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June 25, 2016 / 19 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘land of israel’

Rare Cache of Silver Coins From Hasmonean Period Found in Modi’in

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

More proof that Jews lived and prospered in the Land of Israel long before the so-called “Palestinian Arabs” ever walked this piece of real estate…

During the time of the Hasmoneans, a Jewish family of means owned an estate in Modi’in which had an olive grove and a press with which to produce olive oil, as well as vineyards and wine presses for the production of wine. And the family patriarch was a coin collector.

He was clearly a man of means: but something must have happened, and the family was forced to flee. Just before quitting their estate, he hid his coins between the massive stones in a wall, hoping to retrieve them later. But it was not to be, and it is only now, millennia later, his fellow Jews have discovered the treasure, and are learning his story.

* * *

The hoard of silver coins dating to the Hasmonean period (126 BCE) was exposed in April, in an archaeological excavation the Israel Antiquities Authority is currently conducting near Modi‘in, with the participation of local youth. The excavation is being carried out prior to the construction of a new neighborhood, at the initiative of the Modi‘in-Maccabim-Re‘ut municipality. The treasure was hidden in a rock crevice, up against a wall of an impressive agricultural estate that was discovered during the excavation there.

 IAA archaeologist Shahar Krispin during the discovery of the silver coin hoard that was found in the estate house in Modi'in.

IAA archaeologist Shahar Krispin during the discovery of the silver coin hoard that was found in the estate house in Modi’in.

Avraham Tendler, director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said “This is a rare cache of silver coins from the Hasmonean period comprised of shekels and half-shekels (tetradrachms and didrachms) that were minted in the city of Tyre and bear the images of the king, Antiochus VII and his brother Demetrius II.

“The cache that we found is compelling evidence that one of the members of the estate who had saved his income for months needed to leave the house for some unknown reason. He buried his money in the hope of coming back and collecting it, but was apparently unfortunate and never returned.

“It is exciting to think that the coin hoard was waiting here 2,140 years until we exposed it,” Tendler said.

“The cache, which consists of 16 coins, contains one or two coins from every year between 135–126 BCE, and a total of nine consecutive years are represented, explained Dr. Donald Tzvi Ariel, head of the Coin Department at the Israel Antiquities Authority.

“It seems that some thought went into collecting the coins, and it is possible that the person who buried the cache was a coin collector. He acted in just the same way as stamp and coin collectors manage collections today.”

“The findings from our excavation show that it was a Jewish family that established an agricultural estate on this hill during the Hasmonean period,” Tendler added.

Aerial photograph of the Hasmonean estate house in Modi'in.

Aerial photograph of the Hasmonean estate house in Modi’in.

“The family members planted olive trees and vineyards on the neighboring hills and grew grain in valleys. An industrial area that includes an olive press and storehouses where the olive oil was kept is currently being uncovered next to the estate.

“Dozens of rock-hewn winepresses that reflect the importance of viticulture and the wine industry in the area were exposed in the cultivation plots next to the estate. The estate house was built of massive walls in order to provide security from the attacks of marauding bandits.”

Hana Levi Julian

What Life in Jerusalem Looked Like Nearly 100 Years Ago

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

Jerusalem (TPS) – A German zeppelin flying over Jerusalem, dignitaries on swings in a playground near the Old City walls, the funeral of Israel’s first chief rabbi Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, and dancing gypsies are just some of the photos depicting Jerusalem of old in a special exhibition at the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The exhibition, called “The Camera Man – Women and Men Photograph Jerusalem 1900 – 1950,” displays over 100 photos, both digitized and a small number of originals, that highlight some of the major photographers – Jews, Muslims, and Christians – of the first half of the twentieth century who lived and worked in Jerusalem.

The curator of the exhibition, Dr. Shimon Lev, who himself is a photographer and historian, told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that locating the unique historical photos, some of which come from the American Colony Archive Collections and the Central Zionist Archives, was challenging. “For 18 months, we worked liked detectives, looking through national archives and private collections to find these photos,” he said.

“Jerusalem is one of the most photographed cities in the world,” added Lev. “In this exhibition, you can see the everyday life of Jerusalemites a century ago from the perspective of a diverse group of photographers who came from different backgrounds and cultures.”

One of the photographers, Elia Kahvedjian, was born in Ourfa, Turkey to an Armenian family. He was able to escape the Armenian massacre and moved to Jerusalem in 1926, working there as a photographer for 64 years. His grandson and son now run his three-generation photography shop known as Photo Elia, which Elia opened in 1949 in the Christian Quarter of the Old City. Kahvedjian’s photos depict daily life in Jerusalem.

