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December 11, 2016 / 11 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘central’

Large First Temple Period Gate-Shrine Excavated in Central Israel

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

An important and unusual discovery was made in archaeological excavations that were carried out in the Tel Lachish National Park, an archaeological site located in the Shfela (lowland) region of Israel between Mount Hebron and the Mediterranean coast. The find is a gate-shrine from the First Temple period (eighth century BCE) in what archaeologists perceive as compelling evidence of King Hezekiah’s efforts to abolish idol worship there, as described in the Bible: “He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles…” (II Kings 18:4).

The archaeological excavation was conducted between January and March by the Israel Antiquities Authority, at the initiative of the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage and in cooperation with the Nature and Parks Authority, in order to further the continued development of the Tel Lachish National Park. The northern part of the gate was uncovered decades ago, and the current excavation aims to expose the gate completely. The gate that emerged is the largest known from the First Temple period.

a-computerized-image-of-the-lachish-city-gate-jpeg

A computerized image of the Lachish city gate. Photo credit: Architects Ram Shoaf and Hila Berger-Onn, Israel Antiquities Authority Conservation Department.

According to Sa’ar Ganor, excavation director on behalf of the IAA, “The size of the gate is consistent with the historical and archaeological knowledge we possess, whereby Lachish was a major city and the most important one after Jerusalem.” According to the biblical narrative, the city gate was where the city elders, judges, governors, kings and officials sat on their benches, as the core of civic life. “These benches were found in our excavation,” Ganor noted.

The Lachish city gate (73.5 × 73.5 ft.), which is now completely exposed and preserved to a height of 12 ft., consists of six chambers, three on either side, and the city’s main street that passed between them. Artifacts discovered in its rooms indicate how they were used in the eighth century BCE: in the first chamber were benches with armrests, at the foot of which were numerous finds including jars, a large number of scoops for loading grain and stamped jar handles that bear the name of the official or a lmlk (belonging to the king) seal impression. Two of the handles bear the seal impression lmlk hbrn (belonging to the king of Hebron). The word lmlk is written on one of the handles together with a depiction of a four-winged beetle (scarab), and another impression bears the name lnhm avadi, who was probably a senior official during the reign of King Hezekiah. It seems that these jars were related to the military and administrative preparations of the Kingdom of Judah in the war against Sennacherib, king of Assyria (705- 681 BCE).

Excavation work in the gate-shrine exposed at Tel Lachish. The altar with its truncated horns is visible in the center of the frame. Photo credit: Saʽar Ganor, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Excavation work in the gate-shrine exposed at Tel Lachish. The altar with its truncated horns is visible in the center of the frame. Photo credit: Saʽar Ganor, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The continuation of the building is a gate-shrine whose walls were treated with white plaster. According to Ganor, “Steps to the gate-shrine in the form of a staircase ascended to a large room where there was a bench upon which offerings were placed. An opening was exposed in the corner of the room that led to the holy of holies; to our great excitement, we found two four-horned altars and scores of ceramic finds consisting of lamps, bowls, and stands in this room. It is most interesting that the horns on the altar were intentionally truncated! That is probably evidence of the religious reform attributed to King Hezekiah, whereby religious worship was centralized in Jerusalem and the cultic high places that were built outside the capital were destroyed: “He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles…” (II Kings 18:4)

Artifacts from the First Temple period that were uncovered in the excavation – oil lamps, seal impressions that were stamped for the purpose of identifying jars, arrowheads, etc. Photo credit: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Artifacts from the First Temple period that were uncovered in the excavation – oil lamps, seal impressions that were stamped for the purpose of identifying jars, arrowheads, etc. Photo credit: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Besides cutting the horns on the altar, in order to further intensify the abolition of worship in the gate-shrine, a toilet was installed in the holy of holies as the ultimate desecration of that place. A stone fashioned in the shape of a chair with a hole in its center was found in the corner of the room. Stones of this type have been identified in archaeological research as toilets. Evidence of abolishing cultic locations by installing a toilet in them is known in the Bible, as illustrated in the case of Jehu destroying the cult of Baʽal in Samaria: “And they demolished the pillar of Baʽal, and demolished the house of Baʽal, and made it a latrine to this day.” (II Kings 10:27) This is the first time that an archaeological find confirms this phenomenon. Laboratory tests we conducted in the spot where the stone toilet was placed suggest it was never used. Hence, we can conclude that the placement of the toilet had been symbolic, after which the holy of holies was sealed until the site was destroyed.

