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January 17, 2017 / 19 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

The Struggle for Amona – A Biblical Perspective [video]

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Video of the Day

25,000 Pray in Hebron on ‘Shabbat Chayei Sarah’

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

Some 25,000 Jewish worshipers flocked to the Cave of the Patriarch this weekend to celebrate the life of the Biblical matriarch Sarah.

The Torah portion tells the story of the purchase of the Cave, called “Machpela,” and its surrounding property, by the Biblical patriarch Abraham, who bought it for a final resting place for his wife, Sarah.

In honor of the occasion, all sections of the cave, Machpela, were open to the Jewish visitors, which is rarely the case as a portion of the site is often reserved for Muslim worshipers alone.

Some 2,500 Jews also participated in a subsequent tour of the Jewish areas of Hebron as well.

IDF security was expanded in order to accommodate the massive crowd of worshipers, which streams into the ancient holy city each year at this time.

Hebron is one of the four ancient holy cities of the Bible, which also include Jerusalem, Tzefat (Safed) and Tverya (Tiberias).

Hana Levi Julian

Arson in the Kidron Valley Damages Architectural Jewels

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

by Ilana Messika
Israeli authorities reported an arson this weekend (November 12) in the area of the “Tomb of Absalom” and the “Cave of Jehoshaphat.” The site is situated in the Kidron Valley on the eastern side of the Old City, separating the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives.

The fire reportedly caused serious archaeological damage.

The burial complexes in the Kidron Valley are attributed to the Jewish aristocracy of the late Second Temple period and are considered to be architectural wonders. The national park around the walls of Jerusalem surrounds the Old City, the ancient heart of holy city.

“The findings [of the investigation] point to an arson which unfortunately caused severe damage to valuable heritage values and archaeological jewels,” said Assaf Avraham, director of the national park administered under the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

“The national park has many visitors but is also, to our regret, often fertile ground for acts of vandalism carried out by law breakers,” he added.

The Israel Police and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority are continuing their investigation, which thus far indicates that one or more perpetrators appear to have deliberately set the blaze.

Both bodies are working on finding those responsible in order to bring them to justice.

Hana Levi Julian contributed to this report.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Archaeological Evidence of the Kingdom of David

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

By Anna Rudnitsky

Biblical archaeology was revolutionized several years ago when evidence of the existence of the kingdom of David was brought to light in the form of a fortified Iron Age town excavated in the Elah Valley by Hebrew University Professor Yosef Garfinkel and Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) archaeologist Sa’ar Ganor.

The place was described by the Bible as the location of the battle between David and Goliath. The highlights of the findings of the Elah Valley excavations are now to be presented to the public for the first time at an exhibition scheduled to open at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem on September 5.

“Archaeology cannot find a man and we did not find the remnants linked to King David himself,” Professor Garfinkel told Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “But what we did find is archaeological evidence of the social process of urbanization in Judea.”

According to Prof. Garfinkel, the evidence of urbanization fits in with what is described in the Bible as the establishment of the Kingdom of David, when small agrarian communities were replaced by fortified towns. “The chronology fits the Biblical narrative perfectly. Carbon tests performed on the olive pits found in Khirbet Qeiyafa show the town was built at the end of the 11th century BCE,” Garfinkel explained.

Two phenomena particularly attracted the attention of Garfinkel and Ganor when they began excavations at the site of Khirbet Qeiyafa about 10 years ago. Numerous iron stones were found and a wall of unusual form, with hollows in two places, enveloped the site.

The archaeologists only realized in the second year of their excavations that they had found a fortified town from the Iron Age that perfectly fit the description of the Biblical town of Sha’arayim. The name in Hebrew means “two gates,” and the hollows in the modern wall, built on top of the ancient one, were precisely in the same place as the previous existence of two gates, which is quite a rarity for a relatively small town.

The geographical location of the town also fits right in line with the Biblical depiction of Sha’arayim, mentioned in the context of the aftermath of the battle between David and Goliath when the Philistines “fell on the way to Sha’arayim.” The town is also mentioned in the Book of Joshua as being situated near Socho and Azeka, two archaeological sites surrounding Khirbet Qeiyafa.

Other remarkable finds at the site include two inscriptions in the Canaanite script that are considered to be the earliest written attestation to date as to the use of the Hebrew language. A pottery shard contains the distinctly identifiable Hebrew words, “king,” “don’t do,” and “judge.”

