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May 24, 2016 / 16 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Passover’

Pharoah Sends Passover Greetings; Rare Scarab Seal Found at Tel Dor

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

A rare scarab seal belonging to a senior Egyptian official of the Thirteenth Pharaonic Dynasty (the 18th-17th centuries BCE) has been found at Tel Dor on Israel’s Carmel Coast. The seal was discovered by Alexander Ternopolsky, a birdwatcher, who handed it over to the archeological team working at the site.

“The scarab must have belonged to a very senior figure in the kingdom, probably the viceroy responsible for the royal treasury,” explains Prof. Ayelet Gilboa from the Department of Archeology at the University of Haifa, who is heading the excavations at Tel Dor together with Prof. Ilan Sharon from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

“The owner of this scarab filled a similar position to that held by Joseph in Egypt after he interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams.”

Rare scarab seal

Rare scarab seal

The coastal city of Dor, at the foot of Mt. Carmel, was a key port city for thousands of years. Until the Romans built Caesarea, Dor was the most important commercial center in the area and served as a hub for commercial and passenger traffic throughout extensive periods in human history. The city is mentioned in Egyptian inscriptions dating back 3500 years, and even in the Books of Joshua, Judges, and I Kings in the Bible.

Excavations began at Tel Dor in the mid-twentieth century and have been directed since 2002 by Prof. Gilboa and Prof. Sharon. Findings include settlements from the Late Bronze Age (the Canaanite period in the second millennium BCE), as well as a Phoenician settlement and Israelite and Assyrian administrative centers (Iron Age); a city and palace from the Hellenistic period, including a splendid mosaic; and monumental remains from the Roman period, including a pair of temples that may have been dedicated to Poseidon, the Roman god of the sea.

“We have not yet reached the settlement of the 17th century BCE,” Prof. Gilboa explains, “and this is why this finding is particularly important. The rains this past winter must have eroded the soil on the southern slope of the site, and thanks to Mr. Ternopolsky’s keen eyesight, the scarab was discovered and handed over to us.”

The writing on the scarab seal provides important information about its owner.

The writing on the scarab seal provides important information about its owner.

A preliminary study showed that the stone scarab is engraved with the name of its owner, as well as his position and ankh symbols (crosses with a looped head), which symbolized eternal life, and pillar-like djed symbols that emblemized resurrection and stability. The description of the scarab owner’s position includes such phrases as “overseer the treasury,” “bearer of the seal,” and more, but the owner’s name has not yet been deciphered.

“Scarabs were very common objects in ancient Egypt, but the size and quality of this one, its owner’s high-ranking position, and the gold ring in which it is set all make this particular scarab a rare finding in our region,” Prof. Gilboa explains.

The excavators suggest two possible scenarios for the manner the scarab might have reached Dor. The first is that a representative of the viceroy may have come to this important trading city, which was a supply base for spices, resin, and other commodities that were highly valued by the Egyptians, in order to seal a deal for his superior. Accordingly, he would have brought the viceroy’s seal with him (or perhaps even the viceroy himself made the visit).

Side view of scarab seal found on Carmel Coast in northern Israel near Tel Dor.

Side view of scarab seal found on Carmel Coast in northern Israel near Tel Dor.

Hana Levi Julian

Hundreds Celebrate Passover with Chabad in Kathmandu, Nepal

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

Hundreds of Jews gathered this weekend to celebrate their exodus from Egyptian slavery at the annual seder in the highest point on earth – the Himalayas.

The media was left clueless as to where the famous Kathmandu Chabad House of Nepal seder was being held, however, due to the tight security surrounding the event this year.

Rabbi Chezki and Chani Lifshitz, co-directors of Chabad of Nepal, announced they would not release information about the location of the festive meal until 24 hours ahead of the event. “But don’t worry, the Israeli grapevine is alive and active,” people were told. “Folks will know where to go and how to get there.”

And so they did, indeed. A gym “who knows where” was packed to the rafters with at least 200 Israeli and other celebrants, right on schedule, for the start of the Passover seder.

The couple have spent the past 20 years orchestrating the most famous seder in the world.

This year numerous roads were reduced to rubble due to last year’s deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake and aftershocks, a massive avalanche, and subsequent blizzards. Thousands of locals were left homeless.

