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September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Galilee’

Alabama Prof. Uncovers 2,000-Year-Old Village in Northern Israel

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

A U.S.-led team of archaeologists has announced it has discovered the site of Shikhin in the Lower Galilee, which is mentioned even before the Second Temple by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus and which existed after the destruction of the Temple.

The Talmud mentions Shikhin as a village of potters near Tzippori, which was a Talmudic center after the destruction of the Second Temple.

Josephus wrote that Shikhin as one of the earliest Jewish settlements in the Galilee at the time of the Hasmonaean rule about 140-63 B.C..

Religion Prof. Riley Strange, of Alabama’s Samford University, led a team of David Fiensy of Kentucky Christian University and Mordechai Aviam, of the Kinneret Academic College, and students and researchers, many of whom worked for nearly two years at the site approximately five miles northwest of Nazareth.

They found an ancient synagogue, houses and massive evidence of pottery production in the ancient village of Shikhin, near the ancient Talmudic center of Tzippori.

“The site of the discovery has been abandoned, except for agriculture, ever since the mid-fourth century A.D.,” said Prof. Strange. “The buildings came down and people used its stones in other nearby buildings, then those buildings were destroyed and the stones were re-used again.”

Like Tziporri, where ongoing archaeological digs have come up with numerous discoveries, Shikhin flourished as a Jewish village while co-existing with Christian neighbors.

The archaeologists uncovered a large number of molds that are proof that the village potters produced various types of seven-branched oil lamps in addition to common pottery forms. One small fragment of an oil lamp is decorated with a Menorah and Lulav, the palm branch used on the holiday of Sukkot.

The discovery is considered highly significant and opens up a treasure chest that sheds more light on the rich culture of the period and of the economic and religious lives of Jews in an era when Christians began to be influential.

Power for Israel’s Message of Responsibility in Arab Village

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

In the spirit of their party slogan, “No privileges without duties,” on Tuesday morning the party Otzma L’Israel – Power for Israel – began their tour aka march of the village of Musmus, in the largely Arab Wadi Ara section of “green line” Israel. The marchers are demanding the enforcement of the law in all villages of Galilee and the Arab Triangle, Srugim reports.

The tour was accompanied by a heavy police entourage, which permitted only one bus full of activists to enter the village. The remaining activists have camped at the Megiddo junction and are being transported by police minibuses to the village.

Both party leaders, MKs Mordechai Ben Ari and Aryeh Eldad are leading the tour, walking the village streets with maps and the “No privileges without duties” banners.

MK Ben Ari told the accompanying press: “This has been our message throughout the campaign. It cannot be that entire cities and many villages, especially in the Negev and Galilee, life would go on as if they’re in a separate country. Anyone who wants privileges must pay municipal taxes, must obey the laws governing construction, and must be loyal to the State of Israel. Just as we have the Talya Sasson Outposts Law controlling settlements in Judea and Samaria, so we must have reporting of illegal construction in the Negev and Galilee.”

The Musmus village council announced that the police alone would bear responsibility for the consequences of the visit, no matter what those might be.

“Musmus will not behave in any lesser way than other Arab villages which kicked out the right-wing Zionist human garbage from their lands. There’s no Ahlan and no Sahlan (hello and welcome) for you, foreign, rootless orphans,” the announcement declared.

The Blessings of Rain

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

It starts to rain in Israel, if we are lucky, some time in late October or November. If we are less blessed, it will start in December. January sees rainfall, as does February. By March, we know we’re near the end and by April it’s over. May, June, July, August, September (and usually October) – no rain – often not a single time, once in a while there’ll be a short rain – sometimes not even that.

The winter in Israel is spent watching the level of the Sea of Galilee – as it rises, we know we’ll have water for the coming dry months. Early in the winter, meteorologists will predict a wet winter, a dry one, a warm one, a cold one. Sometimes, you don’t even hear their prediction. This has been a good year – so far…though  much is still needed to take us out of the perpetual drought we have been in for over a decade. In all of the years I have been in Israel, not once has the level of the Sea of Galilee reached over capacity. There are provisions for this happening – huge flood gates that can be opened, sending water down through the Jordan Valley and into the dying Dead Sea.

Last year was adequate – this year, we still wait to hear. The winter is probably about half-over but we think in terms of days. In the last few days, the Sea of Galilee has risen an amazing 22 centimeters – I don’t know if you can imagine what that means. Yesterday it rained; today it is raining. Tomorrow and the next day, they are predicting more rain and even snow in some areas.

People are complaining about floods and traffic and the cold and through it all, there is this amazing joy. People will say, “it’s miserable out there, thank God.” Each drop is a blessing, a gift. In Israel, from a young age, we teach our children two things about water – don’t waste it, and always carry it with you. My children go with bottles of water – the heat in the summer can be very dangerous and they need to carry water with them. They shut the water when they soap themselves up in the shower; they shut the water when they are brushing their teeth. You don’t waste water in Israel. If you peel potatoes into a pot of water so they don’t turn colors – you walk outside and pour the pot of water into the garden.

