Tag Archives: I Am David

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Silence of the not-dead, Star of I Am David, edition)

Hey! On the Day Off, a Star of David. Stunningly elegant.

Hey! Another Star of David. Arrestingly beautiful.

Hey! Another Star of David. Boldness that jumps out at you.

Hey! Another Star of David. Such purity of heart, agility of soul.

Hey! Another Star of David. Such simplicity of reality. It is what it is. No ambiguity here.

These are the Stars of David that were able to be collected on just one Day Off, just the other day, at the home of friends with whom I learn Yiddish exclamations, even more than those taught to me by my mom throughout my childhood.

This presses the nostalgia button in me. I don’t remember any book that my mom recommended I read, except one. She was a voracious reader, hundreds if not more than a thousand pages a day. I remember going to the library with her even weekly so as to help carry one if not two big brown paper shopping bags from Piggly Wiggly filled with books that were, together, heavier than I was in the mid-1960s. It took a long time to check out. She once shoved a small book in my direction to page through while waiting.

I would really struggle to carry those bags down the steps of the library, one bag at a time, two feet for each step. I was very enthusiastic. She was purposely creating good memories for me. She would open up the passenger side door of her white two-door 1961 Pontiac Tempest, putting the seat forward so that I could put the books in the back seat foot wells:

The book she had me read was when I was already a seminarian but which she surely read decades earlier, which she surely shoved at me at the checkout desk, which I surely helped carry home from the library as a tiny little kid was, I am David, a 1963 novel by Anne Holm, which, as W summarizes, “tells the story of a young boy who, with the help of a prison guard, escapes from a concentration camp in an unnamed Eastern European country and journeys to Denmark. Along the way, he meets many people who teach him about life outside the concentration camp.”

That only my second name was David, not my first, was one of mom’s greatest disappointments. She wanted me called DAVID as a first name. As she later told me, there had been fights over this. Dad won. I’m George David, but still…

I have some “friends” who were never as clever as they think they’ve always been with me. They are acutely aware of my background. They’ve always made brutal comments against all Jews and very often as connected somehow to the Star of David. From the beginning, I’ve played this conversation, getting them to admit clearly, finally, what I suspected from the beginning, that they, besides being priests, are full-on neo-Nazis. I’ve had to hear really a lot of entirely prejudicial hatred cast upon all Jews as the years ticked by. Don’t bother trying to guess who they are. I’ve been in something like 26 countries and I have priest friends of very many years all over the world.

As they claimed that the Star of David was an invention of just a handful of centuries ago, I would counter with my archeological experiences at the then newly unearthed parts of the Capernaum synagogue built during Jesus’ teenage and twenty-something years, but previous to Jesus Himself preaching in it. The dominant design engraved into the stonework back in Jesus’ day is the Star of David.

The Star is six pointed. The number six refers to imperfection, as it is the number just previous to seven, which is the representation of perfection, of fulfillment. The six-pointed star looks forward in great hope to the arrival of perfection, of fulfillment with a seventh point, namely, the promised Son of David being born, the promised Messiah visiting His people, Immanuel, God-with-us. That seventh point is the center bit you see below, an actual Star of David Fulfillment, Perfection Incarnate, carved into the Capernaum synagogue:

You know:

The reality of this archeology was, of course, rejected out of hand by my priest friends, because… because… because… (no reason).

As time went on and the topic of the Star of David would again come up, and I would mention the horror of the Holocaust inflicted upon the Jews, and that a yellow star would be pasted on their prison uniforms, I was told that the Star of David itself was their crime.

Thinking I was going for the jugular, I said that even little kids who knew nothing about any Star were themselves thrown into ovens or shot or otherwise exterminated.

The response about those infants being exterminated from one of my neo-Nazi priest friends was, instantaneously: “Because of that Star, they deserve everything they got.” That’s in reference to the kids.

That was on a phone call. You might as well have stabbed me in my larynx. Silence was my response. After some seconds of deafening silence, I ever so quietly pressed the end-call-button. That was it, until today, with the years ticking by. It is the screaming silence of the-not-so-dead-as-you-think and, methinks, the silence of that walking dead Man, Jesus, as He stood before Pontius Pilate. How can you answer something like that? Am I wrong to maintain silence after so very long? Does my silence mean that I’m dead? I think silence speaks loudly. The Jews murdered in extermination camps are not dead eternally. Not at all. And they speak, fully alive, awaiting the judgment of those who murdered them, a judgment to be wrought by Him who will judge the living and dead and the world by fire.

