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May 3, 2016 / 25 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘church’

Byzantine-Era Lamb Sculpture Discovered at Caesarea Port

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

Archaeologists discovered a Byzantine-era marble sculpture of a lamb Thursday morning in excavations at Caesarea port in the Caesarea National Park,

Experts suggested that the lamb served as part of the decoration in the 6th-7th century CE church that was discovered adjacent to the ancient port.

 

Jewish Press News Briefs

Vatican Says ‘Jews Don’t Need Conversion’

Friday, December 11th, 2015

Jews do not need to be converted, and the Catholic Church “does not question the continued love of God for the chosen people of Israel,” the Vatican said Thursday.

The news came in a 10,000-word document released by the Holy See that says Jews do not need to be converted. Moreover, it says, the only way for Catholics to understand their own faith is to view Jesus within the Jewish context of his time.

Entitled “The Gifts and Calling of God are Irrevocable,” the document calls on Jews and Christians to work together to make the world a better place.

“While affirming salvation through an explicit or even implicit faith in Christ, the Church does not question the continued love of God for the chosen people of Israel,” the document states.

“That the Jews are participants in God’s salvation is theologically unquestionable, but how that can be possible without confessing Christ explicitly, is and remains an unfathomable divine mystery.”

The Church recommended that Jews and Catholics jointly combat all forms of anti-Semitism, and condemned the Nazi slaughter of Jews in World War II.

“History teaches us where even the slightest perceptible forms of anti-Semitism can lead: the human tragedy of the Shoah (using the Hebrew term for the Holocaust) in which two-thirds of European Jewry were annihilated.”

Drafted by the Vatican Commission for Religious Relations With Jews, the document also stated clearly that Catholics must refrain from active attempts to convert Jews.

“The Catholic Church neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews,” it says. Judaism “is not to be considered simply as another religion; the Jews are instead our elder brothers.”

The document cited the release 50 years ago of the Nostra Aetate — ‘In Our Times’ — that repudiated Jewish guilt in Jesus’ death.

“Judaism is not to be considered simply as another religion; the Jews are instead our ‘elder brothers’ (Saint Pope John Paul II), our ‘fathers in faith’ (Benedict XVI),” the document states.

“Jesus was a Jew, was at home in the Jewish tradition of his time, and was decisively shaped by this religious milieu (cf. ‘Ecclesia in Medio Oriente,’ 20). His first disciples gathered around him had the same heritage and were defined by the same Jewish tradition in their everyday life.”

Hana Levi Julian

Rare 1,500-year-old Mosaic Featured on Sukkot at Kiryat Gat Industrial Park

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

A rare 1,500-year-old mosaic discovered two years ago during an archaeological excavation in the Kiryat Gat Industrial Park is being revealed to the public for the first time during the Sukkot holiday.

The mosaic, which depicts a map with streets and buildings, was exposed during a dig conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority together with school children and employees from the industrial park.

IAA workers conserving the mosaic.

“The appearance of buildings on mosaic floors is a rare phenomenon in Israel,” commented IAA archaeologists Sa’ar Ganor and Dr. Rina Avner. ““The buildings are arranged along a main colonnaded street of a city, in a sort of ancient map. A Greek inscription preserved alongside one of the buildings exposed in the mosaic indicates that the place which is depicted is the settlement Chortaso, in Egypt.

“According to Christian tradition, the prophet Habakkuk was buried in Chortaso. The appearance of this Egyptian city on the floor of the public building in Kiryat Gat might allude to the origin of the church’s congregation”.

Great artistry and fine detail was used to conserve the mosaic.

“The mosaic pavement was part of the floor of a church that did not survive, the IAA explained. Two sections of the mosaic were preserved; animals such as a rooster, deer and birds, and a goblet with red fruits are portrayed on one part of the pavement.

Buildings were among the images depicted in the excavated mosaic conserved in the Kiryat Gat Industrial Park.

Nile River landscape in Egypt consisting of a boat with a rolled-up sail, streets and buildings is depicted on the second carpet. The buildings are portrayed in detail and in three dimensions, with two and three stories, balconies and galleries, roofing, roof tiles and windows.

The artist utilized ‘tesserae’ of 17 different colors in preparing the mosaic,” noted Ganor. “The investment in the raw materials and their quality are the best ever discovered in Israel.”

For the first time, the “Factories from Within” Festival will be held in the Kiryat Gat Industrial Park during Chol Hamoed Sukkot. The entire industrial park will become an event-filled arena on October 1, including one-time performances in unconventional locations with rare visits inside of some of the best-known factories in Israel.

Hana Levi Julian

Police Arrest Suspects in Church of Bread and Fish Arson

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

(JNi.media) Police arrested several suspects on Saturday night as part of an investigation of last month’s arson at the Bread and Fish Church north-west of the Sea of ​​Galilee.

The arrests followed an intense, undercover investigation conducted by Internal Security (Shin Bet) and the special Nationalistic Crime unit of the Judea and Samaria police. The suspects were interrogated by the Shin Bet, and will be arraigned Sunday in Nazareth Magistrate Court. The police will request the suspects’ remand. A gag order has been imposed on the investigation and the identities of the suspects.