Through the historical research conducted by Lev and associate curator, Hamutal Wachtel, work of photographers who were both known and unknown were uncovered. “The essence of the photo exhibition are the photographers,” commented Eilat Lieber, the museum’s director. “We discovered amazing photographers including three women who worked in the field.”

Rivka Karp, who immigrated to Israel from Poland, is believed to be the first professional woman photographer to work in Jerusalem. She moved to the city in 1925 from Kibbutz Ein Harod and opened her own photographic studio on Ben Hillel Street, which became well-respected by the Jerusalem families that she photographed. Her photography career spanned about 45 years, during which she photographed individual and family portraits in her studio with marvelous attention to detail.

The exhibition also includes native photographers. Tsadok Bassan, believed to be the first Jewish photographer born in Jerusalem, offers a unique view of Jerusalem through his work capturing the pre-state Jewish community. Bassan, who was born in 1882 to a religious family of third-generation Jerusalemites, worked as a photographer in Jerusalem from approximately 1900 to 1950. Bassan’s photos show life of the the old Yishuv, capturing yeshivas, orphanages, cemeteries, and soup kitchens, as well as portraits of rabbis and cantors and their families.

The exhibition also features the work of Khalil Raad, who was probably the first Christian Arab to work in Jerusalem. He was born in Lebanon and worked in Jerusalem from 1890 to 1948, capturing Arab life in the city. In addition, the work of Ali Zaarour, who was most likely the first Muslim Arab to photograph in Jerusalem, is also on display, including his photograph of a Jordanian soldier next to the ruins of the Hurva synagogue in 1948.

Following up “The Camera Man” exhibition, the Tower of David Museum is also asking the public to contribute their own family photos that capture everyday life in the city, with descriptive details, which they plan to utilize for a modern day account of Jerusalem for the next century.

Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

Jerusalem of Lights

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

Jerusalem is lit up as part of the Jerusalem Light Festival.

Jerusalem Light Festival 2016

Jerusalem Light Festival 2016

Jerusalem Light Festival 2016

Photo of the Day

Heather Larson Takes Tightrope Act to Old City [video]

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

(JNi.media) Her arms stretched to her sides for balance, American slackliner Heather Larsen on Monday walked the tightrope across a narrow, 100 ft. stretch from the Tower of David, also known as the Jerusalem Citadel, in Jerusalem’s Old City.

“Learning about these places growing up and being able to come and visit, and then actually being able to perform my craft right here, is a very incredible experience,” Larsen said. She wore a harness attached to the line. She experienced a few tiny wobbles, but completed the walk gracefully, and added a few crowd pleasing stunts.

A very incredible experience, indeed.

Heather Larson has been slacklining for four years and, as her website puts it, has been pushing the limits for herself on highlines for two and a half years. She trains with fellow athletes in Golden, CO on lines in the park, as well as highlines in Clear Creek Canyon. Through many ventures into the canyon with her slackline partner, Josh Beaudoin, Heather has become a knowledgeable highline rigger and rigs many of her own lines. Last fall, Heather participated in Slacklust: Coast to Crest tour of California, rigging lines across the state with other talented climbers and highliners. She is recognized as one of the top female highliners in the world and is continually developing the realm of tricks on highlines. With a personal highline record of 142 ft., Heather is looking forward to sending longer length highlines and inspiring others to learn and grow with her in the sport.

The Tower of David is an ancient citadel located near the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. The citadel that stands on that spot today dates back to the Mamluk and Ottoman periods (13th-14th centuries). It was built on the site of an earlier ancient fortification of the Hasmonean, Herodian, Byzantine and Early Muslim periods, having been destroyed during the Crusader occupation. The Tower of David contains important archaeological finds dating back more than 2,000 years, as well as a quarry dated to the First Temple period.

Video of the Day

Thousands of Kohanim Gather at Western Wall to Bless the People of Israel

Monday, April 25th, 2016

On the second morning on the intermediate days of Passover, tens of thousands of descendants of the Biblical Aharon, the High Priest, gathered at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem to bless the Nation of Israel.

Thousands more came to be blessed, and millions around the world viewed the events via the “Kotel Kam” that was set up to allow yearning Jewish worshipers at least virtual access to the site.

As in the days of old, so too in present times, the descendants of the Tribe of Levi gather during each of the Biblical holy days and festivals at the material remnant of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem to bless the Jewish People.

The event is called ‘Birkat HaKohanim’ – the Blessing of the Priests – and it takes place several times a year.

A live feed of the events taking place throughout the day at the Western Wall may be viewed by clicking here.

This year more than 3,000 police and other security officers have been deployed in and around the area to ensure the safety of those who came to be blessed, and later on, to pray.