The Bible Lands Museum exhibition, “In the Valley of David and Goliath” will feature the pottery shards as well as a clay model of a shrine found at the site and the huge stones used in the wall around the town. “Although I led the excavations, I myself was amazed to see the different pieces brought together in a way that allows visitors to get a clear picture of how the town looked and that gives them an opportunity to go back in history to the times of the kingdom of David,” Professor Garfinkel said.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Bible Code Predicts Clinton Win

Friday, May 6th, 2016

We urge you to consume the following article with a good size grain of salt, but, according to Kikar Hashabbat, a Haredi scholar who went looking for biblical codes that would offer a coherent clue about the US elections found something. In fact, he discovered that when reading the Torah with at regular intervals—giant intervals at that, starting with a verse from the story of the binding of Isaac (Gen. 22:4) and the commandment to execute mediums and necromancers (Lev. 20:27), the resulting letters combine to form the phrase: Hillary Ne’siah (Hillary President).

The Bible codes, or Torah codes, is a purported set of secret messages encoded within the Hebrew text of scripture. This hidden code is a method by which specific letters from the text can be selected to reveal an otherwise obscured message, which is often relevant to the narrative of the same verses. Bible codes have been popularized in modern times by Michael Drosnin’s book The Bible Code and the movie The Omega Code, and one can purchase computer programs that hunt for coded messages in holy texts.

One such tireless hunter is D Chen, the Haredi scholar who approached Kikar Hashabbat with his discovery. He said that as soon as it became clear that Donald Trump was the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, he plugged varieties of his name in Hebrew into his program, but the program yielded nothing. Then, just to make sure, he entered Trump’s arch rival and discovered that the Torah sides with the Democratic party this election round.

Chen said he was truly surprised by the discovery, because he had honestly expected Trump to be the chosen candidate, seeing as his meteoric rise to the top, without the benefit of any experience at all in public service, made his race appear to be divinely guided.

“I read the news and I’m interested in the race for the US presidency, but I don’t personally favor either candidate,” Chen said. “I’m neutral, but these are the results I found.”


Cave of the Patriarchs Closes to Jews for Muslim Holiday

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

The administration of the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron has announced it will close its doors to Jews on Wednesday (May 4, Nisan 26) due to the Islamic holiday of Lailat al Miraj.

Both Jews and Muslims pray at the site, where it is believed the Biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca and Leah are buried, as well as Adam and Eve.

The holiday of Lailat al Miraj commemorates the Islamic prophet Muhammad’s nighttime journey from Mecca to the ‘farthest mosque’ in Jerusalem, from where Muslims believe he ascended to heaven, was purified, and was given the instruction for Muslims to pray five times a day.

“Prayers and visitation will take place on the Seventh Step,” the administration said in its statement.

The Temple Mount will also be closed to Jews on Wednesday for the same reason.

On Thursday the Cave of the Patriarchs will reopen to Jews beginning at 4 am as usual.

Hana Levi Julian

Tennessee Lawmakers Pass Bill to Designate ‘Holy Bible’ as Official State Book

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

In the state of Tennessee, citizens take their Bible seriously.

So seriously, in fact, that the state legislature has just approved a bill designating “the Holy Bible as the official state book.”

If Governor Bill Haslam signs it into law, Tennessee will be the first state in the USA to have adopted the Holy Bible as a state symbol.

“What we’re doing here is recognizing it for its historical and cultural contributions to the state of Tennessee,” GOP State Senator Steve Southerland said. Bibles are often used to record important family milestones, and in the state of Tennessee, numerous printing firms have made a multimillion-dollar industry from producing just this one sacred text alone.

Even beyond that, however, the bill is a really powerful statement, given the current climate in the country. Reactions are strong in both directions.

“Critics called the proposal unconstitutional and sacrilegious,” Nashville Public Radio reported. “They also pointed out there are many versions of the Bible, none of which are specified in the resolution.”

Others argued that it wasn’t fair to citizens of different faiths. Another point raised was a legal issue, the question of separation of church and state. And some said simply, what about those who don’t believe in any Bible at all?

But perhaps that’s the point. The issue at stake here isn’t which version of which Bible is being used, or from which stream of monotheistic faith — and it’s not being forced down people’s throats.

“The Bible” — any Bible — is being declared to be the state book, not the state faith. It symbolizes that the Bible has proved important to the majority of the population over the state’s history.

The Bible is important to the state economically (it’s a multimillion-dollar printing industry item), culturally (the majority of the population is Christian or Jewish) and ethically (the wisdom to be found in the Bible is disputed by no one.) Even performers know it: There are few country songs heard at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville without roots in some Bible saying. It’s that kind of place.

Nevertheless, the bill may still face an uphill battle: the separation of “church and state” is still an issue; it was strong enough to prevent the state of Kentucky from allowing a special public display because its purpose was religious, rather than historical.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/tennessee-lawmakers-pass-bill-to-designate-holy-bible-as-official-state-book/2016/04/06/

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