web analytics
July 28, 2014 / 1 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



What Judea & Samaria Mean to the Jewish People

For Jews, the ancient tribal territories of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and west Menasheh – a.k.a. Judea and Samaria or the West Bank – form the very heartland of the homeland.
A Map of Eretz Israel during the Roman Empire

A Map of Eretz Israel during the Roman Empire

8. Gophna Hills – These woods served as a refuge and training ground for the Maccabees during the rebellion against Antiochus IV and his Seleucid Greeks in the second century BCE. Here farmers became fighters and militiamen a military, in what would become the only successful revolt of Jews against imperial oppressors.

9. Beth El (Luz) – Abraham erected a sacred altar to the Lord between Beth El and Ai. Here Jacob spent a night dreaming he saw a ladder rising heavenward, with angels ascending and descending it. A heavenly voice then assured him of divine protection, confirming the promise that the land upon which he rested would be for him and his descendants. When morning came, Jacob built a sacred pillar over which he poured oil as a thanksgiving offering. For a time the Tabernacle and Ark of the Covenant were stationed in Beit El, and in the conflict with the tribe of Benjamin the Israelites prayed, fasted, and offered sacrifices here. The prophetess Deborah lived nearby, and Samuel sojourned here to judge the people. King Saul gathered his forces here against the Philistines. Frequented by King Jeroboam as a central shrine, Beit El hosted a community of prophets during the time of Elisha (who was mocked by the children of Beit El), and witnessed Amos’s righteous indignation against illegitimate worship and the impious priest Amaziah. Later, the pious King Josiah cleansed the city of its cultic practices. The city hosted General Bacchides’s Syrian garrisons during the Maccabean Revolt. Mentioned often in Joshua, Judges, I & II Kings, Hosea, Jeremiah, and Ezra.

10. Mizpah – Here the Israelites gathered to punish the tribe of Benjamin after the outrage committed by the men of Gibeah. Home of the reluctant judge Jephthah who repeated his conditions for leadership in Mizpah. Also where the prophet Samuel assembled the people to fight and defeat the advancing Philistines, and where he annually judged Israel. King Asa of Judah fortified the place, and the Babylonian-appointed governor Gedaliah established Judah’s capital here after the fall of Jerusalem and was later assassinated in Mizpah (giving rise to the fast day in his memory around the Jewish new year). The city was also a district capital in Nehemiah’s time, and was later where the Maccabees prayed, tore their clothing, wore sackcloth and ashes, fasted, and read the Torah before the Battle of Emmaus.

11. Michmash – Where King Saul gathered his army before the Philistines encamped there, and from which the latter fled following defeat. Mentioned in Isaiah, Ezra, Nehemiah, I Maccabees, and by Josephus, and praised in the Mishnah for its excellent wheat. Jonathan the Hasmonean resided here prior to assuming the high priesthood.

12. Emmaus (Nicopolis) – Where Judah Maccabee defeated Nicanor and frightened off Gorgias in a stunning and strategic double victory over the Seleucids. The town was known for its hot springs, and is often mentioned in the Talmud. Tannaitic rabbis held discussions here, including local scholar Nehunya ben Ha-Kanah, and Yochanan ben Zakkai’s prized disciple Eleazar ben Arach took up residence in Emmaus.

13. Beth Horon – The sun stood still here for Joshua in battle. Both a village fortified by King Solomon and a steep pass where the Canaanites fled from Joshua, Judah Maccabee defeated Seron and his phalanx of hoplites, and Shimon Bar Giora and other zealot stalwarts similarly defeated Roman general Cestius Gallus during The First Revolt.

14. Gibeon (Givon) – The city whose men negotiated in bad faith with Joshua, and where Joab fought Abner by the pool and slew Amasa. King David conquered the Philistines nearby, and Gibeon is also the site at which King Solomon sacrificed a thousand burnt offerings to God, Who appeared to Solomon in a dream eliciting then granting the king’s request for good judgment. Mentioned in I Kings, I & II Chronicles, Jeremiah, Nehemiah, and the Talmud.

