Shortly after it had become clear that Republican nominee Donald Trump had won the US presidential election Wednesday morning, Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) congratulated the winner, noting that he is certain “the special connection between the United States and Israel will be preserved and even enhanced.”
Bennett added that the Republican’s victory also means “the victory of the country’s interest over the interests of the elites which are crumbling before our eyes.”
According to Bennett, “Trump’s victory offers Israel a tremendous opportunity to announce that it changes its mind regarding establishing a State of Palestine in the heart of our country.”
“The era of the Palestinian State is over,” Bennett said.
MK Yehuda Glick (Likud) posted on his Facebook page Wednesday morning that “it appears the American people have rejected hypocrisy and political correctness and preferred straight forwardness instead.”
He then sent Trump the three-verse Priestly Blessing from Jerusalem, and wished him to be able “to ascend to the Temple Mount and lead from that source of the world’s energy a dialogue of reconciliation and global peace.”
Glick also invited Trump to come and visit Judea and Samaria and “see with his own eyes that the settlement enterprise is the real avenue for peace.”
A rare and important find was exposed in an enforcement operation initiated by the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery: a document written on papyrus and dating to the time of the First Temple (seventh century BCE) in which the name of the city of Jerusalem is clearly indicated. This is the earliest extra-biblical source to mention Jerusalem in Hebrew writing.
The document, which was illicitly plundered from one of the Judaean Desert caves by a band of antiquities robbers and was seized in a complex operation by the IAA’s agents, was presented at a press conference Wednesday.
Two lines of ancient Hebrew script were preserved on the document that is made of papyrus (paper produced from the pith of the papyrus plant [Cyperus papyrus]). A paleographic examination of the letters and a C14 analysis determined that the artifact should be dated to the seventh century BCE – to the end of the First Temple period. Most of the letters are clearly legible, and the proposed reading of the text appears as follows:
This is a rare and original shipping document from the time of the First Temple, indicating the payment of taxes or transfer of goods to storehouses in Jerusalem, the capital city of the kingdom at this time. The document specifies the status of the sender of the shipment (the king’s maidservant), the name of the settlement from which the shipment was dispatched (Naʽarat), the contents of the vessels (wine), their number or amount (jars) and their destination (Jerusalem). Naʽartah, which is mentioned in the text, is the same Naʽarat that is referred to in the description of the border between Ephraim and Benjamin in Joshua 16:7: “And it went down from Janohah to Ataroth, and to Naʽarat, and came to Jericho, and went out at Jordan.”
The document is preserved in the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Dead Sea Scrolls laboratories.
According to Dr. Eitan Klein, deputy director of the IAA’s Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery, “the document represents extremely rare evidence of the existence of an organized administration in the Kingdom of Judah. It underscores the centrality of Jerusalem as the economic capital of the kingdom in the second half of the seventh century BCE. According to the Bible, the kings Menashe, Amon, or Josiah ruled in Jerusalem at this time; however, it is not possible to know for certain which of the kings of Jerusalem was the recipient of the shipment of wine”.
Israel Prize laureate and biblical scholar Prof. (Emeritus) Shmuel Ahituv attests to the scientific importance of the document, saying, “It’s not just that this papyrus is the earliest extra-biblical source to mention Jerusalem in Hebrew writing; it is the fact that to date no other documents written on papyrus dating to the First Temple period have been discovered in Israel, except one from Wadi Murabbaʽat. Also outstanding in the document is the unusual status of a woman in the administration of the Kingdom of Judah in the seventh century BCE.”
With the help of volunteers during the past year the Israel Antiquities Authority has been conducting an archaeological excavation in search of ancient artifacts in the Cave of the Skulls in the Judaean Desert.
According to Israel Hasson, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “the discovery of the papyrus shows that there are other artifacts of tremendous importance to our heritage that are waiting to be found in the Judaean Desert caves. The world’s heritage assets are being plundered on a daily basis by antiquities robbers solely for greed. The state has to mobilize and allocate the necessary resources in order to embark upon a historic operation together with the public, and carry out systematic excavations in all of the Judaean Desert caves.”
