The last few weeks have been challenging times for Jews worldwide, particularly here in South Africa where we have been spared the growing anti-Semitism that has gripped much of Europe and other parts of the world. The Israeli campaign in Gaza has inspired tremendous opposition to Israel and its ongoing fight to protect its citizens and continue to thrive. Collectively, as Jews, we are probably under the biggest threat we have faced since the Second World War.
I came across an article by Mayim Bialik titled “Why I Wear My Jewish Star” which is a wonderful reminder why we should continue to be proud of who we are even if it seems like the rest of the world is against us. This part, in particular, captures so much of the essence of who we are, at least for me:
Magen David literally translates to Shield of David. The historical King David defeated a giant when he was just a boy, a shepherd even. He was not from a line of kings. He was a flawed hero: He sent a man to the front lines of a war so he could seduce the man’s wife. He was not perfect. But he was the first king to unify Israel. He was a poet, credited with writing the Psalms of the Old Testament.
I wear a Magen David because I am not too small to fight. I am not from too modest an origin to rise up and try to inspire in my own small way. I am not too boastful to be humbled, and I am not so right that I can never be wrong.
That’s the legacy I hail from. That’s what it means to me to wear my Jewish star.