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Thursday, June 12, 2008

More Arab mythology: Magen David and Menorah not Jewish

This morning I highlighted a recent piece of Arab mythology: That Israel murdered US President John F. Kennedy. Now I have another piece of Arab mythology. This one, however, comes from 'our friends the Egyptians,' the third largest recipient of US foreign aid (after Israel and Iraq) by virtue of their 'peace treaty' with us. The Egyptians are making the rather incredible claim that the Menorah and the Magen David (Star of David) are not Jewish symbols (Hat Tip: Baron Bodissey).
Judaism's most famous symbols, Magen David and Menorah, were originated in other cultures and have nothing to do with the Jews, said an Egyptian archaeologist. According to Abdul-Rehim Rihan, head of Dahab Antiquities, some of the antiquities unearthed in Sinai Peninsula revealed that the Star of David was created as an Islamic decoration [Surprise, surprise, surprise! CiJ]. The six-pointed star was found at the entry of Al-Gundi fort, founded by Saladin from 1183 to 1187 along the military route connecting the Suez and Aqaba gulfs. The symbol was also marked on a bowl dating back to the Fatimid era that was uncovered by a South Sinai Antiquities expedition in 1997 in Ras Raya district in Tour Sinai, 420 km from Cairo. The Egyptian archaeologist continued to say that the Menorah, the seven-branched and nine-branched candelabrums, has no special Jewish base. The Menorah was originally described in the Old Testament as a Roman candelabrum dating back to emperor Titus' era, he said. Menorah is a ceremonial seven-branched candelabrum of the Jewish Temple symbolizing the seven days of the Creation. Rihan said even the Jewish temples were built in the prevailing construction style in its home countries. The Jewish temples in Andalusia was built in the Andalusian design, while in Egypt, the Jewish temples were designed after the same style most ancient churches in Egypt were built, he added.
Let's start with the Menorah because that's the one I can answer off the top of my head: The First Temple pre-dated the existence of Rome (the Romans destroyed the Second Temple) and the Menorah itself pre-dated the First Temple, having first been created by the Jews in the desert for the Tabernacle (Exodus 25 - as it happens part of my Bar Mitzva portion).

The origins of the Star of David are a bit more complicated.
The Magen David (shield of David, or as it is more commonly known, the Star of David) is the symbol most commonly associated with Judaism today, but it is actually a relatively new Jewish symbol. It is supposed to represent the shape of King David's shield (or perhaps the emblem on it), but there is really no support for that claim in any early rabbinic literature. In fact, the symbol is so rare in early Jewish literature and artwork that art dealers suspect forgery if they find the symbol in early works.
But of course, no one describes it as symbolizing any people other than the Jews.
In the middle ages, Jews often were required to wear badges to identify themselves as Jews, much as they were in Nazi Germany, but these Jewish badges were not always the familiar Magen David. For example, a fifteenth century painting by Nuno Goncalves features a rabbi wearing a six-pointed badge that looks more or less like an asterisk.

In the 17th century, it became a popular practice to put Magen Davids on the outside of synagogues, to identify them as Jewish houses of worship in much the same way that a cross identified a Christian house of worship; however, I have never seen any explanation of why this symbol was chosen, rather than some other symbol.

The Magen David gained popularity as a symbol of Judaism when it was adopted as the emblem of the Zionist movement in 1897, but the symbol continued to be controversial for many years afterward. When the modern state of Israel was founded, there was much debate over whether this symbol should be used on the flag.

Today, the Magen David is a universally recognized symbol of Jewry. It appears on the flag of the state of Israel, and the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross is known as the Magen David Adom.
Did Muslims wear yellow Stars of David to identify themselves as Muslims (or Jews) in Europe in the Middle Ages or during the Nazi era? I think not. In fact, during the Nazi era, the Arabs and Muslims were on the same side as the Nazis.

As to his claims about the Temples, Titus was the Roman emperor who destroyed the Second Temple. And there were no 'Temples' in Andalusia (southwestern Spain - another territory on which the Islamists have designs), Egypt or anyplace else until after THE First Temple (the one in Jerusalem) was destroyed in 586 BCE.

Some day, maybe Islam will get its own history and stop trying to steal ours!


At 1:57 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Several years ago I visited an old Islamic cemetery on the road between Agra and Delhi. Many of the grave markers were adorned with the 6 point star. My colleague, Mohammad, (from Iran) was able to read the scripts on several of the headstones and was able to assure me that they were indeed the graves of Mogul era Muslims. So perhaps the star may have been used by other cultures over the ages.

At 4:44 PM, Blogger Yoel.Ben-Avraham said...

Without a doubt the six pointed star was a geometric design used by cultures in India, the Far East and by cross-polenation Middle Eastern cultures. It certainly predates Islamic cultures (even 'Arab') and I have no doubt it is most probably not of Hebraic origins. Having said all of that, no other people paid such a significant price or had a geometric design used to represent them like the Jews have had the 'Magen David'.

The real question is why do the Muslims think the cresent is unique to Islam?

At 8:26 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The menorah goes back 3,000 years and the menorah depicted on Israel's coat of arms is the one depicted on Titus' victory frieze in Rome, to make the connection between past and present. The main motif is to be found in Zechariah.

The Magen David wasn't originally a Jewish symbol but its terrible abuse under the Nazis ensured its acceptance as a universal symbol of Jewish nationhood.

They are both far more Jewish than the Crescent, the symbol of Islam, which is originally of pagan origin.

At 12:44 AM, Blogger wolfline said...

a wee bit more on the Star of David here:

At 10:36 AM, Blogger Truthsayer said...

hi there,

it's good to read a bunch of idiots with islamophobie in the heart and the ass.

just to correct you here:

there is no symbol to Islam and any symbol or status is forbiden to any true believer to the Almighty Allah.

that;s not called the star of David and the Prophet and Messenger David was not busy to identify himself with symbols.

please turn the light on yourselves? and clean your hearts from hating others without a serious reason? Israel is a myth! and you all know it. the people who got stuck in this game of Israel, are also victims of myths made by the forefathers... they taught them God promised them the land! but we all know it's America and British who gave them that land. are you gonna call America and British your Hashem??? plus whos this full minded humanbeing who gonna believe God promised the sons of Israel tribes, 4000 years ago, a land! but did not give it to them...! he had to wait some peple who claim to be their descendents to get it from France, US and UK in the 21 century.

I feel sorry for you with all my heart, you are victims of MYTHS. this is going on around the world! that;s a real proof of the missguidance of satan to humanbeing.

please, learn good about somthing before you try to debunk it? when you born in this word, you have the same chance to be jew, moslem,.. or buddhi. quit thinking that what your parents taught you is right, just because you are in the rich or winning side of this world.

At 1:14 AM, Blogger muman613 said...

Truthsayer speaks a lot of lies and deception, but this is the sign of Ishmael. Hashem tells us in this weeks Torah portion about the "Wild Donkey" of a man who is Ishmael, whos hand is against everyone and everyons hand is against him. Taqiyya is the way that Islam lies to infidels, they lie, they cheat and they steal.

Truthsayer said nothing in his post which is true. Israel is the promised land to the children of Israel, the descendants who kept the faith of Abraham through the generations. Mohamud was a deluded man who mislead arabs to believe a pagan deity.

The Menorah and the Star of David pre-date Islam by many 1000 years. Judaism is the ONE TRUE faith of Abraham and the others are mearly human attempts to twist the will of the Creator, HaKodesh Baruch Hu...

When will the liars and deceivers be history? When will the truthsayers be dust? Hashem will level the enemies of Israel and we will be delivered a glorious victory against the foes of the L-rd.


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