Man (or, I guess in this case, Dude), the stuff your kid learns at Jewish summer camp…
Perhaps for some of you, this will just be a rehashing of an old Internet rumor, but for me, the following tidbit brought home by Son #2 was news from the anti-Semitic urban legend department. Apparently, the soles of Vans (for those not into California skater culture, these are athletic shoes) have a Star of David pattern on them. People who noticed the this and were in the know about Jewish symbols, surmised that the Van Doren Rubber Company was sneaking an anti-Semitic message into its products (say, in the same way that In ‘N Out Burgers – also a California company – slips Christian messages surreptitiously onto its product wrappings). Wear Vans and you’re stomping on the Jews, was how some interpreted it.
In stepped the ADL to quell fears, issuing in 2006 a statement that they had investigated the rumor and found it to be baseless. They quickly dispensed with this bit of business, freeing them up to focus on bigger things. Like what? Opposing the building of a mosque near ground zero in Lower Manhattan, for example.
Case closed, or so it seemed. But what about the fact that when you press on a standard Hebrew keyboard the keys that are in the exact same positions as V-A-N-S on a QWERTY keyboard, you get the Hebrew letters hey-shin-mem-dalet. This spells the word “hashmed,” which is the imperative form of “destroy,” or “exterminate.”
Probably just sheer coincidence. But still, pretty weird. It’s a good thing I’m more of a Converse kind of gal, anyway.
© 2010 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.