“Security forces and the Police and Border Guard officers around the city, including the Temple Mount (ed. note.: adjacent to the Western Wall) are there to manage with professionalism and sensitivity [the protection] that characterizes the uniqueness of the place and the need to serve the public in a fair and equal basis,” explained the police.

“We will continue to guard the status quo on the Temple Mount to benefit all and to act decisively against anyone who tries to disturb the public peace and safety.”

On the second day of Passover — in Israel, the first intermediate day — 12 Jews were ejected from visitation to the Temple Mount grounds after being accused of violating the rules at the site.

One Jewish boy was questioned by police on suspicion of having prayed within the Temple Mount compound, which is forbidden for Jews under the rules of the status quo guidelines agreed upon by Israel with the Jordanian Islamic Waqf after Israel won the 1967 Six Day War and restored the site to the rest of Jerusalem.

The Temple Mount — upon which both ancient Jewish Holy Temples were built — is the holiest site in Judaism. It is also the third holiest site in Islam. Several hundred years ago, Muslims build two mosques there to mark the sacred events in their tradition that took place on the site.

Hana Levi Julian

Egyptian Amulet Bearing Name of Pharaoh Found in Soil from Temple Mount

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

A rare amulet, more than 3,200 years old, bearing the name of the Egyptian ruler Thutmose III, Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty who reigned from 1479 – 1425 BCE, was discovered at the Temple Mount Sifting Project located in Jerusalem’s Tzurim Valley National Park in soil discarded from the Temple Mount, and was only recently deciphered by archeologists. The project is conducted under the auspices of Bar-Ilan University, with the support of the City of David Foundation and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

Thutmose III was one of the most important pharaohs in Egypt’s New Kingdom and is credited with establishing the Egyptian imperial province in Canaan, conducting 17 military campaigns to Canaan and Syria and defeating a coalition of Canaanite kings at the city of Megiddo in 1457 BCE,” stated Dr. Gabriel Barkay, the co-founder and director of the Temple Mount Sifting Project. “Thutmose III referred to himself as ‘the one who has subdued a thousand cities,’ and it is known that for more than 300 years, during the Late Bronze Age, Canaan and the city-state of Jerusalem were under Egyptian dominion, likely explaining the presence of this amulet in Jerusalem.”

The amulet was discovered by Neshama Spielman, a twelve year-old girl from Jerusalem who came with her family to participate in the Temple Mount Sifting Project. “While I was sifting, I came across a piece of pottery that was different from others I had seen, and I immediately thought that maybe I had found something special,” said Spielman. “It’s amazing to find something thousands of years old from ancient Egypt all the way here in Jerusalem! Celebrating Passover this year is going to be extra meaningful to me.”

The Passover festival, commemorating the Biblical account of the ancient Israelites Exodus from Egypt, will be celebrated later this week.

Egyptian amulet bearing the name of the Egyptian ruler, Thutmose III. – Credit: Zachi Dvira

Egyptian amulet bearing the name of the Egyptian ruler, Thutmose III. – Credit: Zachi Dvira

Since the project’s inception in 2004, more than 170,000 volunteers from Israel and around the world have taken part in the sifting, representing an unprecedented phenomenon in the realm of archaeological research.

The small amulet is in the shape of a pendant, missing its bottom part, measures 21 mm wide, 4 mm thick and its preserved length is 16 mm. A loop on top allowed it to be strung and hung on the neck. The raised decoration displays a cartouche — an oval frame surrounding Egyptian hieroglyphics bearing the name of the Egyptian ruler. Above the oval framing is the symbol of an eye, and to its right are remnants of yet another hieroglyphic symbol depicting a cobra of which parts of the head and tail are preserved.

While Egyptian scarabs bearing the name of Thutmose III have previously been discovered in Jerusalem, this represents the first time his name has been found in Jerusalem adorning an amulet. “Objects bearing the name of Thutmose III continued to be produced in Egypt long after the time of his reign, reflecting the significance and lasting impression of this king,” said Barkay.

The amulet can be reconstructed based upon the discovery of an identical pendant found in Nahal Iron in northern Israel, announced in 1978,” said Zachi Dvira, co-founder and director of the Temple Mount Sifting Project. “Along with that pendant, which also bore the name of Thutmose III, was another amulet bearing the name of King Seti I, an Egyptian pharaoh who ruled Egypt during the late 14th – early 13th centuries BCE. This seems to indicate that both pendants date to the same time period, namely the late 14th – early 13th century BCE.”

The research of the amulet was conducted by Israel Antiquities Authority Egyptologist Baruch Brandl.

