The Star of David essay
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The Star of David is the best-known symbol of Judaism. It is sometimes called Magen David in Hebrew, meaning “shield of David”, though, the German civil administration in occupied Poland required Jews to wear the Star of David, either as an armband or (in Wartheland) as a four-inch yellow patch sewed to the front and back of their clothes.
In September 1941 a decree required all Jews in Germany over the age of six to wear bright yellow Stars of David on their outer clothing, over their left breast. In line with this, it will be agreed that the human facts of life and death and history are so dismaying that only some reflexive numbness or self-mesmerism keeps even the most favoured of us from going screaming mad. A good morning’s work, a fine afternoon’s sailing, half an hour of love, a good dinner and a balmy evening’s anchorage divert us, and we may be grateful for such diversion, in as much as the python [death] does not go away. It is the sea we sail upon, the warp and woof of ongoing history, the very ground beneath our feet. The wonder then is not that courage, magnanimity, altruism, mercy, and the rest are rare; it is that here in the reptile house they occur at all.
Since the beginning of time, the "Star of David, also identified as the Shield of David" has been around for countless days. The Star of David is an emblem that the Jewish people have depended on for many years.Through times of adversity and the period of joy the Star of David has been an encouragement for all Jewish people (Fisher, 115).
The Star of David, or Magen David (Hebrew for “shield of David”), is a conventional symbol of Judaism and the Jewish people, consisting of two overlapping triangles that form a six-pointed star. Moreover, many synagogues around the world are decorated with a six-pointed star known as the Star of David, or Magen David in Hebrew (Magen means “shield”). The Star of David has become so popular that it has come to represent the Jewish people. It can be found on ritual objects, on fabrics, and on jewelry, such as necklaces.
During the Holocaust, the Nazis forced Jews to wear a yellow Star of David on their clothing so they could be easily identified. Several years later, a blue Star of David was chosen as the symbol of the State of Israel and placed in the center of that country’s flag.
Actually, no one really knows when the Star of David first became associated with the Jewish religion. No explanation has been found so far in archaeological excavations from biblical times in the land of Israel, and their earliest known examples of the star’s use to decorate a ritual object is on a third-century appearing on the flags of Jewish communities and shortly thereafter on synagogues, as well as on menorahs, necklaces, and many other objects. In modern times, Jews have used the Magen David as a symbol of pride in their heritage (Jay Oord, 29).
From the early nineteenth century a self-conscious concern to imitate Christianity (for example, among Reform or progressive Jews) meant that many jews increasingly adopted the star as a symbol for Judaism, corresponding to the crucifix as the symbolic representation of Christianity. It also became a common feature of popular anti-Semitic imagery. During the Holocaust the Nazis combined the hexagram with the yellow badge of shame as a means by which to distinguish and humiliate the Jews.
The Star of David is an internationally recognized symbol and has, at times, caused more controversy than the Nazi by virtue of its misuse by the media. At times it would seem that the Jewish community has overreacted in the use of the Star of David, but given that the use of such a symbol was meant to mark them out in their own communities, their reactions were not surprising (Jay Oord, 26).
Jews had risen to high political and social status in the majority of western countries. In most cases they had fully assimilated into the local culture. The brutish systematic identification and segregation of Jews, as happened in Poland during the Second World War was deemed too uncivilized to be accepted in Western countries.
In conclusion, when the Jewish emblems were first put into practice during the Nazi administration, the Jews were heated, dishonored, and humiliated to flee their homes. But in due course the shame changed to panic. A Jew caught without an emblem could be fined, compressed, jailed or killed. If a Jew was apprehended with a lined Star of David, or one faintly incompatible, they could be brutally punished. But all putting on the yellow star were ignored by society, denied admission to schools, businesses and shops. As a result of this, many Jews simply "departed" in this manner.
These days, due to the mayhem of the Holocaust and the emblem Jews were mandated to put on, the Star of David has become representational of martyrdom, courage and heroism.