But what to do? I know exactly what to do. I’m giving a Star of David, many Stars of David, elegant, beautiful, bold, pure, simple, lively Stars of David to Jesus’ good mom, the Jewish Immaculate Conception, who added the fulfillment of Perfection Incarnate, the promised Messiah, Immanuel, God with us. Thank you, Mary. Thank you so very much.

And thanks to my mom for wanting to call me David, that is, “The Beloved.”

We beg little Jesus, the Son of David, to forgive us for perhaps being waaaay too presumptuous in giving flowers to His good mom. But maybe He will pass on a Dent-de-Lion from any and all of us.

After all, He’s the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

Moreover, as Jewish Paul has it in his letter to the Romans 9:4-5…

  • “The people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory and the covenants; theirs the giving of the law, the temple worship, and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them proceeds the human descent of Christ, who is God over all, forever worthy of praise! Amen.”

Finally:

1 Comment

Filed under Flores, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Racism

More about: I AM DAVID

When David danced with abandon before the Ark of the Covenant as he was bringing it up to Mount Zion after it had been in exile since the time of complacent Eli and his evil sons Hophni and Phinehas (who were stealing from the sacrifices and raping the women), his lack of dignity in his dancing in the eyes of Michal did not involve any sort of nakedness (as evil translators have put it), but rather a revelation of the joy of his interior soul.

Michal said he revealed himself like any of the young men would do before the women, that is, in their partying, braggart ways. She was condemning him for being a partying braggart, drawing attention to himself for the sake of the onlooking women.

David was indeed revealing much, that is, much theologically, much about the Lord of History, much about the relationship of the chosen people with God, all of it right over her head, she not wanting to see it, she so set in her ways against the greatness that God was bringing once again to the greater Israel. She wanted to slouch on in mediocrity.

David was revealing what Samuel had done for him. David was acting the part of the King in taking care of the needs of the people with the food he gave them, the part of prophet in donning the Ephod (much like the massive cope worn by priests to this day), the part of the priest in making the sacrifices and in bringing the Ark of the Covenant up to Mount Zion, true pole of the earth, the Great King’s city. David was not of the priestly line of Aaron but rather of the line of Jesse, of a nobody, so that he was without priestly lineage, but was anointed priest, prophet and king in the line, as it were, of Melchizedek. And the Ark of the Covenant was back again. This calls for rejoicing. He is David. He must dance. And he has to say it: “I AM DAVID.”

In this series:

Also, just to say, joy in the Lord is very good.

Leave a comment

Filed under Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Missionaries of Mercy

I AM DAVID

I read I Am David it seems decades ago. I think my mom, a voracious reader, slipped it to me one day under the title North to Freedom. I didn’t know it’s now a movie starring Ben Tibber, Jim Caviezel and Joan Plowright. My mom wanted to call me David, my middle name now as my dad won out with George for a first name, but this was an argument that when on throughout the years of my childhood with the nickname “Jordan” being used as a compromise. David means “beloved” in Hebrew: I Am Beloved. Yikes!

A reader mentioned I Am David in an email this morning. The memories flood back. How many times the words “I am David” came to mind and were repeated by me throughout my life whenever the going got tough. This would be my defiant and proud battle song: “I AM DAVID!” An example:

Some of my ordination cards, all hand made, asked for prayers from Saint David, as had the litany of saints in the Ordination Rite, for which someone roundly condemned me, criticizing both King David and the Hebrew Scriptures and even the work I had put into making the cards. That made me sad, but at the same time I entrenched all the more in my ever more lively secret now ardent in my heart: “I AM DAVID!”

Saying such a thing now, well, it makes me instantly and sheepishly turn to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, for he is the Son of David and Jesus is very much beloved. He knows what it is to have a secret, the Father’s love, which he reveals to us in himself. Whatever the flurry and fury on the outside, we dwell with him and he with us. And if I should say to him, “I AM DAVID!” he says in response…

1 Comment

Filed under Jewish-Catholic dialogue