“A discovery such as this is particularly symbolic at this time of year, with the Passover festival just a few days away, and represents greetings from the ancient past,” said Assaf Avraham, archeologist and director of the Jerusalem Walls National Park from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

Neshama Spielman, 12 years-old from Jerusalem, holding the amulet bearing the name of the Egyptian ruler, Thutmose III. – Credit: Adina Graham

Neshama Spielman, 12 years-old from Jerusalem, holding the amulet bearing the name of the Egyptian ruler, Thutmose III. – Credit: Adina Graham

The Temple Mount Sifting Project, under the auspices of Bar-Ilan University and with the support of the City of David Foundation and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, was initiated in response to the illegal removal of tons of earth from the Temple Mount by the Islamic Waqf in 1999 without any archaeological supervision.

“Since the Temple Mount has never been excavated, the ancient artifacts retrieved in the Sifting Project provide valuable and previously inaccessible information. The many categories of finds are among the largest and most varied ever found in Jerusalem. Even though they have been extracted from their archaeological context, most of these artifacts can be identified and dated by comparing them with those found at other sites,” said Dvira.

In addition to the ongoing sifting of the earth illegally removed from the Temple Mount by the Muslim Waqf, The Temple Mount Sifting Project has focused its efforts on the enormous tasks of processing and studying the finds and preparing them for scientific publication. Presently, more than half a million finds are still waiting to be processed and analyzed in their laboratory.

JNi.Media

CNN Promotes Old City on Verge of Extinction Due to ‘Political Tension’

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

CNN last week promoted the Old City of Jerusalem as the first of 25 “magnificent structures on the verge of extinction” but implied that Israel is the reason this is the “last chance to see” the sites.

UNESCO’s designation of 48 endangered sites includes the Old City and states:

As a holy city for Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Jerusalem has always been of great symbolic importance. Among its 220 historic monuments, the Dome of the Rock stands out: built in the 7th century, it is decorated with beautiful geometric and floral motifs.

It is recognized by all three religions as the site of Abraham’s sacrifice. The Wailing Wall delimits the quarters of the different religious communities, while the Resurrection rotunda in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre houses Christ’s tomb.

The term “Wailing Wall” dates back to the period before the re-establishment of the State of Israel and includes periods when Jew were allowed at the external wall of the  courtyard of the destroyed Temple Mount only on the Ninth of Av, the day that Jews bemoan the fall of the First and Second Temples.

Today, everyone in the world, except UNESCO and Muslim leaders, refer to it as the Western Wall, or “Kotel” in Hebrew.

CNN did not even mention the Kotel or “Wailing Wall.”

It told its viewers last week:

No other site has spent more time on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger. The Old City of Jerusalem has held a spot since 1982. As holy city for three different religions, it attracts millions of tourists with over 200 monuments, including the majestic Dome of the Rock.

Then came the punch line. Why is it still endangered?

But political tension has hardened relations with Israel and UNESCP, preventing any preservation plans for moving forward.

CNN added a grave warning to people concerning all of the 25 sites it listed:

Go see them now, before it’s too late: threatened by neglect, the elements, changing architectural trends of ruthless developers. These outstanding buildings are all fighting a hard battle for survival.

Another website, known as “whenonearth.com,” lists UNESCO’s 48 endangered site, not to be confused with CNN’s list of archaeological sites that it chose, and states:

Why it’s special: It has significance religious implication to Christianity, Judaism and Islam. It contains hundreds of monuments with great artistic works and architectural structures. It also hosts Christ’s tomb.

Why it’s in danger: the continuous conflicts among different religions are demeaning the city and its walls. Some of the structures have also been destroyed due to conflicts and improper maintenance plans.

Neither UNESCO nor the two websites mentioned above state that the Old City is the site of the First and Second Holy Temples, the existence of which is increasingly being denied by Palestinian Authority and Arab world clerics who are trying to manufacture a new history that erases any link between Judaism and Jerusalem.

All of the sites serve that purpose very well by simply saying that the Old City is holy to Jews as well is Muslims and Christian, without any explanation why it is holy to Judaism. The Muslim Dome of the Rock is noted. “Christ’s tomb” or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is mentioned.

Nothing is said about Jews. No Temple Mount history. No Wall, Wailing or Western. Zilch.

But CNN took the trouble to mention Israel when it explained its version of why the Old City is on UNESCO’s list of sites that supposedly are endangered.

The network furthered UNESCO’s political aim to take control of the Old City by alleging that preservation plans have not advanced because of “political tension [that] has hardened relations” between Israel and the U.N. agency.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/cnn-promotes-old-city-on-verge-of-extinction-due-to-political-tension/2015/07/05/

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