Amir Ganor, director of the IAA’s Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery explained that “organic material, such as documents, particularly delicate paper like papyrus, perish over time due to their sensitivity to moisture. The dry climate of the desert is exceptional in that it facilitates the preservation of documents that provide invaluable information regarding the way of life in antiquity and the early development of religions. The rarity of the finds and their importance are the reasons why the antiquities robbers risk their lives coming to dig in the caves in the desert cliffs. I am glad that we were fortunate to have a role in saving the papyrus, which is an important and special find that bears witness to the historical relationship between the Land of Israel and Jerusalem, and the Jewish people.”
According to Pnina Shor, curator and director of the Dead Sea Scrolls project at the IAA, “this unique papyrus joins the thousands of scroll fragments for which the Israel Antiquities Authority established dedicated conservation and photographic laboratories where the scrolls are treated using highly sophisticated means and the most advanced documentation and photographic technology available today. With a state-of-the-art camera that was developed based on technology used by NASA which records the Dead Sea Scrolls at a level that replicates the original, it is even possible to see the texture of the plant, skin or parchment on which the ancient documents were written.”
Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev said in a statement: “The discovery of the papyrus on which the name of our capital Jerusalem is written is further tangible evidence that Jerusalem was and will remain the eternal capital of the Jewish people. It is our duty to take care of the plundering of antiquities that occurs in the Judean Desert, and no less important than this is exposing the deceit of false propaganda as is once again happening today in UNESCO. The Temple Mount, the very heart of Jerusalem and Israel, will remain the holiest place for the Jewish people, even if UNESCO ratifies the false and unfortunate decision another ten times.”
New York Democratic Senator and one of Israel’s greatest friends on the Hill Chuck Schumer says he is getting ready to assume the mantle of Senate majority leader Come January 2017, because, he told Politico Thursday night, “We’re going to have a Democratic generation. [President Obama] helped create it. But it’s just where America’s moving demographically, ideologically and in every way. We’ll have a mandate to get something done.”
“The American people are yearning for action and I do believe that our Republican colleagues, if they lose this election by quite a bit and I think they will … our mainstream Republicans are going to say they cannot let the tea party run the show,” Schumer said.
Several Democrats shared similar predictions with Politico. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, slated to chair the Finance Committee should the Democrats win the Senate, said, “In the first six months of 2017, we are really going to deliver on some key issues that are going to show what governing is all about. It would be legislative malpractice to not have a major roads and bridges and ports and infrastructure effort early in 2017.”
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) wants Schumer to change the restrictive filibuster rules that cost her a signature energy bill back in 2014. “We need to change the rules of the Senate to keep one person from dragging things out and to keep having every vote require 60,” she said.
The November 8 election will see 34 of the 100 Senate seats up for a vote, with Democrats running 10 seats while Republicans have 24 seats in the running. However, only 9 Democratic seats are in contention, having already secured California (both candidate are Democrats). The Republicans took control of the Senate in 2014 and have a majority of 54-46 seats.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Schumer have had to deal with getting Florida Rep. Alan Grayson to drop out of the senate race, following allegations by his ex-wife Lolita Grayson that she had called the police on her husband multiple times for domestic abuse over a 20-year period. Grayson denied the accusations.
The Hebrew word for period of time or era is תְּקוּפָה (listen and repeat). I’ve known this for a long time, but not its full meaning – until I just researched it to present it to you.
The word appears in the Bible, but its meaning has become less and less specific over the generations. In Biblical Hebrew, תקופה refers to a particular point in time that marks the culmination of a cycle. In Mishnaic Hebrew, it refers to a period of time that repeats itself. And in Modern Hebrew, it refers to any period of time. (ויקימילון)
I fully grasped the word’s meaning when I saw its root – ק.ו.פ (k.w.p), the same root as the word for to encompass – לְהָקִיף (listen and repeat). The root ק.ו.פ is about coming full-circle. Thus a תקופה, even in Modern Hebrew, is a period of time – with a beginning and an end.
An example: מִלְחֶמֶת הָעוֹלָם הַשְּׁנִיָּה הָיְתָה תְּקוּפָה קָשָׁה לָאֱנוֹשׁוּת.
World War II was a difficult period of time for humanity. (listen)
And in lighter context: הֵם בָּאוּ לְבַקֵּר לִתְקוּפָה קְצָרָה.