this phenomenon.
The Star of David was chosen by Max Black as a perfect illustration for showing that perception is concept-driven. Max Black wrote a book about this titled Models and metaphors (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, 1962). One of his illustrations shows that you can see the Star of David as three butterflies, which reminded me of Isaiah 6:2:
Over him were the winged ones: every one had six wings; two for covering his face, two for covering his feed, and two for flight.
Max Black thinks that we see the star (or any other thing) "through" the concept and if we are used to see it as (“seeing-as”) two superimposed triangles- we will not see it as three butterflies.
The Star of David is an excellent example for this idea since you can see it "through" numerous concepts:
Hexagon with 6 triangles
3 W's
3 M's
2 X's and 2 triangles
BTW this Isaiah 6:2 verse may prove that the origin of the Star of David is from the bible…

Carmel Ben Ish Star of David

Merkabah Star of David three dimensional 

Carmel Ben Ish designs her Natural Merkaba Mobiles by using wood, semi-precious healing stones, glass and beads.
These Merkabas, hanging from the ceiling, are used for :Protection ,connection with the higher self unconditional love and self healing.
You can contact Carmel at Mobile 972-52-8313028

Picture is courtesy of designer Carmel Ben-Ish whom I met in Jerusalem Annual Art Fair. 

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Star of Damascus

There is a Six-Pointed Star on the U.S. Sword Blades which looks exactly like a Star of David. It consists of two triangles combined together, not two, separate, interlocking triangles. The writer of the article that appears in the in the website titled military-sword
Cannot absolutely confirm the history of this Six-Pointed Star;
The blade specifications for both the U.S. and British military swords require the six-pointed star with the word "Proved" etched on the blade. As best we can tell, the specification for the six-pointed star is historical in nature and was likely used to signify that the blade was manufactured using the Damascus steel method.
According to historian Ken Smith-Christmas (a curator at the Marine Corps Air-Ground Museum, Quantico, Virginia) the Damascus craftsmen were renowned for their secretive art of making steel. They formed a guild and their symbol was this six-pointed star, the star of Damascus. Wilkerson sword makers used this symbol for publicity and soon other sword makers copied the symbol on their own swords.
Now the question is: where did the Damascus craftsmen get this symbol from 1000 years ago? Readers who know how to get an answer for this question are encouraged to comment.

Rotas Opera Tenet Arepo Sator

There's an enigmatic connection between the Star of David and the Magic Square
Rotas Opera tenet Arepo Sator (Shorter name: Sator) . The Sator is a palindrome that can be read in the same way from four directions of the square. There are dozens of interpretations of its meaning, but still there is no consent which of them is right.
I found two instances of this connection:
1. Elio Galasso wrote an on line book in order to show that the most ancient Sator found in Pompeii, dated 79 C.E, is eligible if you put a Star of David on it and read the letters along its lines and not from left to right.
2. M. Costa ["Hatakh ha-zahav, hotam Shelomoh u-magen-David", Poalim, 1990, Hebrew, pp. 174 [copied a whole page from A. Kircher's book "arithmology" (1646) with a Star of David encircling a Sator.
IMHO the Star of David and the Sator served for many centuries as amulets. Their perfect symmetry doesn't allow the penetration of evil spirits from any side. This is a solution for amulets that contain words since those that go from left to right can be read by the demons from right to left and those that go from right to left can be read by the demons from left to right. This solution is a double action prevention device and its proliferation shows how convincing it was….
Rotas Opera Tenet Arepo Sator can be translated: The sower, Arepo, guides the wheels with care.
The earliest examples are Roman: Two Sator squares were discovered in the ruins of Pompeii, Italy. There is a Christian interpretation that many scholars accept, which claims that the Sator contains the PATER NOSTER prayer plus A and O (alpha and omega in Greek). This could mean Christianity reached Pompeii at a very early date. These scholars believe that during that time of persecution the owners of the house were it was found used the Sator as a secret sign showing they were Christians. Another version is that it was put on the side of houses which offered refuge to Christians, who were the only people who knew how to decipher the code. Other historians think that the Sator was even older than the Christian Church.
Four Sators were unearthed in 1931-32 excavations in Dura Europos, in Syria; three of them on the walls of a [Roman] military office in a building that had originally been the temple of Artemis Azzanathkona. In 1868 it was found in excavations of a Roman villa, scratched on a wall plaster, at Corinium Dobunnorum, near Victoria Road in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England. Another Sator square was found in Manchester and is considered to be the earliest evidence of Christianity in Britain. There are some specimens of it in Egypt, in Cappadocia, in Aquincum, in Hungary, on the wall of the Duomo of Siena, Italy, in the pavement outside the church of the Knights in Valetta, Malta…In later periods uncountable other examples have been found all over the world.
Rose Mary Sheldon wrote an excellent review of the literature on this subject.
Picture (courtesy of Synwell Liberation Front from Flickr) shows wall-plaster from second century C.E., excavated at Victoria Road, Cirencester, 1868

