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October 26, 2016 / 24 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem’

New UNESCO World Heritage Vote on Jerusalem Set for Wednesday

Monday, October 24th, 2016

The United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization is set to vote in Paris on another resolution on Wednesday on the issue of Jerusalem, this time on the “Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls.”

The resolution, sponsored by Kuwait, Lebanon and Tunisia, is being reviewed by the agency’s 21-member World Heritage Committee and this time doesn’t contain any reference whatsoever to Christianity and the “Jewish people” at all.

Member states who are eligible to vote on Wednesday include: Azerbaijan, Angola, Burkina Zimbabwe, Croatia, Cuba, Faso, Finland, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, and Vietnam.

Both Mexico and Brazil, who voted in favor of the previous resolution, entitled “Occupied Palestine,” subsequently expressed regret and vowed to abstain in future votes. Italy, which abstained, said it would oppose future resolutions on such issues. Moreover, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi told Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call that he would try to convince his European colleagues to do the same, according to Netanyahu’s office.

All three responses were welcomed by Israel – but not one of the three is a member of the World Heritage Committee, and therefore none of them can cast a ballot in Wednesday’s vote.

Israeli envoy to UNESCO Carmel Shama Hacohen has been directed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also acting Foreign Minister, to try to convince those member states who abstained during the previous vote to this time vote against the resolution.

Hana Levi Julian

Discovery: ‘Jerusalem’ on Hebrew Papyrus

Friday, October 21st, 2016

A unique, 2,700-year-old Papyrus which mentions the Hebrew word “Yerushalma” (possibly meaning “to Jerusalem”) will be revealed next week at a conference on Innovations in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and Its Environs, at the Rabin Jewish Studies Building on the Mount Scopus Campus of the Hebrew University, Makor Rishon reported. Researchers say the papyrus may be the earliest evidence in Hebrew of the connection between the city of Jerusalem and the period of the Kings of Israel.

The papyrus is a document written on paper made from the pith of the papyrus plant, cyperus papyrus. Such documents were written on sheets of papyrus, joined together side by side and rolled up into a scroll, in an early form of a book. In a dry climate, like that of Egypt or the Judaean desert, the papyrus pages are stable, since they are made of highly rot-resistant cellulose; but storage in humid conditions can result in molds attacking and destroying the material.

To date, the only other archaeological find that mentions Jerusalem in Hebrew were carvings on a cave wall at the Beit Loya ruin near Amatzia in southern Judea (west of the green line). The cave, which has been dubbed the “Jerusalem Cave” was excavated in 1970, and the writing on the wall says, “The whole land and the Judaean mountains are His, the God of Yerushalaim.” Prof. Shmuel Achituv, a scholar of the history of the people of Israel in the ancient East, deciphered that text and has now also deciphered the papyrus with the word “Yerushalma.” He will lecture on his discovery at next week’s lecture.

According to Achituv, to date the name “Yerushalaim” has been discovered in archaeological finds in languages other than Hebrew, such as in the El-Amarna letters, written in cuneiform, which were sent by the kings of Canaan to the Pharaoh in the 14th century BCE. There is also an Assyrian documentation of the siege laid by King Sennacherib on Jerusalem during the reign of King Hezekiah in 701 BCE.

The Hebrew papyrus was discovered recently in the Judaean desert and purchased from an antique dealer. It was examined by the Israel Antiquities Authority’s labs, and carbon dated. The results showed with certainty that the papyrus dates back to the 8th century BCE, near the end of the Kingdom of Judea, a short while before the destruction of the First Temple.

David Israel

Thousands Show Solidarity With Israel in Annual Jerusalem March

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Thousands of people packed the main streets of Jerusalem on Thursday for the annual Jerusalem March. The parade, organized by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, led from Sacher Park to the Old City through the center of town. The march takes place each year during the Jewish festival of Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles.

Southeast Asians blow the shofar as they march through the streets of Jerusalem in the annual parade on the Jewish Festival of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles.

