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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

Archaeologists Inaugurate King Solomon’s Coronation Site

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

In a secret ceremony held Tuesday, officials inaugurated the  site of King Solomon’s coronation in the City of David.

The massive Canaanite fortress, built some 3,800 years ago, protects the Biblical Gihon Spring by allowing access to the water solely through a western entrance from within the city.

In the Book of Samuel (Shmuel) II, Chapter V, King David conquered the Zion Fortress from the Jebusite king and his men. Archaeologists believe it is possible they have discovered the fortress referred to in the Biblical passage, entered by King David’s soldiers as they conquered Jerusalem from the Jebusites.

At the beginning of the Book of Kings I, the prophet Nathan and Tzadok HaKohen describe the coronation of King Solomon as having taken place “on Gihon.” Researchers believe the ceremony took place at the heart of the Spring House, over the gushing Gihon Spring.

“When we open the Bible and read about King Solomon who was crowned here, on the Gihon Spring, today you can come and see that this is where it all started,” said Oriya Desberg, director of development at the City of David.

It took archaeologists 15 years to uncover the structure in one of the most complex and digs ever undertaken in the State of Israel.

The Spring House is a massive Canaanite fortress built in the 18th century BCE and is the largest such structure ever uncovered from the pre-Herodian period.

The archaeological dig from which the fortress emerged was led by Haifa University’s Professor Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

“In order to protect the water source, they built not only the tower, but also a fortified passageway that allowed the city residents a safe access to the water source,” explained archaeologist G. Uziel. The passageway continued to operate until the end of the Iron Age, the archaeologist said, “and it was only when the First Temple was destroyed that the fortress collapsed into ruins and was no longer used.”

The walls  – 23 feet (seven meters) thick – were built with stones that are about ten feet (two to three meters) wide, and no mechanical tools were used in the construction.

New Texts Found in ‘Dead Sea Scroll’ Caves

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

A major archaeology “discovery” of previously found but unexamined Dead Sea Scrolls has revealed nine new Biblical era documents, the Live Science and Absa Mediterranean website have reported.

Archaeologist Yonatan Adler said, “‘It’s not every day that you get the chance to discover new manuscripts. It’s very exciting.”

The documents have not yet been fully examined and it is not known, so far, what is written in the texts, which were sitting in three tefillin cases that were among the Scrolls pulled out of 11 Qumran caves in the Dead Sea area in the 1950s.

Adler announced his findings at an international conference in Switzerland on Qumran and the Dead Sea region.

The texts that he found in the tefillin cases may shed more light on religious observance in the period of the Second Temple, but they are unlikely to expose major texts such as were found in the Dead Scrolls that already have been examined.

Other tefillin parchments previously have been examined, and the nine newly-found texts, if they can be deciphered, probably will confirm previous findings and the content of several verses of the Torah are written on parchments in tefillin worn by Jews around the world.

Peres to Award Merkel for Fighting Anti-Semitism

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

President Shimon Peres will confer the Presidential Medal of Distinction on German Chancellor Angela Merkel next Tuesday for “her unwavering commitment to Israel’s security and the fight against anti-Semitism.” His office stated Thursday,

The medal, the highest civilian award in Israel and comparable to the Legion of Honor of France and the Order of Canada, is crowned with the words from Samuel 9:2 “from his shoulders and upward.”

Merkel’s visit to Israel will be focused on issues of the Palestinian Authority, Iran and German-Israeli relations.

Peres stated that “Merkel sets a wonderful example on education against anti-Semitism, racism and hate and works tirelessly to expand the work being done on these issues with the aim of educating future generations in Germany towards equality, tolerance and acceptance of the other.”

Previous winners of the award have included President Barack Obama, former US President Bill Clinton, Elie Wiesel, former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger and Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.

Greek Politician Says Prime Minister Heads Jewish Conspiracy

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

A politician from the main opposition party in Greece has caused an uproar after posting an anti-Semitic rant on his Facebook page accusing the Greek prime minister of heading a Jewish conspiracy.

Theodoros Karypidis, the left-wing Syriza Party’s candidate for governor of Western Macedonia, said Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was at the head of a Jewish plot to visit “a new Hanukkah against the Greeks.”

At the heart of Karypidis’ theory was a move last year by Samaras to shut the allegedly corrupt Hellenic Broadcasting Authority and replace it with the New Hellenic Radio and Television, known by its Greek acronym NERIT.

According to Karypidis, NERIT is derived from the Hebrew word for candle, “ner,” which he links to the festival of Hanukkah.

“Samaras is lighting the candles in the seven branched candelabra of the Jews and lighting Greece on fire after his visit to the Thessaloniki Synagogue,” wrote Karypidis. “He is organizing a new Hanukkah against the Greeks.”