The Shin Bet and the police issued an edict preventing the suspects from meeting with a lawyer for five days. Attorneys Aaron Rosa and Adi Keidar from the Honenu legal aid organization have filed urgent appeals in both Magistrates and District courts in Jerusalem against the order.

According to the appeals, “the exceptional edict permitting the authorities to prevent a suspect from meeting a lawyer is reserved only for serious security offenses, and not property offenses such as in this case.”

The attorneys also appealed the arrest itself.

On June 16, a fire broke out in the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish, a Roman Catholic church located at Tabgha, on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee. A wall near the entrance to the church was spray-scribbled with a verse from Jewish prayer: “And the idols shall be severed.”

A 19-year-old tourist and a 79-year-old employee suffered light injuries from smoke inhalation. A church guest room and a storage room were seriously damaged in the fire. A prayer room was slightly damaged. Firefighters succeeded in stopping the fire from spreading into the ancient chapel, which contains fifth-century mosaics.

JNi.Media

US Mennonite Church Group Postpones BDS Vote

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

A third U.S. church group that was set to vote this week on a motion to divest from companies doing business with Israel has decided to table the resolution for two years.

The Mennonite Church USA had planned to vote on whether to sell off stock in firms “known to be profiting from the ‘Occupation’ and from ‘destruction of life and property’ in Judea and Samaria.

At its national meeting Wednesday in Kansas City, Missouri, however, delegates voted 418-336, with 28 abstentions, to table the resolution until the next assembly convenes – two years from now, according to a church spokesperson.

The vote to divest would have been the third this week by a U.S. church group; two others (the Episcopal Church and the Cleveland synod of the United Church of Christ, both held in Salt Lake City) passed a motion to support the BDS (boycott, divest and sanctions) campaign against the State of Israel.

The churches voted to sever ties with companies that do business with firms that have any connection with Judea and Samaria, many of which employ Arabs from the Palestinian Authority who would lose their jobs as a result.

Hana Levi Julian

2 Days After Pope’s Visit, Bethlehem Church Fire Not Arson?

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Just two days after Pope Francis visited the Church of the Nativity in Palestinian Authority-controlled Bethlehem, there was a fire. Coincidence?

The church — important to Roman Catholics around the world — is built over the grotto believed to be the birthplace of the founder of Christianity, Jesus. It is considered one of the holiest sites in the faith.

A cleric at the church, Father Ibrahim Faltas, denied the fire had been set intentionally and claimed a candle tipped over near a curtain, setting it aflame.

The once-mostly Christian town of Bethlehem — controlled today by the Palestinian Authority — is now populated by a Muslim majority. Christian residents have been systematically attacked by local Muslims and quietly have fled, until now only a small fraction remain. The Pope, however, made no reference to the vicious campaign of harassment carried out against his people during his visit to the region, focusing instead of Arab-Israeli relations.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Major 1,500-Year-Old Church and Mosaic Discovered

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Archaeologists digging where a new housing development is to be built have uncovered a 1,500-year-old church and magnificent mosaic with five inscriptions at Moshav Aluma, located between Be’er Sheva and Rehovot.

“An impressive basilica building was discovered at the site, 22 meters long and 12 meters wide,” said Dr. Daniel Varga, who directied the excavations on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

“The building consists of a central hall with two side aisles divided by marble pillars. At the front of the building is a wide open courtyard (atrium) paved with a white mosaic floor, and with a cistern,” he explained. “Leading off the courtyard is a rectangular transverse hall (narthex) with a fine mosaic floor decorated with colored geometric designs; at its center, opposite the entrance to the main hall, is a twelve-row dedicatory inscription in Greek containing the names Mary and Jesus, and the name of the person who funded the mosaic’s construction.”

The main hall (the nave) has a colored mosaic floor adorned with vine tendrils to form forty medallions. The medallions contain depictions of different animals, including a zebra, leopard, turtle, wild boar, various winged birds and botanical and geometric designs.

Three medallions contain dedicatory inscriptions in Greek commemorating senior church dignitaries, Demetrios and Herakles, who were heads of the local regional church.  On both sides of the central nave are two narrow halls, or side aisles, which also have colored mosaic floors depicting botanical and geometric designs, as well as Christian symbols.

A pottery workshop, mainly for the production of jars, was also uncovered during the excavations and yielded numerous finds, including: amphorae, cooking pots, kraters, bowls and different kinds of oil lamps. Glass vessels typical of the Byzantine period were also discovered at the site. The finds indicate a rich and flourishing local culture.

This church is part of a large and important Byzantine settlement that existed in the region. The settlement was located next to the main road running between Ashkelon on the sea coast to the west, and Beit Guvrin and Jerusalem to the east. Excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority along this road have revealed other communities from the same period, but no churches have been found in them.

The recently uncovered church may have served as a center for Christian worship for all the surrounding communities. Wine presses and pottery workshops found in the region attest to the economy of the local residents during the Byzantine period, who made ​​their living from the production and exportation of wine via the coast to the entire Mediterranean region.

The site will be open to the public Thursday and Friday, Later, it will be covered and preserves for future generations. The magnificent mosaic that has come to light will be conserved, removed from the site and displayed to the public at a museum or visitors’ center.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/major-1500-year-old-church-and-mosaic-discovered/2014/01/22/

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