The Shield of David is the protector of the House of David. It is also fundamental to Judeo-Christian culture, embraced by the Founding Fathers, a part of Americanism.
Ancient and Modern Shield
King David, the second king to rule over the nation of Israel, is considered to be a heroic warrior, the bravest and perhaps the best king the ancient Israelites’ nation had. Throughout his reign, King David was engaged in many wars.
Magen in Hebrew means protective shield, meaning defense. According to Jewish belief, King David’s war equipment included a shield, usually made of bronze, on it was engraved two overlaid equilateral triangles that form a six-pointed star; his son, King Solomon, even made shields of gold as showpieces in one of his palaces (1 Kings 10:16-17).
While King David held his shield close to his chest and won many victories, as the Jewish tradition goes, he could not have adequately defended himself and the nation of Israel without his utmost belief in God. (Psalm 3:4-5). “You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in Your word,” David wrote. (Psalm 119:114)
According to popular Kabbalistic accounts, the Jewish mysticism esoteric method, discipline, and school of thought, the core of the human soul connects with God’s essence through the study of the teachings of Kabbalah. The Zohar, the foundational work in the literature of Jewish mystical thought known as Kabbalah teaches that there are three knots – entities connecting each other: God, Torah and the Nation of Israel. The Shield of David’s two triangles personify the connection between these three entities.
Though the Star of David has no biblical or Talmudic authority it has been universally adopted by Jews. According to the Jewish Scriptures, David’s shield was God. According to modern Jewish ethos, the Star of David, appearing on synagogues buildings, on synagogue Arks, Jewish tombstones, and in the center of the national flag of the State of Israel, is the symbol of Judaism and the protection of the Jewish nation. Jews wear jewelry in the shape of the Star of David for its protecting conviction.
Magen David – the Shield of David
In Jewish liturgy the term ‘Magen David‘ signifies the protection of God; as the protecting shield of King David in ancient times and throughout the centuries the protector of the Jewish Nation and every individual Jew.
The Jewish community in the city of Prague was the first to use the Star of David as its official symbol. From the 17th century the six-pointed Star of David insignia became the official seal of many Jewish communities and in general the sign of Judaism.
Even the Nazis knew the Star of David’s meaning. The condescending yellow badge that Jews were forced to wear in Nazi-occupied Europe was in the shape of this star to later on be invested with martyrdom and heroism symbolism.
Antisemitism is the hostility to or prejudice against the Jewish people.
In the name of Antisemitism millions of Jews were persecuted and killed since the nation of Israel came to be. Antisemitism reached its peak in the 1930s-1940s when Hitler and Nazi Germany maximized Antisemitism and in its name they murdered six million Jews. That was the Holocaust, humanity’s greatest crime.
Since the Holocaust, Antisemitism has been kind of buried under the guise of guilt-ridden humanity. But that veneer of guilt has been so thin that some 76 years after the Second World War ended and the remainder of surviving Jews liberated from Nazi Concentration Camps, Antisemitism is on the rise; the current spike in the hate of Jews trend has not been seen since the Holocaust.
The American soldiers who went to fight to liberate Europe from the brutal Nazi occupation witnessed the atrocities and the aftermath of the Holocaust. The Greatest Generation did not know Antisemitism and these sentiments were not their practice.
Since its birth, the United States has been a safe haven for Jews. In general, with few exceptions, Antisemitism has not been part of the American ethos. The fundamental Judeo-Christian culture, embraced by the United States’ Founding Fathers, is what made the American social fabric a coexistence possibility.
After WWII ended, many Holocaust survivors reached the American continent shores and settled there to create a peaceful and successful life for themselves as American Jews.
When in the past Antisemitism was aimed only at the individual Jew, today’s Antisemitism is also collectively targeting the Jewish state, Israel.
The ugliness of Antisemitism in the world, including the United States, found its way back. The spike in Antisemitism has reached such a level that Jews from all over the world are packing their belongings and are moving to Israel, the only Jewish state, where NEVER AGAIN – will Jews be defenseless – is the driving force; where Jews can defend themselves with all the possible might.
Shield of David in Today’s Antisemitism Upsurge
The NEVER AGAIN slogan is also alive and kicking in the United States. American Jews are not the pre-Holocaust European Jews, defenseless and a prey to inculpable hate.