15. Elasa (Eleazar) – Site of the tragic battle in which the woefully outnumbered Judah Maccabee fell, and equated by some to Mount Baal Hazor (near Ramallah), mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

16. Anathoth (Almon) – The Levitical hometown of Evyatar the priest and of Jeremiah, in which the hopeful prophet redeemed property from his cousin Hanamel in defiance of Judah’s dire situation under the Babylonians, giving the lie to his reputation as a preacher of doom and gloom. Also mentioned in I Chronicles.

About the Author: Brandon Marlon is a Canadian-Israeli playwright, poet, and freelance writer. He is the author of “Judean Dreams and Inspirations of Israel: Poetry for a Land and People.”


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

5 Responses to “What Judea & Samaria Mean to the Jewish People”

  1. Tim Upham says:

    It is like what Kosovo is to the Serbian people, and today Serbians only make up 5% of Kosovo's population. Today Muslims make up 75% of the West Bank's population. There will never be a Jewish majority in the West Bank, but one of the options is, if there is an independent Palestine, let the Israeli settlers stay there and become citizens of Palestine. It is not any different than Israel having an Arab minority. But the Palestinian Authority will have to drop this unwritten clause that Palestine is to be Jew-free. Because it is just as unrealistic as Israel annexing Judea and Samaria.

  2. At first glance the Wahabi Muslim decision to destroy one of their oldest mosque, the mosque of Medina seems like complete lunacy.

    These theologians are concerned that the people's veneration for the ancient buildings associated with Mohamed is idol worship, not worshiping G-d.

    There is a great element of truth to this madness.

    After the tremendous trauma of Jewish history, Jews cling to their historical sites and ruins.

    I also have tremendous attachment to them.

    But as I understand the counsel of many rabbis, the question of how to deal with the status of the future of these lands was decided entirely on the question of are the Arabs really willing to trade land for peace. These rabbis mostly decided the answer was no.

    Even if that verdict is correct, practical considerations such as the alliance with the US should be weighed before building a Jewish city in Scechem, for example.

    Any further settlements in the heart of Samaria or other mostly Arab areas diminishes the future of Jewish Jerusalem and other areas near the green line.

  3. Anonymous says:

    We should not give up these lands. We do not care about Arabs, whether they want us to live there or not. They have 22 other countries and there were thousand of jewish refugees that were forced to leave Egypt and Jordan.

  4. Anonymous says:

    We should not give up these lands. We do not care about Arabs, whether they want us to live there or not. They have 22 other countries and there were thousand of jewish refugees that were forced to leave Egypt and Jordan.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Bibi: ‘Death From Above, Death From Below’ Will Not Continue
Latest Indepth Stories
Young children 'recruited' by the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) terrorist group for a Shari'a jihadist army in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS poses a great threat to the entire civilized world in general and liberal democracies in particular.

kerry clown

Kerry is preoccupied with pressuring Israel, notwithstanding the transformation of the Arab Spring .

journalism

With no shortage of leftist media that seek to distort the news, what should our Torah response be?

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

People test Israel every day to see how serious we really are in knowing when we are right.

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

More Articles from Brandon Marlon
A Map of Eretz Israel during the Roman Empire

For Jews, the ancient tribal territories of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and west Menasheh – a.k.a. Judea and Samaria or the West Bank – form the very heartland of the homeland.

Marlin-083112

The land of Canaan was only gained in stages by the Israelites, who had to overcome many internal divisions in order to progress. The same holds true in our day, as Jewry struggles to maintain internal unity while vacillating in its attitude toward the Land of Israel. Though the Jewish right to a sovereign state in its ancestral homeland is incontestable – biblically, historically, morally, and legally – too many Jews and Israelis are self-shackled in the chains of constraint, still mired mentally in the vulnerabilities and fears of the last two millennia, unable to discard the Diaspora.

The recently highlighted “crisis of Zionism” is in fact a quandary afflicting Jewry and no new phenomenon. Rather, it has two sources, each centuries old.

The Third Jewish Commonwealth has accomplished remarkable growth and productivity in its first six decades, and inspires the world with its resourcefulness. Yet as a young country, Israel has much room for improvement. Here are the Top 12 most pressing issues facing the reborn nation today:

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/what-judea-samaria-mean-to-the-jewish-people/2013/01/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: