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December 29, 2014 / 7 Tevet, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘biblical archaeology’

Jews are Indigenous to the Land of Israel

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

No people in the world today have an older claim to the Land of Israel than the Jewish people do. The Jebusites, Amorites, Canaanites, and Philistines do not exist in today’s world.

According to the American archaeologist Eric Cline, writing in Jerusalem Besieged,

Historians and archaeologists have generally concluded that most if not all modern Palestinians are probably more closely related to the Arabs of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, and other countries than they are to the ancient Jebusites, Canaanites and Philistines.

He claims that all of the ancient inhabitants of the Land of Israel, except for the Jews, have been vanquished.

Nevertheless, Cline says that, “Few would seriously challenge the belief that most modern Jews are descended from the ancient Hebrews.” Cline is backed up by a study that was published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

After doing a detailed study titled “Abraham’s Children in the Genome Era: Major Jewish Diaspora Populations Comprise Distinct Genetic Clusters with Shared Middle Eastern Ancestry,” scientific research found that “Jews originated as a national and religious group in the Middle East during the second millennium BCE and have maintained continuous genetic, cultural, and religious traditions since that time, despite a series of Diasporas.” Thus, given this, it has been established that most Jews are descended from the ancient Israelites that have lived in the Land of Israel since antiquity.

One of the earliest archaeological proofs for the existence of the Jewish nation in the land of Israel can be found in Egypt, where a victory monument of Pharaoh Merneptah claims that the Egyptians defeated the Israelites in about the year 1207 BCE.

Inside the Israel Museum today, one can find an Aramaic inscription proving that the House of King David really existed. One can also witness within the Israel Museum a cuneiform inscription in which Assyrian King Sennacherib bragged about how he defeated the Kingdom of Judah. He proclaimed, “And Hezekiah, King of Judah, who did not submit to my yoke, I laid siege to 46 of his strong cities, walled forts and to countless small villages in their vicinity. I besieged them and conquered them.” None of these archaeological relics would have existed if there weren’t an ancient Jewish kingdom within the Land of Israel.

Indeed, in 66 BCE, Israel had a population of 3 to 4 million souls, of whom 75 percent were Jewish. Jews remained the majority of the population up until 135 CE, when Roman persecutions transformed the Jews into a minority within their own country. From that point onward, the majority of the population in Israel would comprise of Hellenistic Christians.

By the seventh century, only 150,000 to 200,000 Jews continued to live in Eretz Yisrael. And by 1517, following the Black Plague and the Crusades, only 300,000 people lived in the Land of Israel, of whom 5,000 were Jews. For the first time in history, Muslims became the majority population within the country under Ottoman rule, although many more Muslims would migrate to the Holy Land throughout the Ottoman period up until the conclusion of the British Mandate. Most modern Palestinians are descended from these recent Muslim migrants. During Ottoman times, Jews continued to live in their ancestral homeland, although significantly reduced in size.

Since the Roman expulsion Jewish prayer liturgy has been filled with references of the yearning the Jewish people to return back to their ancient homeland, and for the past 2000 years the Jewish people have prayed at least three times a day to return from their exile.

In 1948 David Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, expressed the Jewish peoples indigenous claim and connection to the Land of Israel when he read the Israeli Declaration of Independence in which it is stated:

ERETZ-ISRAEL (the Land of Israel) was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books. After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom. Impelled by this historic and traditional attachment, Jews strove in every successive generation to re-establish themselves in their ancient homeland. In recent decades they returned in their masses.

The declaration then announced “the establishment of a Jewish state in the land of Israel to be known as the State of Israel. … Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles.”

A Pilgrimage to Shiloh, Like the Days of Old

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Centuries before Jews trekked to Jerusalem for prayer, Jewish pilgrims came to the Mishkan Tabernacle in Shiloh to pray to God on chaggim, holidays and whenever they could.  Yes, the Shiloh where I live is the same Shiloh, which was the spiritual and administrative Capital of the Jewish Nation for almost four hundred years, from the time of Joshua until Shmuel Hanavi, Samuel the Prophet.

Yesterday,  a group of women came from all over Israel to visit and pray at the ancient site, Shiloh HaKeduma, Tel Shiloh.  They have been in touch with me via social media, mostly Facebook  and we have been planning this trip for months.

They traveled from various parts of the country by bus and car for the opportunity to pray where Chana prayed and see the modern Jewish community that has grown on the same site where our ancestors lived and visited.

No doubt that it was due to the holiness of the spot, but everyone managed to find the strength and agility to hike all over Tel Shiloh.

The highlight, of course, was the chance to pray and say T’hillim, Psalms to God, in the very spot most experts, archaeologists and Biblical scholars believe the Mishkan had once stood.

Everyone agreed that the visit was spiritually exhilarating, despite all their time traveling.

Afterwards, we spent some time in the Visitors Center, where you can buy drinks, snacks, local crafts and souvenirs, including  wine and olive oil from the area.

Pilgrims can’t leave hungry, especially Jewish pilgrims to Shiloh.  The last stop of the group was the local dairy restaurant, pizza place, where everyone ordered a delicious meal,and we even skyped with a member of the group who presently lives abroad. Thank God for modern technology.  Of course, the entire group is due to modern technology, internet and social media.  Almost all of us are writers, bloggers and photographers, so there should be more posts in various sites and blogs in the internet about this visit.

For information about Shiloh HaKeduma, Tel Shiloh, contact visit@telshilo.org.il or call 02-994-4019.  They cater to both groups and individual visitors besides running large public events during Jewish Holidays.

Visit Shiloh Musings.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/shiloh-musings/a-pilgrimage-to-shiloh-like-the-days-of-old/2013/04/25/

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