My Son David Background Characters

Heirs of the David shield experienced a variety of historical ideologies and incidents.  Some fled the Spanish Inquisition.  Others survived the Ottomans and the Nazis.  One assisted the establishment of the State of Israel…

Yehuda Halevi, a descendant of both King David and his Levite priest Abiathar, envisioned and created the Davidic shield in 1492.  He and his Moorish friend Sanballat risked their lives to smuggle the heirloom from Spain.

Judah Gordon, unable to placidly await the Messiah like other victims of Czarist Russia, left the Pale of Settlement for the freedom of Holland where he married a daughter of Davidic lineage.

Zadok Gordon, caught up in the Dreyfus controversy during his education in Paris, took his dreams of restoration to Palestine, only to find his capitalistic opinions at odds with the Labor Zionist philosophy.  Zadok lost both family and faith in the Mufti's riots of 1929.  Embittered, he immigrated to America.

Nathan Gordon, Zadok's son and John's father, viewed the heirloom as a cursed depiction of graven images.  His own life of trial and obstacle affirmed that belief.  Nathan, a P-38 pilot during World War II, survived his capture by the Nazis to become a hero in Israel's War of Independence.

John Gordon, the main character, personally witnessed watershed events of the twentieth century.  Awareness of family expectation and veneration of his own history, however, were not enough to combat the forces of his own heart.  Did John irreparably destroy his link with tradition as his parents lamented, or does his choice open a vital door to the future?