Samaras visited the synagogue as part of the commemorations marking the destruction of the Jewish community of Thessaloniki by the Nazis.

If Karypidis had done a bit more research, he would have discovered that Nerit computes 661 in Gematria, the system that ascribes a numerical value to every letter of the Hebrew alphabet. That is the same number that is the equivalent of the word “Esther,” as in the Persian Queen Esther who helped saved the Jews from extinction from Mohammed Ahmadinejad’s ancestor Haman.

Since Nerit and Esther have the same Gematria number, it proves without a doubt that the prime minister indeed is the head of a Jewish conspiracy.

Furthermore, Nerit in Gematria also is the numerical equal of the phrase “lo yishma al peev,” the Hebrew words for “it shall not be heard in thy mouth.” That is an obvious secret code for Nerit, the Hellenstic Broadcasting Authority. It all is too much of a coincidence to be ignored, and Nerit clearly has an agenda no make sure that Karypidis’ words shall not be heard.

If that is not enough proof of a Jewish conspiracy, “Samaras,” the name of the prime minister of Greece, comes out to 361 when spelled in Hebrew, and the sum total of 361 is 10, a direct reference to the Ten Commandments that form the basic laws of Judaism

Regardless of the overwhelming evidence that Nerit and Samaras are part of a plot to destroy Greece, a spokesman for the prime minister condemned the comments as “unacceptable, racist and anti-Semitic.”

In recent years most of the anti-Semitic vitriol in Greece has come from the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party. But Syriza also has a clear anti-Israel stance. Several of its members took part in the flotilla to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza.

Karypidis’ statements also drew condemnation from the American Jewish Committee.

“Vile, outrageous expressions of anti-Semitism in Greece are coming not only from Golden Dawn on the far right but also, as Theodoros Karypidis’ Facebook post illustrates, from the far left,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris in a statement.

“Whipping up hatred of Jews, for all kinds of alleged conspiracies, is an all-too-familiar and long-time tactic of political extremists with nothing constructive to offer about real-life issues facing their country,” he said.

By the way, Karypidis in Gematria comes out to 466, which is the equivalent of “ma-shehu lo hegyoni,” or “something not logical.”

JTA contributed to this report.

New Dig in Hebron Aimed at Uncovering King David’s Palace

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has started digging for evidence of the Kingdom of David in Hebron, but leftists have charged it is just an excuse for another outpost.

The archaeological site is located in the Jewish neighborhood at Tel Rumeida, although the Haaretz English version headlined it was “Palestinian Hebron,” which is par for the course for the newspaper that is relied on by most foreign journalists for information to belittle Israel as a Jewish country.

Peace Now’s director Yariv Oppenheimer chimed in, “This is settlement expansion under the guise of archaeology. He told Haaretz , “Under US Secretary of State John Kerry’s nose, Defense Minister [Moshe Ya’alon] is enabling the settlers to expand and change the status quo in the most sensitive part of the West Bank.”

The Jewish Press decided not to embarrass Oppenheimer by interviewing him about what would be the significance if archeologists find the remains of the palace of King David during his reign 3,000 years ago.

Tel Rumeida is on one of the higher hills in Hebron, a site where it is logical that a king would build his palace.

The two lots of ground where the dig is taking place are owned by Jews. It is next to a site that already has been dug and has revealed ancient artifacts, including walls from the Biblical period.

Hebron Jewish community spokesman David Wilder told The Jewish Press Thursday that the Jewish community in the city has been trying for years to convince government authorities to provide the money and archaeologists to dig there. He said one wall has been identified as dating back to the time of the forefather Avraham.

Wilder dismissed as nonsense the claim that the site will be for a new outpost but added that plans for building for Jews elsewhere in Hebron are on the table, awaiting the approval of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. Don’t hold your breath, at least not until U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry goes back to the U.S. State Dept. to find another area in the world to make worse.

The importance of Hebron for finding the roots of monotheism and Jewish history was expressed years ago by an archaeologist, who also was a key member of Peace Now. Wilder said the archaeologist, whom he did not want to name, told him, “Hebron is the most archeological site in Israel, after Jerusalem – and it all belongs to Arafat.”

Of course, Yasser Arafat is long gone, but the uncovered history of Hebron remains underground.

Wilder admitted that no one ever knows what will be found until after digging is completed, but given the location of Tel Rumeida, it is hoped that remnants of King David’s palace will be found.

If that happens, the whole Muslim lie that the kingdoms never existed crumbles, which might be one reason why Peace Now and Haaretz are so aghast at the new dig.

Many Israeli archaeologists have turned down the opportunity to supervise digging at Tel Rumeida, despite its probable rich historical treasure.

Finally, with  financial and political help from Likud Minister of Sport and Culture Limor Livnat and from the Antiquities Authority,  Ariel University and IAA archaeologists will take on the task.

