Excerpts from My Son David

(Include copyright notice © 2005 RM Abram)

Toledo , Spain 1492

Sanballat destroyed the parchment, then rested a reassuring hand on his friend's shoulder. "Should this truly come to pass, Yehuda, I will go with you."

Yehuda Halevi did not respond. A worried frown creased his brow.

"So little time! Ah, Sanballat, how can I accomplish it?

"Easily. We shall leave before the expulsion order becomes effective."

"We cannot! Not yet." Yehuda's voice lowered conspiratorially. His pale eyes glowed, the sculptured lines of his face softening. "Last night, Sanballat, I experienced a vision!"

The big Moor stepped back in alarm. "Truly, I cannot question your past inspiration through dreams. Not I, a beneficiary of your peculiar gifts. But never before have you claimed a vision!"

Sanballat reached cautiously to test his friend's brow for fever.

"We shall use our finest skills," Yehuda continued as though watching the reality of his dream transpire before him, "to create a glorious shield of gold."

"Gold on a shield?" Sanballat snorted with uneasy laughter. "Impractical. And your enemies will make war upon you just to obtain such a treasure."

"This is no shield of war, but a shield of glory, the Shield of David!" Yehuda's countenance, still alight, transformed from excitement to reverence. "Every element in that shield must proclaim a promise. Each of the thirteen embedded jewels…"

"Jewels? Now I know that an evil jinn has disturbed your mind!"

Yehuda's voice dropped to the merest whisper. "I already have the sapphire."

Sanballat sighed heavily. "I suppose you found it in your vision."

"No, it is very real. Before he died, my father gave me the Stone of Abiathar."

"Who is Abiathar?"

"King David's Levite priest and the progenitor of my father. My mother descends from King David. Thus, the two houses of Israel merge in me, united again as of old. Now, I know the purpose of the sapphire passed down in my family for generations. I must use the Stone of Abiathar to create the Shield of David!"

Sanballat considered this for a moment. "Would it not be better to leave Spain while you may yet take the sapphire with you? Once the expulsion order takes effect, you must leave all treasures behind."

"The shield is the treasure I will leave behind for the royal heir to come, the son who will inherit the throne of his father, the King destined to become even greater than his namesake of old. House of David, rise to thy glory!"

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