According to the Minister of Jerusalem and Heritage and Environmental Protection Ze’ev Elkin, “the fascinating new discovery at Tel Lachish is a typical example whereby excavations and further research of heritage sites show us time and time again how biblical tales that are known to us become historical and archaeological stories. … Before our very eyes these new finds become the biblical verses themselves and speak in their voice.”

The toilet archaeologists believe was placed there symbolically in order to defile and abolish the cultic worship in the gate-shrine — at the time of its discovery. Photo credit: Igor Kramerman.

The toilet archaeologists believe was placed there symbolically in order to defile and abolish the cultic worship in the gate-shrine — at the time of its discovery. Photo credit: Igor Kramerman.

According to the Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev, “the uncovering of these finds joins a long list of discoveries that enlighten us about our historic past, a past that is manifested in our country’s soil and in the writings of the Book of Books.”

According to Shaul Goldstein, director-general of the Nature and Parks Authority, “Tel Lachish is one of the most quintessential places where one can get unequivocal proof of Israel’s hold on its land. The new visitor center will include the relief that was found in the private room of the King of Assyria which depicts our forefathers in their war and as they entered captivity that led to a life of exile that continues to this day. The altar from the time of King Hezekiah constitutes another sacred link to this important settlement.”

The gate at Tel Lachish was destroyed by Sennacherib, king of Assyria, in 701 BCE. The excavation revealed destruction layers in the wake of that defeat, including arrowheads and sling stones, indicative of the hand-to-hand combat that took place in the city’s gatehouse. Evidence of Sennacherib’s military campaign in Judah is known from the archaeological record, the Bible (II Kings 18 and II Chronicles 32), and the Lachish wall reliefs from Sennacherib’s palace in Nineveh, depicting the story of the city’s conquest.

At this time the gate is temporarily covered for conservation purposes and cannot be seen. The Nature and Parks Authority, in cooperation with the IAA, is currently engaged in the continued development and conservation of the site in preparation of opening it to visitors.

JNi.Media

Is the Central Banking System on the Verge of Another Crash?

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

Why do investors need to know about the central banking system? Have the banks learned anything from the 2008 market crash? Neil Irwin, The New York Times economic correspondent and author of ‘The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire,’ discusses whether the economy is on the verge of another crash, the impact of having banks that are considered “too big to fail”, and how the central banking system affects the decisions of individual investors.
When planning your investments or for retirement, you don’t only need to look at the central banking system, but also at the circumstances in your own life, such as your age. Doug gives focused investment advice on how to plan for retirement when you are in your 30s, 40s, and 50s. Find out how your age affects your risk level, what kind of expenses you may have, and the best kinds of investments for you, depending on your age.

The Goldstein On Gelt Show is a financial podcast. Click on the player below to listen. For show notes and contact details of the guest, go to www.GoldsteinOnGelt.com

 

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

US President Obama Has ‘Sympathy for Gazans’

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Hamas plans to return to war on Friday, while US President Barack Obama says it’s time to “open Gaza.”

During cease fire talks in Cairo, Hamas terrorists told mediators in Cairo they will resume their battle against Israel on Friday promptly at 8 am local time.

U.S. President Barack Obama explained to reporters at a briefing Wednesday in Washington, meanwhile, that although he had “no sympathy for Hamas,” he had “great sympathy for ordinary people struggling within Gaza.”

“Long term, there has to be a recognition that Gaza cannot sustain itself permanently closed off from the world,” Obama said.