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Man's Tombstone, Woman's Tombstone

Lindsey Friedman studied one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in North America, the Shaarai Shomayim cemetery, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, which was founded in 1747 and discovered that The Magen David was put on the men’s tombstones while a chanukiyah was put on the women’s.
Friedman said the reason was that women light candles while men are more prominent in synagogue.

King Solomon Sword

On the WWW I saw an offer to buy a gold King Solomon Sword made in Toledo, Spain.
The images on the sword included the Solomon’s seal and the Ark of the Covenant.
I liked the merchants' trial to link the sword to the famous story about the sentence of Solomon, where
Two women were fighting for a child and King Solomon, in order to find out which one was telling the truth , gave his sword to a soldier and ordered him to split the baby in two, giving one half to each of the women. The real mother begged the king not to kill the child and to give him to the other woman. In this way, King Solomon knew immediately which one was lying showing great wisdom and fairness.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Roy Shinar Star of David Ceiling1

Roy told me that he painted this ceiling in the Synagogue of Maalot after seeing a similar design on a book of old Synagogues' frescos. This specific one is from Morocco and he liked this shape that looks like three eight figures which reminded him of a pumpkin.
Copyright: Roy Shinar 2006

Roy Shinar Star of David Ceiling

Magen David appears on Roy Shinar's painted Ceiling.

Roy Shinar Star of David window

Photo courtesy of painter Roy Shinar (Mobile: 972503596500 son of my dear friend painter Itzhak Shhwartz ) whom I met yesterday drawing portraits in five minutes in the Jerusalem Annual Art Fair at Chutzot Hayotzer.Roy told me that he used the central original triangle in the window and added to it the missing triangles so that the end result is a camouglaged Star of David.

Montefiori coat of arms

On my way to the Jerusalem Annual Art Fair in Chutzot Hayotcer I stopped to look at the Sir Moshe Montefiori
Wind Mill in the Mishkanot Shaananim quarter of Jerusalem. Behind a glass window I saw the wagon that used to carry this British philantropist on his many journeys in Israel and in Europe between 1827 and 1875, journeys that were intented to strengthen the Jewish settlement in Israel. On the door of this wagon my eye caught three yellow Stars of David on a blue square background and two smaller red ones beside them..

Montefiori coat of arm -updated

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Stan Tenen Reviews Uri Ofir's Research

Stan Tenen from Meru Foundation sent me the following email from which I bring you three excerpts:
I just read through Uri Ofir's paper on the origin of the Magen David
In his Summary, before the Introduction, he says that the origin of the Magen David is in the tabernacle. Obviously, this is correct. That's in part what my drawings are intended to show.
In section 2B, where he refers to the pomegranate-flower: This is a minor misunderstanding. It's not only the flower of the pomegranate that's important, but rather, the fact that pomegranate seeds are packed together closely, just like the spheres that make up the "13-petaled rose", otherwise known as the "Shushon flower", otherwise known as the cubeoctahedron-cum-lilies. The pomegranate flower mimics the 6-points of the double-tetrahedron; it's another example of the Shushon in nature. Each different fruit and tree mentioned in the Garden of Eden contributes a particular quality to defining the elements of creation, the Menorah, the Temple, et al. The pomegranate teaches us sphere-packing.
          In section 12, Ofir discusses that the Menorah is made of a single vessel, one piece of gold. This is also correct. The entire living system is the "one piece of gold". The vine, the chain of being, is never broken. And the Shushon-flower, and its alternative form, the 3,10 torus knot, consists of a single unbroken ribbon.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Planar Close Packing

