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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘ir david’

Why I Got Excited by a Jerusalem Manhole Cover

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

I had such a great Pesach! My family was in from the States, and for a brief time, and once again, we felt like a family (and then of course there was the ritual crying when everybody left.) My awesome Jerusalem apartment (rented) allows for everybody to crash while there are here, and thereby we fulfill the promise of Jerusalem being blessed with her children within her – Berach Banayich BeKirbech (Psalms 147;13)

While they were here, we got to act like tourists, that is, we got to see the amazing things that exist right under our noses. So we walked from the Mount of Olives (where I live) to Ir David (City of David Archaeological Park in Silwan, 15 minutes away) and had a tour there.

Here is the image that I wanted to share with you from that trip:

Ancient Manhole

No, this is not an alien face staring at you. If you look closely you will make out the outline of what is, amazingly, an ancient manhole cover from the Herodian period (Second Temple hayday) in Jerusalem. This actually is the face of a complex drainage system which ran below the city street and it caught rainwater and kept the street from puddling up. It is indented, concave, bowl shaped – it draws they water to itself and whisks it safely away.

You have to admit it, drainage is cool anywhere. But 2,000 year-old classy Jewish capital drainage makes me want to fall on my face and kiss the stones. My mothers and fathers walked here as they headed up and up from the City of David to the amazing Temple above. Here is what their ascent looked like – dunk at the pool at the bottom and just walk “Yashar Yasher” up the stairs:

City of David

Later that same day, I had yet another moving moment when I walked through the bustling river of people at the outdoor Mamilla shopping mall (avenue? promenade?)

Mamila

And in this modern marvel of shopping and lots-of-eating, where only a few years ago it was no-man’s land filled with dust and rocks, I saw this:

Modern Manhole

You guessed it; modern Jerusalem drainage.

And here’s what I thought: Ancient Jerusalem was destroyed by Rome, we were dispersed around the world, and now we are returning, reclaiming, and rebuilding. We have much more to do, but sometimes its nice to have a reminder from the past that our direction is right and that we are, indeed, ascending. And there is nothing like coming full circle on a full stomach!

Here are some French kids eating Matzah on their Eight Day Pesach – Yom Tov Sheini:

Kids Eating Matzah at Mamilla Mall

Paris is beautiful, but now Jerusalem is home again…

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Historic Jerusalem Home Firebombed (Video)

Monday, December 24th, 2012

A historic Jewish building in Jerusalem’s ancient City of David was firebombed by local Arabs , with supporters recording and posting the videotape on YouTube.

Arabs living in Shiloach/Silwan, just outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City and just a few hundred feet from the Kotel Plaza accosted the historic Meyhuchas House, uploading the video to YouTube courtesy of the “Bustan Cultural Center”.

The white stone house was built by Rabbi Rachamim Natan Meyuchas, a sephardic Jew who settled his family outside the Old City in the City of David in the late 1800s following at least 200 years of his family’s residence inside the Old City.  Soon after Rabbi Rachamim bought the property, Jews of Yemenite origin began arriving in the area and founded Kfar Shiloach.  By 1920, approximately 200 Jewish families lived in the area.  However, local Arab riots from 1936-1939 forced Jews to abandon their homes.

Arabs continued to maintain control in the area until recent years, when Jewish families began re-establishing a connection to the area, living in homes purchased by Jewish philanthropists from the Arabs who had possessed them.  Jewish residents are forced to maintain a high level of security in the area, and exercise caution when travelling on the local roads, due to concerns of rock and Molotov cocktail attacks.

The attack was conducted using crude firebombs and fireworks, which Arabs in eastern Jerusalem frequently fashion into ignited projectile weapons.

A letter published by Arutz Sheva and written by Rabbi Rachamim states: “We are establishing our home from now on in the village of Shiloah near the city. There we will live and there we will have light and breathe fresh air. We will no longer drink murky well water, and we will no longer eat purchased vegetables, but rather our water will be living water from the spring, and with our own hands we will sow vegetables and will partake of them.”

Artifact Found in Time for Shavuot Proves Bethlehem Existed During First Temple

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

In a press release issued on Wednesday, the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Ir David Foundation announced that a clay seal was discovered bearing the name of the city of Bethlehem, evidence that the city existed during the period of the First Temple in Jerusalem.  The find fortuitously coincides with the upcoming holiday of Shavuot, during which time Jews from around the world focus on the story of the biblical figure Ruth, set in the city of Bethlehem.

The 1.5cm seal – called a bulla – was discovered during sifting of soil removed from the archeological excavations the Israel Antiquities Authority is carrying out in the City of David, just outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.  The sifting is underwritten by the Ir David Foundation, which treated The Jewish Press to a private tour.