The Palestinian Authority’s interest in the dig can been assumed from its destruction of history on the Temple Mount, where Israeli authorities four years have closed their eyes to Muslim authorities hauling away tons of debris that might include evidence of the First and Second Holy Temples.

Tel Aviv School Bans Students’ New Year’s Santa Claus Hats

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Students from Russian descent and who learn at a Tel Aviv high school are up in a arms over their principal’s threat to suspend them from school for insisting on wearing Santa Claus hats to mark the end of the secular year and the beginning of 2014.

The Ministry of Education denied that the principal suspended one of the students who refused to obey the order, the Hebrew-language Yediot Acharonot newspaper reported.

Santa Claus is associated with Christmas, but the students said they have a tradition of coming to school on December 31 with Santa Claus hats.

The Education Ministry explained that the principal simply was enforcing a nationwide policy that students wear the same style of clothes and appear properly dressed in class. It said that the students could dress as they please during recess, even if they want to put on Santa Claus hats.

There are an estimated 300,000 former Soviet bloc immigrants who are not Jewish and are living in Israel, thanks to then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who was anxious to boost the non-Arab population at all costs, especially at the cost of a Jewish state.

Whether or not the students at the Tel Aviv school are Jewish or not, they obviously have little Jewish identity.

“I have learned in this school since the seventh grade, and every December 31 we arrive with Santa Claus hats to commemorate the new year,” one girl said. “In previous years, we also arranged parties.”

And along comes a new principal who is a party pooper.

This it’s not a matter or religious or cultural coercion. It is a matter of ignorance.

“This very insulting,” said the girl. “I was born in Israel, and my mother was born in Russia. We are not talking about a political issue but a hat that symbolizes the beginning of the new year.”

A ninth-grader said, “I would expect the principal to identify with us or at least allow us to keep the custom. It does not disturb or damage anyone.”

Oh, really?

Wouldn’t it be interesting if a bunch of Russian olim at the school were to come closer to Judaism and start wearing a kippa to class? I wonder how tolerant the other students would be. They would be as tolerant as my junior high school principal was in the 1950s, when I dared to put on a kippa when eating lunch in the cafeteria and organize a minyan for Grace after Meals. The principal hauled me into his office with a threat of suspension for the offense of wearing a hat in school, a no-no in those days.

Before people start throwing around the mis-used word “democracy,” Israel is a Jewish state. A large majority of Israeli Jews keep kosher, on one level or another. A large majority of Israeli Jews honor the Sabbath, even if they are not strictly observant.

An overwhelming of Israeli Jews, converts or not, know their roots start with the forefather Avraham. They know that Santa Claus is not just a funny looking character but rather a dangerous symbol of materialism that insults the character and values of Judaism.

The entire Santa Claus hat issue is an anecdote, even a funny anecdote, but it symbolizes the issue of a Jewish state.

There are those who are willing to sacrifice Judaism on the altar of “freedom”  to do as one pleases so long as it is not a Haredi Jew wearing a shtreimel in a public park.

Illegal African immigrants have a right to stay in Israel. Bedouin men have a right to marry as many women as they want, with the government paying them for child support, as they proliferate to the point of reducing Jews to a minority.

Samaria Wines Receive International Acclaim in France Despite Boycotts

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

A French wine competition has awarded the Psagot Boutique Winery of Samaria gold stars for each of its eight wines that are a continuation of the Biblical tradition of wine production in Israel.

Established in 2003 by Yaakov and Naama Berg, the Psagot Boutique Winery is located in the Binyamin hills north of  Jerusalem ,which served as the cradle of wine-cultivation in Biblical times. The winery’s vineyards are planted on ancient limestone terraces at a height of 3,000 feet above sea level, alongside the community of Psagot, located south of Beit El and Ofra in Samaria.

Editorial note: A 2011 Washington Post article suggested that the labels on the Berg bottles say they are from Psagot, Israel, containing wine produced from vineyards planted on ancient limestone terraces in the “northern Jerusalem hills” and aged in French oak barrels stored in an ancient cave.

When asked, Berg “shrugged off suggestions that the labels mask the wine’s origin in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.”

“This is a geographical definition, not political,” he says of the reference to the Jerusalem hills. “When it comes to wine, the geographical area is critical, like Napa Valley” in California. As for the reference to Israel, Berg said that he is subject to Israeli law and that his winery is built on state land.

Energetic founder and chief executive of Psagot Winery Yaakov Berg.

Energetic founder and chief executive of Psagot Winery Yaakov Berg.

In keeping with ancient history of the location, the Psagot Winery ages its wines in an ancient underground cave that was used for wine-making in the Second Temple period. The cave was discovered in the process of establishing the winery in an area where remnants of ancient vineyards still exist.

The annual French wine competition is held by 1001degustations.com, a wine site that was created by French wine producers in order to promote international interest in wines and wine production.

