The E-Sylum:  Volume 5, Number 42, October 20, 2002, Article 11


  Bill Rosenblum writes: "About the stars on Moroccan coins.
  Actually the six pointed star is the Seal of Solomon, not the
  five pointed one.  And on Moroccan coins it represents the
  Seal of the House of Sulayman (spelling?) the royal family
  of Morocco since the late 18th century. As a specialist in
  Jewish related coins I receive queries once a week (or so it
  seems) from someone who has a strange looking medieval
  coin with a Jewish star on one side and a date of 1250 or
  so on the other. These have nothing to do with Jews or
  Jewish mintmasters and the date is the Arabic one (add 622,
  subtract 3% to get the approximate western date).  I believe
  the five pointed star was added under Yusef beginning in
  approximately 1912, but I do not know the history of
  that.  Hope that helps a bit."

  Alan Luedeking writes: "The plea for assistance from Granvyl
  Hulse concerning the Moroccan coin with the five-pointed star
  within the six-pointed star came as a surprise to me, since this
  very same topic was explored in great depth over no less
  than four separate issues of, you guessed it, the N.I. Bulletin!
  I would suggest that Mr. Hulse ask his most prolific contributor,
  Mr. Bob Forrest,  for help, since he was the author of this
  interesting series titled "Of Hexagrams and Pentagrams", in the
  April, May, August and October 2001 issues of the N.I. Bulletin."

  I forwarded this to Granvyl Hulse for comment and he writes:
  "Robert Forrest on page 102 (April 2001) of his article
  admitted that he did not know of any reason other than
  decorative for the five pointed star within a six pointed star.
  I checked with him again when I received the query and he
  still doesn't know, but like his earlier comment - is still curious.
  My problem at this end is that I do not have access to
  Moroccan mint records. There must have been some
  justification to the design, but what it was I do not know."

 [Those who recall the Woody Allen movie "Annie Hall"
  may remember the scene where, while waiting to enter a
  theatre, Allen's character is annoyed by a nearby
  know-it-all spouting off about the theories of Marshall
  McLuhan.  He confronts the man, telling him he's all
  wrong.  "And I have Marshall McLuhan here to prove it,"
  at which point McLuhan himself steps out of the line and
  tells the amazed crowd that the gentleman indeed knows
  nothing of his theories and has everything wrong.

  Well, in cyberspace it is possible to have McLuhan
  moments for real, although the analogy only goes so
  far in this case, since E-Sylum readers are all so darned
  polite.  Anyway, here goes.  We just so happen to have
  the aforementioned author on line.  -Editor]

  Bob Forrest writes: "It is certainly true that "the pentagram"
  appears on the Moroccan flag, and that it is sometimes
  interpreted as a Seal of Solomon, but it hardly makes
  sense to interpret the coin with the pentagram inside the
  hexagram as a Seal of Solomon inside a Seal of Solomon.
  An idea that occurs to me - assuming that this geometrical
  device is not just decorative - would be that the coin
  represents Morocco (the pentagram) under the protection
  of (within) the Seal of Solomon (the hexagram).

  One final note as regards my interpretation of the
  pentagram within the hexagram on the Moroccan coin -
  I would regard this as no more than a suggestion.
  Plausible as the interpretation sounds, that is no guarantee
  of its truth, and I would keep one eye firmly on another
  coin of Morocco - the 10 dirhems piece of AH 1313
  (Y#13 in Krause-Mishler)- which bears on its obverse
  a hexagram within a hexagram within an octogram.  Such
  a device is surely a visually impressive display of geometrical
  design rather than a piece of elaborate symbolism, and if
  that is the case in this instance, it may also be the case in
  the simpler instance of the pentagram within the hexagram.
  The problem is, of course, that it is often all too easy to see
  symbolism where none was ever intended."

  [Now my head's so full of pentagrams, hexagrams and
  octograms I'm going to go eat some of my kids' Teddy
  Grahams. -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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