In that, the American president appears to be joining Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in calling for Israel to lift its counter terror blockade on the region. The blockade was implemented in an effort to prevent Gaza terrorists from importing the very items with which they waged war against Israel this time. Despite Iran’s vows to send Gaza “all the weapons it needs to annihilate Israel,” Erdogan has consistently scored Israel for not lifting the blockade.

Nevertheless, overland crossings between Israel and Gaza have in fact been open daily for years, until recently — and even throughout the war, the Erez Crossing was operating for passage of humanitarian supplies, international aid workers, medical patients and journalists.

While advocating for “an opening of Gaza so that they do not feel walled off,” the president offered no answers for the millions of Israelis who will be forced to race for bomb shelters at the whims of Gaza terrorist rocket launchers.

“The U.S. goal right now would be to make sure that the cease fire holds, that Gaza can begin the process of rebuilding,” he said – appearing to patently ignore the flat refusal by Hamas to extend the cease fire past Friday.

Israelis, he added, need to “feel confident that they’re not going to have a repeat of the kind of rocket launchers that we’ve seen over the last several weeks.”

But this Tuesday a 10-minute barrage that went on up to the last second before the start of the current cease fire, a 26-missile attack was fired at more than two dozen towns and cities in southern and central Israel. Neighborhoods were hit in Jerusalem, Gush Etzion, Ashdod, Ashkelon, the Gaza Belt, Kiryat Gat, Be’er Sheva and Gush Dan, among others. Even an Arab village near Bethlehem was hit. So how are Israelis supposed to “feel confident” with that display from Gaza? Obama didn’t say.

Hana Levi Julian

Missile Fire Strikes Golan Heights

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Hamas terrorists fired a fresh barrage of missiles late Monday afternoon while an attack from Syria hit the Golan Heights.

The attacks began with a barrage fired at metropolitan Tel Aviv in the central Dan region, followed five minutes later by another at metro Be’er Sheva in the Negev. Barely a minute later, missile fire from Syria was aimed at the Ramat HaGolan.

Hundreds of thousands of residents went racing for shelter in the suburbs of Ramat Gan, Bnei Brak, Givat Shmuel, Petach Tikvah, Givatayim, and as far north as the city of Herzliya.

At least four missiles landed in open areas in the Gush Dan region, where the ‘city that never sleeps’ is located – but no specific location has yet been released.

One of the missiles was intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, indicating it was headed directly for a populated area.

Barely five minutes later, Arab, Druze and Jewish residents of Israel’s Negev region were running for shelter.

The sound of the Color Red incoming rocket alert siren sent Druze residents of the village of Majdal Shams racing for cover, while their neighbors just a few kilometers down the road did the same in Jewish communities around the Golan Heights.

At least one rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system over Be’er Sheva, and two others exploded in open areas on the outside of the city.

In the Golan Heights, at least one missile exploded in an open area near a kibbutz. No one was physically injured, but a fire broke out in the field.

Hamas has claimed responsibility for the attacks in the metro Tel Aviv area, but at present it appears the missile fire aimed at the Golan Heights emanated from across the northern border in Syria. As with the missile fire originating from Lebanon, the attack raises the spectre of an additional front in the current conflict.

Hana Levi Julian

Missile Fire Heats Up, IDF Warns Gazans to Move

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Hamas terrorists launched a blanket of missile fire at central and southern Israel Thursday evening in an effort to penetrate the protective shield provided by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.

The IDF meantime warned Gaza residents living near the border that it was in their best interest to evacuate the area. Operation Protective Edge is about to heat up.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spent the day on the phone with world leaders, warning that this time Israel would not end its operation until Hamas stops firing rockets at Israeli civilians. The prime minister said at a security cabinet meeting Thursday afternoon that Israel would ramp up Operation Protective Shield by nightfall.