Today, the Jewish kids are influenced by social media. They face BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction Israel) activists and anti-Semitic professors while others say nothing.
To the people who founded Shield of David “Never Again means Taking Action Now!” They are out to instil Jewish values of pride, emphasizing Jewish history going as far back to the Days of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. To share Judeo-Christian values. To come together under one big tent, one that the Biblical Jewish Patriarch Abraham personified and would be proud of.
The call is to protect the descendants of the House of David – the 21st century Jews.
In a recent rally of Jews and Christians against Antisemitism and to educate the American general population about Antisemitism, organized by the Shield of David Organization that took place in El Cajon, Southern California, under the auspices of El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, I met Dr. Eli Ben-Moshe, Chairman, and Brian Blacher, CEO, the founders of Shield of David.
Shield of David was born out of necessity, says Eli. It started with a group of parents whose kids attended college, a place where Antisemitism is widespread and growing, just as what is happening in Europe today.
Birth of the Organization
Disturbed by the rise of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States throughout the past few years they grew motivated to take action. Eli and Brian could not stand idly by seeing people uttering the meaningful slogan ‘NEVER AGAIN,’ yet, doing nothing about it.
In 2019 they took action to found Shield of David. The organization’s goal is to educate Jewish students to be proud Jews and have self-empowerment through tailored self-defense courses, facilitated by an organization that believes in the cause and is already on campus and available on every campus.
Shield of David is all about education with the hope it will lead young Jews on campuses to simply become more proud of being Jews and of the State of Israel. The program’s goal is to be on every campus and help change the mindset of young Jews who encounter Antisemitism on campuses.
Teaching Jewish Youth
Today’s Jewish youth, to a large extent, have distanced themselves from Judaism. By teaching them the history of the Jewish People’s constant fight for survival and giving them the right tools to defend themselves, when necessary, they may get reconnected.
By teaching the Jewish students, for example, about Operation Thunderbolt, in Entebbe, Uganda, a hostage-rescue mission carried out by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) commandos at Entebbe Airport, Uganda, on July 4, 1976, they learn that Israel goes out of its way to save the life of not only Jews. That brings pride.
Shield of David program also provides classes in the Israeli-invented self-defense program Krav Maga. These classes become more and more essential for Jews who want to be able to defend themselves if attacked by anti-Semites as we see often happens nowadays with the escalation in Antisemitism. With each Krav Maga course the students are offered a theme of education that include talks delivered by rabbis.
People of influence as well as former IDF soldiers bring to focus in the Shield of David’s classes the Jewish people’s continuous battle for survival, past and present.
Shield of David Fall 2021 Launch-Plan-Fall-2021 is ambitious, offering classes not only on campuses but also to synagogues and any Jewish group affected by Antisemitism. More so, any non-Jewish group that would like to learn how to stand by their fellow Jews are invited to partake in such classes.
Antisemitism Has Left the Campus Arena
To the dismay of any good American, Antisemitism left the campus grounds and it is now across all of the U.S. Sadly, some congress members are now openly anti-Semitic. While Representatives spew Jew and Israel hatred from the halls of congress, half of congress sits quietly on the sideline.
Shield of David message to congress, “your silence in the face of Antisemitism is deafening.” They fault the quiet ones in congress for the rise in Antisemitism in every American city.
How to Join in the Necessary Fight
Of course to enable the Shield of David’s programs one can donate and sponsor students. One cannot play soccer without being on the field. To have a society free of hate, there is a price to pay; freedom does not prevail by itself and cannot be taken for granted.
According to Eli, speaking up is not enough. A social media post is just a post. The American people must confront evil, go on the offense in every way possible. Fight legal battles; fight BDS actions and social media platforms that allow inciting Antisemitism. Even be ready to physically stand up when there is a fight to fight.
The media must understand that tolerating Antisemitism is not a grey area issue, rather, it is black and white; it is good versus evil. Good beats evil only when it fights evil.
Civilized society is commanded to fight evil, more so, to teach the next generation to fight evil when the head of the evil snake rises.
The messaging goal of Shield of David is for all Americans to stay together and help each other to fight Antisemitism and the hate of others because what starts with the Jews does not end with the Jews.