Southeast Asians blow the shofar as they march through the streets of Jerusalem in the annual parade on the Jewish Festival of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles.

Israel Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld had no estimate on how many people were at the parade — there really were that many — with dozens of countries represented in the march.

Christians from the Gipsy Nation in Hungary also participated in the 2016 Jerusalem March in solidarity with Israel.

Christians from the Gipsy Nation in Hungary also participated in the 2016 Jerusalem March in solidarity with Israel.

Every group proudly waved its nation’s flag, expressing solidarity with Israel in obvious defiance of the clearly odious resolution on Jerusalem passed earlier in the week by the Executive Board of the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The resolution, advanced by the Palestinian Authority, obliterates in its language the historic link between Judaism and Jerusalem’s holy sites.

Christians from Bolivia participated in the 2016 Jerusalem March.

Christians from Bolivia participated in the 2016 Jerusalem March.

Many of those who marched were visiting as members of Christian delegations to the Holy Land. Among them were groups from Thailand, the United States, Hungary, Bolivia, China and Brazil. A group from the United Kingdom sang, “We love you, Israel!”

Philippine Christians parade in the Jerusalem March dressed as priests bearing the Ark of the Covenant.

Philippine Christians parade in the Jerusalem March dressed as priests bearing the Ark of the Covenant.

Christians from the Philippines expressed their solidarity with the Jewish People dressed as priests from the Holy Temple of Jerusalem, marching with a model of the Ark of the Covenant. At least 3,500 police officers were deployed across the capital city to protect the marchers and others, according to Rosenfeld.

Christians from around the world participated in Jerusalem March 2016, which led from Sacher Park through the center of town to the Old City of Jerusalem. Israel Police did not give an estimate of how many thousands were present for the festivities.

Christians from around the world participated in Jerusalem March 2016, which led from Sacher Park through the center of town to the Old City of Jerusalem. Israel Police did not give an estimate of how many thousands were present for the festivities.

Hana Levi Julian

The Tamar Yonah Show – Islamic Jerusalem? [audio]

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Jerusalem, the sacred city of the three major religions – is now an ISLAMIC city, according to the recent UNESCO vote [sic]. Hear Tamar talk about it with Dr. Martin Sherman, Founder and Director of the Israeli Institute for Strategic Studies. You can find him at www.MartinSherman.org www.strategic-israel.org

The Tamar Yonah Show 19OCT2016 – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Holiday Blessing by the Kohanim From the Western Wall in Jerusalem [video]

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

This week the Western Wall Plaza was filled with the sound of blessing — the benediction of the Kohanim – by the descendants of the priests of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.

They prayed for the Nation of Israel from the heart of the holy city of Jerusalem on the second intermediate day of the Festival of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles.

Hundreds of Israeli police and Border Guard police officers were also there to take their places among the worshipers, not only to secure the thousands who participated in the ceremony as Kohanim and those who received the blessings, but also as worshipers themselves.

Thousands also watched the ceremony from around the world via the Kotelcam webcam that is installed across from and above the Western Wall, enabling viewers to watch the activities at the sacred site 24 hours a day.

NOTE: Please be aware that the above YouTube footage contains a recording of the sacred prayers and thus should be treated with appropriate respect.

Hana Levi Julian

Excavation Reveals Spot Where Romans Breached Jerusalem’s Wall 2,000 Years Ago

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Exciting evidence of the breaching of the third wall that surrounded Jerusalem at the end of the Second Temple period was uncovered last winter in the Russian Compound at the city center. The discovery was made in an archaeological excavation the Israel Antiquities Authority conducted in the location where the new campus of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design is slated to be built. In the course of the excavation, archaeologists discovered the remains of a tower jutting from the city wall. Opposite the tower’s western facade were scores of ballista and sling stones that the Romans had fired from catapults at the Jewish guards who were stationed at the top of the tower.

