Star of David IIustration in a 11th Century Jewish Children’s Book

The brilliant, eccentric Moldavian-born talmudic scholar Solomon Schechter is credited with the discovery of the Cairo Genizah in 1896. Schechter…found a letter signed by Maimonides among the documents, as well as a draft of Maimonides’s laws that was hand-corrected by the author. The Cairo Genizah also contained the oldest piece of Jewish sheet music, the oldest rabbinic text ever discovered and, as an illustration in an 11th-century child’s reading primer, the oldest use of the Star of David.

Hidden Treasures of Cairo Genizah, by Joel N. Shurkin, Forward.com

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If adult male Jews were creating books for children with Star of David Illustrations as far back as the 11th century, then the modern theory that Jews only began to use the symbol centuries later, is false. Indeed, finding the Star of David in a children’s book indicates that Jews were being taught the religious significance of the symbol long before the so-called ‘discovery’ and popularization of the Magen David seen much later among European Jewry. The Star of David was indeed a Jewish symbol far earlier than most scholars will admit to. This also raises the possibility of ancient origins- perhaps dating even further back to the founding kingdoms of Ancient Israel (around the time both King David and his son Solomon were said to have lived)

 


Sacred Treasure- the Cairo Genizah, by Rabbi Mark Glickman

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