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October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Old City’

Preparations Completed for Priestly Blessing from Jerusalem

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Rabbis have been busy preparing the traditional Birkat Kohanim, the Blessing of the Priests, set for Thursday.

One of the most moving events in the entire holiday, Jews and Gentiles alike flock to the Western Wall from around the world to be present for the blessing.

The benediction is given solely by Jewish males who are descended from kohanim – those who are in the patriarchal line from members of the priestly class dating all the way back to the time of the ancient Holy Temples. Those who recite the blessing cover themselves (and any children they may have with them) with their prayer shawls, spreading out the shawl in such a way so that they are unseen by others as they recite the benediction.

The blessing at the Western Wall is recited during the morning service by thousands of Kohanim during Chol Hamoed, the intermediate days of the festival of Passover. It is also recited during the intermediate days of the festival of Sukkot.

Hundreds of thousands of Jews come to visit and pray at the Western Wall in the Old City in Jerusalem during this holiday, and many arrive only for the purpose of being present to receive this special blessing.

Archaeologists Inaugurate King Solomon’s Coronation Site

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

In a secret ceremony held Tuesday, officials inaugurated the  site of King Solomon’s coronation in the City of David.

The massive Canaanite fortress, built some 3,800 years ago, protects the Biblical Gihon Spring by allowing access to the water solely through a western entrance from within the city.

In the Book of Samuel (Shmuel) II, Chapter V, King David conquered the Zion Fortress from the Jebusite king and his men. Archaeologists believe it is possible they have discovered the fortress referred to in the Biblical passage, entered by King David’s soldiers as they conquered Jerusalem from the Jebusites.

At the beginning of the Book of Kings I, the prophet Nathan and Tzadok HaKohen describe the coronation of King Solomon as having taken place “on Gihon.” Researchers believe the ceremony took place at the heart of the Spring House, over the gushing Gihon Spring.

“When we open the Bible and read about King Solomon who was crowned here, on the Gihon Spring, today you can come and see that this is where it all started,” said Oriya Desberg, director of development at the City of David.

It took archaeologists 15 years to uncover the structure in one of the most complex and digs ever undertaken in the State of Israel.

The Spring House is a massive Canaanite fortress built in the 18th century BCE and is the largest such structure ever uncovered from the pre-Herodian period.

The archaeological dig from which the fortress emerged was led by Haifa University’s Professor Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

“In order to protect the water source, they built not only the tower, but also a fortified passageway that allowed the city residents a safe access to the water source,” explained archaeologist G. Uziel. The passageway continued to operate until the end of the Iron Age, the archaeologist said, “and it was only when the First Temple was destroyed that the fortress collapsed into ruins and was no longer used.”

The walls  – 23 feet (seven meters) thick – were built with stones that are about ten feet (two to three meters) wide, and no mechanical tools were used in the construction.

New Yeshiva Set to Open Near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Ateret Kohenim, an organization that is a leader in the national religious movement, plans to inaugurate a new yeshiva just before Passover next month, near the Damascus Gate in a predominantly Arab area immediately outside the walls of the Old City.

Ateret Kohenim, which also operates yeshiva in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, bought the property, reportedly from the Bezek communications company.

The French news agency AFP reported Thursday that a government official confirmed the move and said the organization is finishing up renovations in hopes of opening its doors before the Passover festival begins in less than three week.

Italians Help Israel Protect Historic Sites in Holy Land

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

A special monitoring system run by the University of Padova in Italy has been installed in the Tower of David heritage site as part of an international project that attempts to use technology to determine the structural weaknesses in an ancient edifice .

The Tower of David is the tallest structure in the Old City of Jerusalem and a famous symbol to residents and tourist, with at least 2,000 years’ worth of history dating back to the First Temple period.

However, six major cracks in the tower raise questions if the structure would be able to survive an earthquake. Israel is located in a region extremely prone to earthquakes, and a major quake could be devastating.

“A major earthquake poses a serious threat and needs to be treated as such,” Dr. Avi Shapira, chairman of Israel’s National Earthquake Preparedness Committee,  told Tazpit News Agency.

“We want to preserve the structures of our past and historical monuments of the Holy Land that are significant to the world.,” he added.

Israel experienced five moderate earthquakes in October, which prompted experts to install a seismic monitoring system at the Tower of David in November 2013.

In a special conference at the Tower of David this week, Italian experts brought their knowledge during unique sessions addressing earthquake monitoring.

“Italy is a world leader in the earthquake monitoring field and conducting research in methodology for effective dealing with earthquakes,” explains Professor Claudio Modena, a Professor of Structural Engineering at the University of Padova. “Israel is new to this area, and we believe that sharing our knowledge will help maintain historical structures in the event of a major earthquake.”

Modena, who lives in Verona, Italy, has also investigated historical and archaeological sites in Akko, Tzfat, and Beit Shean.

Report: NBC Bows to Arabs, Cancels Filming of ‘Dig’ in Jerusalem

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

NBC reportedly has bowed to Palestinian Authority pressure and has cancelled plans to short part of its new “DIG” television series near the Old City in areas of Jerusalem claimed by the PA.

“There was no plan made to film the series in the City of David National Park or in the village of Silwan, furthermore, location scouting and planning will not begin until February 2014, and any decisions regarding possible production sites will be made with respect for all concerned parties,” according to an NBC official quoted by Haaretz.

The statement totally contradicts a previous NBC press release that stated that “the project would be shot in the City of David and present the exciting history of the Old City.”

It appears that NBC is taking lessons from the U.S. State Dept. on how to react to Palestinian Authority pressure.

 

High-Speed Train Planned to Whisk Passengers to Old City

Monday, October 21st, 2013

A high-speed train now under construction from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem may be extended to reach the Old City, according to an Israel Railways and the Transportation Ministry plan that will be stiffly opposed by Jerusalem planning authorities.

The planned line includes a 1.5 mile tunnel linking the central train station, being built across the street from the Central Bus Station, with the Mamilla mall that is located directly opposite the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City.

Planners are afraid that the planned rail line will take funds away from extending Jerusalem’s light rail system, which now consists of only one line. Three more lines are being planned.

The Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia in Israel

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Israelis take part at the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia charity bicycle race near the Jerusalem Old City walls on October 11, 2013, as they pass the Tower of David complex during a road race in Jerusalem.

The Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia is a worldwide series of cycling events that showcases the passion of Italian cycling and the strength of spirit embodied in the Giro d’Italia, arguably the world’s toughest professional bicycle race.

JERUSALEM BICYCLE RACE

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/the-gran-fondo-giro-ditalia-in-israel/2013/10/11/

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