Dr. Rina Avner, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Dr. Rina Avner, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

According to Dr. Rina Avner and Kfir Arbib, excavation directors on behalf of the IAA, “This is a fascinating testimony of the intensive bombardment by the Roman army, led by Titus, on their way to conquering the city and destroying the Second Temple. The bombardment was intended to attack the sentries guarding the wall and provide cover for the Roman forces so they could approach the wall with battering rams and thereby breach the city’s defenses.”

The historian Josephus, an eyewitness to the war, provided many details about this wall. According to him, the wall was designed to protect the new quarter of the city that had developed outside its boundaries, north of the two existing city walls. This quarter was named Beit Zeita. The building of the Third Wall was begun by King Agrippa I; however, he suspended its construction so as not to incur the wrath of Emperor Claudius and to dispel any doubts regarding his loyalty. The construction of the Third Wall was resumed some two decades later by the defenders of Jerusalem, as part of fortifying the city and the Jewish rebels’ preparations for the Great Revolt against Rome.

A 2,000 year old jar as it was discovered in the field.

A 2,000 year old jar as it was discovered in the field.

Josephus described in detail the route of the wall that began at Hippicus Tower, which is now identified with David’s Citadel. From there the wall continued north to the enormous Psephinus Tower, which defended the northwestern corner of the city wall. At that point the wall turned east and descended toward the Tomb of Queen Helena, which is identified with the place known as the Tombs of the Kings.

A spearhead from the battle against Titus’ army.

A spearhead from the battle against Titus’ army.

It seems that the new discovery has resolved a debate among researchers reaching back to the early twentieth century, as to the location of the third wall and the question of Jerusalem’s boundaries on the eve of the Roman onslaught led by Titus. According to the dig in the Russian Compound, we now have proof of the wall’s existence in that area.

The excavation findings will be presented at a conference entitled “New Studies in the archaeology of Jerusalem and its Region,” Thursday, October 27, at the Mount Scopus campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


UNESCO, Uman, and the Final War on Jerusalem

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Israel Rising website}

It is written in chapter 12 of Zecharia:

1 The burden of the word of the LORD concerning Israel. The saying of the LORD, who stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundation of the earth, and formed the spirit of man within him:
2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of staggering unto all the peoples round about, and upon Judah also shall it fall to be in the siege against Jerusalem.
3 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will make Jerusalem a stone of burden for all the peoples; all that burden themselves with it shall be sore wounded; and all the nations of the earth shall be gathered together against it.

and again in chapter 14:

1 Behold, a day of the LORD cometh, when thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, but the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fighteth in the day of battle.
4 And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleft in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, so that there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azel; yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah; and the LORD my God shall come, and all the holy ones with Thee.

UNESCO has finally gone ahead and used its majority Arab membership to rewrite history and erase the deep and unwavering connection between the Jewish nation and Jerusalem. While it states in the text, which can be read in full here, “Affirming the importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls for the three monotheistic religions…” it clearly and unequivocally only acknowledges Jerusalem’s Old City as having Palestinian heritage. Instead of viewing the Jewish return to Jerusalem and the national rectification of recieving back that which was stolen from it during theyears of forced Arab occupation as legitimate these regrown Jewish roots are seen through the veil of increased “occupation”.

Being a world body UNESCO has opened the first shot in the world’s war against Jerusalem as prophesized thousands of years ago. Israeli politicians, religious leaders, and activists have responded with anger and declarations. After all, nearly all Jews that have some sort of connection to the broader national belief set hold a bond that is unbreakable with Jerusalem. Despite the outcry, there is not much on a political level we can do. That in of itself may be the most painful aspect of all.

Rectifying Our Past, Reconnecting Our Future

As someone who considers himself a follower of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, I journeyed to Uman, Ukraine to be by Rebbe Nachman’s grave for Rosh Hoshanah. Rebbe Nachman made it clear that his followers should continue to visit him for Rosh Hoshonah even after his departure from this world. “There is nothing greater that my Rosh Hoshanah,” Rebbe Nachman stated to his followers.