IDF Southern Commander Sami Turgeman told journalists at a news conference Thursday the IDF would “intensify the action.” The enemy has more rockets and more of them, Turgeman explained. “More of the terrorist structure will be hit. We are preparing all the capabilities, and will utilize them as they are needed….The results Hamas finds when it comes out of hiding will surprise it.”

Meanwhile, barrages of domestic produced M75s and Syrian-made M302s were fired at the metro Jerusalem area. One landing near a Bedouin community on the outskirts of the northern Jerusalem suburb of Ma’ale Adumim.

Another barrage was aimed at the Dan region, including the cities of Bat Yam, Holon and Rishon LeZion. The Iron Dome system intercepted at least one missile fired in that direction.

Color Red rocket alert sirens wailed through the southern Hebron Hills — including the communities of Kiryat Arba, Pnei Hever, Carmel, Maon, Avigail, Susya, Yatir, Otniel, Shani, and Machane Yatir.

Missiles went flying towards the Negev cities of Be’er Sheva, Mitzpe Ramon, Dimona, Yerucham and for the first time, Arad residents headed to the shelters as well.

The Iron Dome anti-missile system activated to intercept at least one missile heading for Dimona, sources said.

The Hamas terrorist organization claimed in a statement that it had fired 10 new Iranian-made Sajl missiles in Thursday’s attacks on Israel.

The Color Red rocket alert siren activated as far east as the Ein Bokek and Tamar Regional Council district, which includes the hotel strip at the southern end of the Dead Sea, several moshavim and kibbutzim near the Jordanian border, Masada, and Kibbutz Ein Gedi.

One missile struck a home in Be’er Sheva, but the residents were safely waiting out the attack in their fortified shelter within the house and were not harmed. Another missile landed near a sports center in the city; several people were injured in that attack, according to a report broadcast on Channel 2.

A house was also hit in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council district. In Sderot, one rocket landed between two parked cars. Another struck a home in the city, which is located barely a mile from the Gaza border.

Nine rockets were fired simultaneously at targets in the Eshkol Regional Council district, close to the southern border. No one was injured in that attack.

Altogether, more than 20 missiles were fired simultaneously in the evening barrage at targets around the country.

In a separate attack, a group of 10 cows were killed and many others were hurt after a missile struck a cowshed in a moshav near Ashdod.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Airforce Takes Out another Gaza Motorcycle Terrorist

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

A terrorist from the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) was critically wounded Sunday morning in an Israeli Air-force attack in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza Strip, while riding his motorcycle, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s office.

The assassination attempt was executed in cooperation with the Shabac-GSS. Palestinian sources report a second injury as a result of the same attack.

According to the IDF, the attack’s target, Abdullah Harti, 29, had taken part in shooting rockets into Israel and in planning additional high-trajectory rocket attacks.

“The IDF is seriously concerned about every shooting attempt into the State of Israel and will continue to act with force against any terror attempt. The IDF is laid out and prepared to defend the citizens of the State of Israel,” the IDF Spokesperson stated.

Harti, a resident of the Nuseirat Refugee Camp, had been involved in recent years in planning and executing different kinds of attacks against Israel in the Gaza Strip and along the Sinai border. Among other acts of terrorism, Harti has been collaborating with the Global Jihad Ansar Beit al-Maqdisi group in the northern Sinai, an attack on Rt. 12 in August 2011, and several rocket volleys against Eilat last January.

Yori Yanover

Things Haredim Do

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

A volunteer at the Tachlit center are busy dividing hordes of food into boxes, to be distributed to needy families before Shabbat and before the coming Jewish new year in Jerusalem.

Tomchei Shabbat (supporters of Shabbat) organizations like Tachlit flourish throughout the Haredi communities, each with its unique, local flavor, but all of them with one, central goal: feed the needy.

Most of them also deliver the food boxes quietly, so as not to shame the recipient. In many places there’s also a feedback system in place, allowing recipients to indicate which goods they like and which they’d rather not receive. It prevents waste, and also makes the proces look more like shopping than like charity.

Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/things-haredim-do/2013/08/23/

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