But the couple has a finely developed resourcefulness and creativity – for months they’d been making Passover wine in preparation for the holiday – and organizing strategies for transport of supplies.

Each year, the challenge of bringing needed supplies for the Passover holiday has required a different strategy. From using horses to a helicopter, with the help of the Israeli and Nepalese governments, the couple has always found a way to bring the goods to the Chabad House nestled high in the Himalayas.

Israeli hikers trekking through the area on their ritual post-army exploration of the world mark the event as a seminal stop on their journey to global maturity.

Hana Levi Julian

80,000 Israelis Celebrate Passover in National Parks

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Some 80,000 Israelis spent the first day of the Passover holiday Saturday visiting the country’s national parks and forests.

Israeli officials ask the public to please be sure to pick up after themselves while enjoying the beautiful weather and nature reserves, so that others can enjoy the same environment too.

Last year during the Passover holiday, a total of one million Israeli and foreign tourists visited the various parks and nature reserves around the country.

Hana Levi Julian

The Fountainheads Passover Song

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Video of the Day

Selling the Chometz

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau (R), Israel’s Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef (2L), and Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon sell the Chametz (food containing leavening) of the state of Israel to Arab Israeli Mr. Jaber (L) before the upcoming Passover holiday, April 21, 2016.

Photo of the Day

Netanyahu Meets With Putin in Moscow 1 Day Before Passover

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Moscow Thursday morning for a quick pre-Passover meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

According to the prime minister’s office, on the agenda were advanced weapons sales to Iran, and the situation in Syria, continued coordination between the military forces of the two nations in Syria, a discussion about the peace efforts in the country, and prevention of advanced weapons access for the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terror group.

During his visit to Moscow last month, President Reuven Rivlin asked Putin to help re-establish the presence in the Golan Heights, between Israel and Syria, of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force. The reason: a developing vacuum is making it easier for Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies to infiltrate the former no-man’s-land and set up a base for attacks against the Jewish State.

Rivlin told Putin that such activity was a red line for Israel, according to Channel 2 news. Putin extended an invitation to Netanyahu to visit Moscow during that visit with Rivlin.

Absorption Minister Ze’ev Elkin, born in Ukraine, accompanied the prime minister. Other members of the delegation included Israel Air Force Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel, National Security Council Director Avriel Bar Yosef, Military Secretary to the Prime Minister Col. Eliezer Toledano and the head of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Hana Levi Julian

Trump Vodka Bottles Seized in Passover Scam

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

By Jesse Lempel/TPS

Haifa (TPS) – Hundreds of bottles of Trump Vodka were seized by Israeli police for bearing phony “Kosher for Passover” labels in advance of the upcoming holiday, a police spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Police raided the storage room of “a known alcohol distributor in downtown Haifa” and found hundreds of Trump Vodka bottles with forged Passover-friendly stickers on them, the spokesperson said. Three people were detained for questioning on suspicion of having pasted the phony labels on the drink.

Vodka is typically made from fermented grain, a product forbidden on the Jewish holiday during which no leavened bread may be eaten. Trump Vodka, by contrast, is made from potatoes.

Wednesday’s raid and arrests were made following a report by the Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post exposing the Passover Trump Vodka scam.

“We discovered that instead of one of the ingredients that was supposed to be kosher for Passover, they used a different one,” the report quoted Rabbi David Silverstone of the OK Kosher certification organization.

Trump Vodka, which bears the brand of US billionaire and presidential candidate Donald Trump, has been out of business for years in most parts of the world. Nevertheless, the beverage has gained unlikely popularity in Israel for one week per year in the niche market of kosher-for-Passover vodkas.

Trump sued the Israeli company producing Trump Vodka in 2011 in a licensing dispute yet eventually settled the case. “Israel’s demand for high quality products and attraction to powerful brand names is a wonderful platform for the Trump brand,” the company said in a press release on Trump.com.

Donald Trump touted the alleged success of Trump Vodka—alongside Trump Steaks and Trump Water—in his victory speech following the Florida Republican primary in March.

“It was a successful product, which continues to be popular abroad,” Trump said of his vodka in a statement to Bloomberg on Wednesday.

With the latest pre-Passover police raid, however, a few hundred bottles of the beverage have been taken off the Israeli market.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/trump-vodka-bottles-seized-in-passover-scam/2016/04/20/

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