Of all of Rebbe Nachman’s teachings, none is more powerful than his exhortation to spend at least an hour a day in personal solitude in direct conversation with the Almighty. While in Uman I spent most of my time like many others next to Rebbe Nachman’s grave, yet when I wanted to be alone I walked quite a ways from the central area of rebuilt Jewish Uman. Just prior to Rosh Hoshanah I reached a quiet spot overlooking a river flowing out of Uman. It was at this spot I chose to speak to G-d. My hour long session was so meaningful I decided to return near to the same spot the next day, yet chose a different route to get there.

As I approached the area I noticed the color of the earth changed to black beneath my feet and there were broken tombstones all around for as far as I could see. I felt a sense of deep anguish in the area and after my hour long seclusion I located the rebuilt graves of Rebbe Nachman’s grandson and one of his chief students Reb Naftali. Nearby I found a sign noting the area was a the burial place for 3000 Jews slaughtered by the Ukrainians in the pogroms of 1920.

Jewish blood flows throughout Uman. From the Chmielnicki massacre of 1648 that saw nearly 30,000 Jews killed in Uman with over 500,000 in the rest of the Ukraine to the pogroms of 1920 to the Nazi exterminations in WW2. Rebbe Nachman stated clearly his ability to rectify the souls of the dead and the torments of the souls lying in Uman were clearly far greater than other places. Yet, I believe Rebbe Nachman has another agenda (one of many) by asking us to return to Uman year in and year out.

In many ways we are the rectification. After he leaves, the Tzaddik (rightous one) has no physical presence in our world, yet he continues to have an impact due to the fullfillment of his lessons and advice by his followers who are called his legs. It is our praying, singing, and dancing in a place of such pain that rectifies the broken souls left in the area.

The Long-Short Path

In the Talmud, tractacte Eruvin it states that Rebbe Yehoshua ben Hanniyah was travelling and saw a child at a fork in the road. He asked the child which way was the best to the city. The child said that one path was a short-long path and the other was a long short-path.

Rebbe Yehoshua ben Hanniyah took the short long path and very quickly came to the outskirts of the city and found that it was surrounded by gardens and orchards. He returned to the child and and said: “My child you said this was the short path.” The child responded to him: “No I said it was the long path.” Rebbe Yehoshua ben Hanniyah then said the following: “I kissed him on his head and I said to him, happy is Israel that all of them are with from the big to the small.”

This passage has tremendous lessons for our time. We the Jewish nation returned in great haste to our ancient homeland. Miracle after miracle has guided us and yet we insist on playing by the rules of the nations of the world. We rushed back so fast we have gotten lost in gardens and orchards of world politics and forgotten the surest way of crossing the proverbial finish line of redemption. The Jewish people wanted to so much to be back in Jerusalem we set out on the short-long path and cannot truly enter our city in a way that feels lasting. We have been forced to return to the fork in the road and take the other path no matter how long it seems it may take.

For me this path is the path of Uman, which by way of complete and pure faith reminds us that we as a nation are above the normtive rules of time and space. We are forever. Our war is not against UNESCO. They are a pawn played by the Almighty in the march towards fullfiling the prophecies laid out thousands of years ago. Our war is with ourselves; with that part of us that forgot what it means to trust in the Almighty and develop an instrinsic faith in G-d as a real active part of our lives, both personal and national.

Rebbe Nachman said many times that a great flood of anti-faith would rage around the world and at the end our war would be about recovering our own faith. By bringing us back to the geographical point where we had such faith that we were willing to die for it, we the Jewish Nation are able to recapture that part of us which was lost along the way.

UNESCO has no power to change the truth. In fact, it is telling that the sons of Ishmael who are supposedly faithful to G-d rely on earthly political constructs to erase our history. If they have stooped that low, we have only to reach inside ourselves to rise past them. That is our task and of course let G-d do the rest.

David Mark

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/unesco-uman-and-the-final-war-on-jerusalem/2016/10/20/

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