As we drove into Jerusalem today, the water was flowing over the hills, pouring down the rocks, forming a river on the side of the road. Lauren tried to get a picture but the camera focused on the drops on the window instead. “Open the window,” said Davidi.

Both my daughter-in-law Lauren and I thought that was a bad idea – she’d be soaked, as would the car! But a neighbor managed to capture the power of the water. This is today’s blessing from God to a land that He loves, and a land that loves Him.

Republican Congressman Skinny-Dipped in the Sea of Galilee

Monday, August 20th, 2012

A group of Republican lawmakers on a trip to Israel last year jumped into the Sea of Galilee for a late-night swim, during which one congressman swam naked.

The incident, which took place on August 18, 2011, was first reported on Sunday by Politico.

The late-night swim, which followed an evening of dinner and drinking in Tiberias, involved over 20 people, including families and staff members of the congressmen, according to Politico, citing unnamed sources.

Most swam in their clothes, or partially clothed, but Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) completely disrobed, according to the report.

The 36-year-old first-term Republican, in a statement to Politico, said: “A year ago, my wife, Brooke, and I joined colleagues for dinner at the Sea of Galilee in Israel. After dinner I followed some Members of Congress in a spontaneous and very brief dive into the sea and regrettably I jumped into the water without a swimsuit.

“It is my greatest honor to represent the people of Kansas in Congress and [for] any embarrassment I have caused for my colleagues and constituents, I apologize.”

In comments to the Kansas City Star, Yoder added that it was dark when the group went for the swim and he was only in the water for about 10 seconds.

The other congressmen who went into the lake, according to the unnamed GOP sources in the Politico article, were Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) and his daughter; Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and his wife; and Reps. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.).

Some of the congressmen said they entered the lake because of its religious significance; others said they were cooling off and that alcohol may have contributed to their decision to jump in.

The Sea of Galilee has religious significance in Christianity, as it is where Jesus is said to have walked on water.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the most senior GOP lawmaker on the Israel trip, did not take part in the late-night swim. According to Politico, Cantor censured the 30 lawmakers the morning after the incident, saying they were distracting from the mission of the trip. A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R – Ohio), told Politico that Cantor “handled the situation swiftly and appropriately.”

The FBI investigated whether any inappropriate behavior occurred, but no formal allegations of wrongdoing were leveled. Yoder’s chief of staff told Politico that “neither Congressman Yoder, nor his staff, have been interviewed by the FBI.”

Yoder is running unopposed for re-election in Kansas’ 3rd District.

JTA content was used in this report.

Exposed

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

A drought in Israel in 1985 caused the water level in the Sea of Galilee to fall lower than usual. On January 24, 1986, the remains of an ancient boat were discovered. Archaeologists carefully extracted the remains and preserved them in a museum at Nof Ginosar, near Tiberias. A cooking pot and a lamp were also found with the boat.

The boat is just over 27 feet long by 8 feet wide. Radio carbon dating has put its age at 2000 years, which means that it was sailing on the Sea of Galilee at about the time of the Julius Caesar assassination.

Boat
This model from the museum at Nof Ginosar shows what the boat would have looked like in its heyday.

Sunbathing by the Sea of Galilee

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

It’s summertime and anyone who stays by his desk typing urgently while the gorgeous Kineret is just sitting there, blue and warm and sweet and quiet, is plain nuts.

Everybody else seems to be having the time of their lives.

If you’re on your laptop or iPad at this moment, worshipping the big fireball in the heavens – think about us, the little people who write this stuff.

Happy fourth of July, in case you’re connected in any way to that day in Philadelphia back in 1776.

Stunning Synagogue Discovered in Huqoq

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

A monumental synagogue building dating to the Late Roman period (ca. 4th-5th centuries C.E.) has been uncovered in archaeological excavations at the ancient Jewish village of Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee.

Revealed in the excavations are a stunning mosaic floor decorating the interior of the building.  Made of small, high-quality colored stone cubes, the mosaic depicts a scene of the biblical judge/warrior Samson tying fiery torches between the tails of foxes, as described in the book of Judges 15.  In another section of the mosaic, two female faces border a circular medallion, with a Hebrew inscription praising those who perform Torah commandments.

 The excavations are being conducted by Jodi Magness of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and David Amit and Shua Kisilevitz of the Israel Antiquities Authority, and sponsored by UNC, Brigham Young University in Utah, Trinity University in Texas, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Toronto in Canada. Students and staff from UNC and the consortium schools are also participating in the dig.

“This discovery is significant because only a small number of ancient (Late Roman) synagogue buildings are decorated with mosaics showing biblical scenes, and only two others have scenes with Samson (one is at another site just a couple of miles from Huqoq),” said Magness, the Kenan Distinguished Professor in the department of religious studies in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences in a press release issued by the Israel Antiquities Authority. “Our mosaics are also important because of their high artistic quality and the tiny size of the mosaic cubes. This, together with the monumental size of the stones used to construct the synagogue’s walls, suggest a high level of prosperity in this village, as the building clearly was very costly.”

Huqoq is located just  west of Capernaum and Migdal.  It was discovered in 2011 by Magness.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/stunning-synagogue-discovered-in-huqoq/2012/07/02/

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