Introduction by Rabbi Mendel Mintz


The Star of David or Magen David (Shield of David) in Hebrew, is the most universally recognized symbol of Judaism. Named after King David of ancient Israel, this six-pointed star (hexagram) consists of two interlocking equilateral triangles, one facing up and one facing down. The long and complex history of this symbol spans centuries and bears witness to the depths and heights of the journey of the Jewish people. The development of this symbol and the meanings it has come to evoke are a result of its proliferation from remote antiquity up to the current State of Israel in the twenty-first century.

“If there ever were an historical experience that gave meaning to a symbol, this would have to be it. For what once represented degradation and death to now inspire life, unity and hope is a miraculous achievement.”

Marc Bennett’s The History of the Star of David is an artwork that is immediately engaging, drawing you into its world on many levels. Color is used boldly and deliberately, creating a mood that is both exciting and emotional. The artist’s careful selection and juxtaposition of the images of the Star of David establishes a stimulating narrative and visual rhythm. The images seem both familiar as well as newly discovered, expansive yet contained. We are left with a sense of awe, a timeless glimpse into the birth of a symbol from its earliest incarnations to its current universality of meaning. It evokes a sense of survival and determination, as well as a celebration of Jewish culture, tradition and faith.

Despite its timeless beauty and instantly recognizable form, the Star of David has a history that is still unknown to many. Bennett’s The History of the Star of David is like a time capsule that invites us to discover the centuries-long evolution of the six-pointed star. From ancient chuppa stones, early biblical texts, personal religious items and a symbol of hope for the Zionist movement in the late 19th Century to the markers of persecution and anti-Semitism of the Middle Ages and the Holocaust, to its rising from the ashes of genocide in 1948 as the national flag of the State of Israel - If ever there were an historical experience that gave meaning to a symbol, this would have to be it. For what once represented degradation and death to now inspire life, unity and hope is a miraculous achievement.


The Aspen Jewish Community Center