The Psagot wines competed against scores of wines sent from wineries across the world including leading wine-producing countries such as France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Australia, USA, South Africa and Argentina.

All eight of the Psagot wine entries placed in the competition, either in first, second or third place, a special feat for the Israeli boutique winery according to the founder and CEO, Yaakov Berg. “We sent all our wines to the competition and they all received awards,” Berg told Tazpit News Agency.

Psagot’s red wines, Prat and Shiraz, were awarded gold stars as well as the Judges’ Favorite Award. The grading is based on the criteria of color, aroma and taste and is decided by a jury composed of wine producers, sommeliers, oenologists, and restaurant owners. On the competition’s website, Psagot’s Prat wine was noted for its pleasant fragrance and fruity flavor, while the judges described the Shiraz as an elegant delight.

The Psagot Winery has won accolades in Panama, England and the United States among other countries. Because the competitions use blind tasting of wines to prevent bias, the Psagot wines have an equal opportunity to win like all the other wines. “Otherwise, politics would just get in the way and our wines would have no chance,” Berg told Tazpit.

The Psagot winery produced 200,000 wine bottles this year following a successful grape harvest in 2012. Most of the bottles have been exported abroad to various countries.

“This recent win is special because it shows the world what the land of Israel is made of. Two-thousand years ago, our people produced good wines in the same region, and now we are back home doing the same,” Berg said.

Researchers Find Ancient Fabrics in Colors Noted in Jewish Sources

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Centuries-old fabrics identified by Israel Antiquities Authority researchers include one that may have been made by means of a technique similar to making the tekhelet (blue)in tzitzit, the fringes that the Bible commands be worn on four-cornered garments.

To date, only two pieces of fabric treated with actual dye-murex have been found in Israel

The fabrics identified by Dr. Na‘ama Sukenik represent the most prestigious colors in antiquity – indigo, purple and crimson, – that are mentioned in Jewish sources

Thousands of fabrics dating to the Roman period have been discovered in the Judean Desert and regions of the Negev and the Arava. So far only two were colored with dye extracted from the murex snail. Now, within the framework of a study conducted by Dr. Sukenik, three other rare fabrics belonging to pieces of prestigious textiles were exposed that might have been used as clothing in the Roman period.

Dr. Sukenik’s doctoral dissertation was supervised by Professor Zohar Amar and Dr. David Illuz of Bar-Ilan University, and the textiles were examined by Dr. Orit Shamir, Curator of Organic Materials at the Israel Antiquities Authority.

These prestigious textiles, from the Wadi Murabba‘at caves located south of Qumran, were revealed in a study that analyzed the dye of 180 textiles specimens from the Judean Desert caves. Among the many textiles, most of which were dyed using substances derived from plants, were two purple-bordeaux colored textiles – parts of tunics that were double dyed utilizing two of the most expensive materials in antiquity – Murex trunculus (Hexaplex trunculus) and American Cochineal insect .

Photo: Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Photo: Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

A third textile, made of wool, indicating the thread fibers were dyed by exposing them to sunlight or heated after having been dyed, represent another use of the murex snail for achieving a shade of blue, and it is possible that the item in question is an indigo fabric made by means of a technique similar to making the tekhelet (blue)in a tzitzit.

The importance of this fabric is extremely significant as there are practically no parallels for it in the archaeological record.

Dr. Sukenik, assisted by Dr. Alexander Varvak, examined the colors using advanced analytical instrumentation for identifying dye substances (HPLC).

The testing of the fabrics, performed by Dr. Orit Shamir of the Israel Antiquities Authority, revealed that the two purple textiles were spinning in a unique manner characteristic of imported textiles, whereas the blue textile was spinning in the same fashion as the local textiles.

Of all of the dyes that were in use, purple is considered the most prestigious color of the earlier periods, but it seems the public’s fondness for this reached its peak in the Hellenistic-Roman period. The purple dyed fabrics attested to the prestige of the garment and the social status of its owner.

There were times when the masses were forbidden from dressing in purple clothing, which was reserved for only the emperor and his family. These measures only served to increase the popularity of that color, the price of which soared and was equal to that of gold.

It is difficult to know for certain how such prestigious fabrics came to be in the Murabba‘at caves. They might have been part of the property belonging to Jewish refugees from the time of the Bar-Kokhba revolt and demonstrate their economic prosperity prior to the outbreak of the uprising.

Another possibility is that they were part of the possessions of a small Roman unit, which on the basis of the artifacts was stationed in the Murabba‘at caves following the Bar Kokhba revolt.  It is likely these same soldiers brought some of their belongings from overseas to Israel and others they purchased from the local Jewish population during their service in the country.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/researchers-find-ancient-fabrics-in-colors-noted-in-jewish-sources/2013/12/31/

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