The clay bulla was meant to seal a document or object, used as a way of showing that the private item had not been tampered with.

The new bulla bears the words:   בשבעת   Bishv’at    בת לים    Bat Lechem [למל[ך   [Lemel]ekh

Eli Shukron, director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said “it seems that in the seventh year of the reign of a king (either Hezekiah, Manasseh or Josiah), a shipment was dispatched from Bethlehem to the king in Jerusalem.”

“The bulla we found belongs to the group of “fiscal” bullae – administrative bullae used to seal tax shipments remitted to the taxation system of the Kingdom of Judah in the late eighth and seventh centuries BCE,” Shukron said.  “The tax could have been paid in the form of silver or agricultural produce such as wine or wheat”.

According to Shukron, this is the first time the name Bethlehem has appeared in an inscription from the First Temple period, proving that Bethlehem was a city in the Kingdom of Judah, and possibly in earlier periods.”

The first mention of Bethlehem in the Bible occurs in regard to the matriarch Rachel, wife of Jacob, sister of Leah, and mother of Joseph, who died while giving birth to Benjamin “in Ephrat, which is Bethlehem, and was buried there (Genesis 35:19; 48:7).

In later generations, when the region was settled by the descendants of Jacob and Leah’s son Judah, a man named Boaz made Ruth, a Moabite convert and daughter-in-law of Naomi, his wife (Book of Ruth).  The couple’s great-grandson, David, became the most celebrated king in Jewish history, and made his capital in Jerusalem, on the site of the modern day “Ir David” – City of David.

NEW Jewish Press Film: Uncover the Secrets of the Ancient City of David

Monday, May 21st, 2012

The JewishPress.com staff went under the City of David with Doron Spielman of the City of David Museum – to areas not open to the general public. We were astounded by what we saw and learned. Join us on this 45 minute exploration of the hidden secrets under the City of David, the Old City, and the Kotel itself.

What is known today as “the Old City of Jerusalem” actually dates from a much later time than the settlement in the “City of David”.

In this new JewishPress.com film, the ruins of the original city of Jerusalem – now referred to as “the City of David” – is explored in a fascinating trip into new areas of excavation with Doron Spielman and the Jewish Press’s own Yishai Fleisher.

Doron Spielman (the Director of International Development for the Ir David, City of David, Foundation) is a passionate and engaging teacher on the subject of ancient Jerusalem.

Follow along with Doron and Yishai as they take us on a journey back in time and put us in touch with the experiences, both painful and joyous, of the ancient Jewish people in their beloved holy city of Jerusalem.  After watching the film, you will want to learn more!  You can visit the website of the City of David here.  Better yet, visit the ancient walls yourself and feel the centuries melt away in front of your eyes.

“Pure for God” Seal Found in Temple Mount Excavation

Monday, December 26th, 2011

A rare seal certifying the ritual purity of an item to be used in the Second Temple in Jerusalem was discovered by the Israel Antiquities Authority as part of excavations under the Robinson’s Arch right next to the Temple Mount.

The find of the Aramaic inscription, “Pure for God”, occurred during an extensive sifting of soil removed from layers which were once part of a paved Herodian street serving as a main Jerusalem thoroughfare.  The soil dates to the first century CE (late Second Temple period), just prior to – or maybe even during – the Maccabean rebellion celebrated during the holiday of Hanukkah.

The item is stamped with an Aramaic inscription consisting of two lines – in the upper line “דכא” (pure) and below it “ליה” (to God) – and is probably the kind of seal referred to in the Mishnah as a “seal (Tractate Shekalim 5:1-5), according to excavation directors and archaeologists Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority and Professor Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that such an object or anything similar to it was discovered in an archaeological excavation and it constitutes direct archaeological evidence of the activity on the Temple Mount and the workings of the Temple during the Second Temple period”, Shukron and Reich said.

Jerusalem District Archaeologist Dr. Yuval Baruch drew a connection between the find and Hanukkah. “It is written in the Gemara (Talmud Bavli, Tractate Shabbat 2:21) that the only cruse of oil that was discovered in the Temple after the victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks, “lay with the seal of the High Priest” – that is, the seal indicated that the oil is pure and can be used in the Temple. Remember, this cruse of oil was the basis for the miracle of Hanukkah that managed to keep the menorah lit for eight days”, Baruch noted.

Other items discovered in the excavation included oil lamps, ceramic cooking pots and Hasmonean coins dating to kings Alexander Jannaeus and John Hyrcanus.

The findings were presented Sunday at a press conference attended by Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat and Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar at Ir David (the City of David).

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/pure-for-g-d-seal-found-in-temple-mount-excavation/2011/12/26/

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