Troy R. Bishop wrote an article titled Starring the Circle where he shows the connection between the Star of David and atoms. This sounds important because atoms are the bricks of the world and the question, which we are dealing here with is in fact: how does the six pointed star represents the world?
Each atom (or coin, in his illustration) if not on an edge is touched by exactly six neighboring coins
This arrangement is known in solid-state physics, which concerns itself with the way atoms arrange themselves together in solid matter, as planar close packing…this pattern is repeated throughout the entire arrangement …the Star of David… is inherent in a figure based on seven circles.
Troy R. Bishop goes on and shows that the number seven represents the maximum possible number of manifestations of the number three (The Star of David is made from two triangles. Triangle is based on three angles, that's the origin of its name).
There are just seven possible combinations of any three items, alone or in combination, and they are:
1. First item alone
2. Second item Alone
3. Third item alone
4. First item and second item together
5. First item and third item together
6. Second item and third item together
7. First, second, and third item together
The Star of David is first and foremost a geometric shape, a hexagram. The language of geometry (shapes) is translated perfectly into the language of Math (numbers). No wonder there is so many different articles calculating the numbers behind this shape. What I personally like in Troy R. Bishop's article is the poetic sound of the words Planar Close Packing.

Black Obelisk

Black Obelisk Magen David

Picture copied from Wikipedia entry:Black Obelisk

There's a sort of a six-pointed star on the "Black Obelisk" of Shalmaneser III (858-824 BC) discovered in Nimrud in northern Iraq. The obelisk had been erected in 825 BCE. It is the earliest ancient description of an Israelite. Archaeologist Sir Henry Layard discovered it in 1846.

There are twenty reliefs on this obelisk describing subdued kings. In one of them this six-pointed star is above King Jehu's head. The translation of the Assyrian caption above the scene is:

The tribute of Jehu, son of Omri: I received from him silver, gold, a golden bowl, a golden vase with pointed bottom, golden tumblers, golden buckets, tin, a staff for a king [and] spears.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Closing a Circle

Closing a Circle Magen David
Our first 3D folded paper Magen David Sukkah Lampshades exhibited in the first store, in the Jewish quarter of the Old city of Jerusalem, near the place where the Magen David was invented 3000 years ago, Mount Zion, King David's city...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Stan Tenen on Carpet Pages in the Leningrad Codex

I asked Stan Tenen to explain the carpet pages in the Leningrad Codex and he was kind enough to let me publish here his most original answer:
It's my theory that the carpet pages of the Leningrad Codex record geometric structures necessary for maintaining the integrity of the letter-text of Torah. They are the earliest source for many Kabbalistic drawings, including the Tree of Life. Some can be pulled up into 3-D, some can be woven or knotted, and some show relationships that are otherwise not easily seen. The scholars are paying little or no attention to the carpet pages, seeing them mostly as nothing but artwork. The scholars, of course, wouldn't recognize a geometric object if it stepped on them, so they are completely unaware of their enormous potential significance. This is a story in itself. If there were a way to interest/entice established scholars into a geometric investigation of these carpet pages, that in itself might lead to major breakthroughs in recovery of understanding of Torah that has been lost in our time. Carpet page 490 Recto of the Leningrad Codex shows what are now called the Borromean Rings -- which are related to non-Euclidean geometries important in modern physics.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Star of David Shipment Arrived Safely

Our Star of David shipment was delayed for a week since ships avoided Haifa because it was bombarded by Hezbollah and all the ships' traffic moved to Ashdod, which couldn't handle all of it at once. Eventually it is here, eager to be sold in the coming Sukkoth.

Leading His Army King David

"David and Jonathan" wrote and sings a song about the Star of David

It seems to me that this is the first song ever sung about this subject. I asked a few people and nobody seems to know such a song. It is quite enigmatic that in a country which is full of patriotism like Israel there's no such song - I would have expected that it would be heard from every kindergarten that I pass by on my way home...