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July 31, 2016 / 25 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Second Temple’

5 Jews Arrested by 9 am at Temple Mount, Passover Day 2

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

It’s “that time of year” again at the Temple Mount, when thousands of Jews flock to the holiest site on earth in Judaism – and Israel Police are especially vigilant in making arrests.

By 9:00 am Sunday morning, the second day of the Passover holiday, three adult Jews and two minors had already been removed from the site where the two Holy Temples of Jerusalem once stood.

No information was released to media on why the little group was pulled out of the compound, over which the Jordanian Islamic Waqf exerts control. The Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque are both built on the site.

By the end of non-Muslim visiting hours, 13 tourists had been removed from the site.

“The police are working and will continue to work with determination against any attempt to disturb the public peace and security, with favoritism,” Israel Police spokesperson Luba Samri said in a statement Sunday. “We will not allow disturbances of public order or security and we will act decisively against anyone who tries to do so.”

But according to Yehuda Glick, head of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation, Jews are not coming to the site to create “disturbances.” They are coming out of instinct, to connect with the sanctity of their ancient birthright. “People want to come to connect to the Temple Mount” said Glick. “No one has the desire to create any disturbance. People want to come to connect … I would like everyone to come and that the Temple Mount will be as it should – a center of world peace.”

Passover is one of three mandatory festivals requiring Jews to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Tens of thousands of Jews do indeed stream into the ancient holy city, including many who feel compelled to ascend the Temple Mount.

Muslim Arabs who pray in the mosque on the site are especially incensed by this.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced prior to the holiday that extra security forces would be deployed in the area to prevent “all sorts of extremists [from spreading] lies about our policy concerning the Temple Mount.”

In Biblical times, special animal sacrifices were made in the Holy Temples at this time. The sacrifices ceased with the destruction of the Second Temple by the occupying Romans and the Diaspora.

There are small groups of Jews who now are determined to renew the practice in preparation for the coming of the Messiah and the rebuilding of the Third Holy Temple. Police usually arrest a handful of men and sometimes boys who are being taught the sacrificial ways of the ancients.

On Friday, at first three and then eventually 10 men were detained for bringing goats to a location in the Old City for the purpose of carrying out a Pascal sacrifice. It is forbidden by Torah law to carry out an actual bona fide Pascal sacrifice without the existence of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.

Hana Levi Julian

An Ancient Mikveh in Gush Etzion

Friday, November 6th, 2015

My son in elementary school tells me that this is a photo of the steps leading down to an ancient Mikveh from the Second Temple period.

It’s located on Derech Avot (the path of the Patriarchs) in Gush Etzion.

Photo of the Day

Only 0.3% of Yearly Visitors to Temple Mount Are Jews

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Only 12.000 entries by Jews to the Temple Mount were recorded last year, compared with nearly 4,000,000 for Muslims, according to statistic provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

That comes out to 0.3 percent.

There also were approximately 200,000 entries by Christians.

So what is this business about the Jews taking over the Temple Mount?

Even if police were to allow more Jews to ascend the holy site, the numbers would not increase significantly. The Chief Rabbinate forbids entry to the holy site for reasons of Jewish law concerning impurity since the destruction of the Second Temple.

An increasing number of rabbis permit entry to certain areas, but the number of Jews who have an interest in visiting the Temple Mount, where there is no visible sign of the Temples, remains tiny.

The most noise from Jews on the Temple Mount has been created by those who have to remain silent because they are forbidden to pray out loud.

Police enforce the restriction placed by the Muslim authority on the site, even though it contradicts the principle of freedom of worship.

Thoughts are allowed, at least for now.

The Jordanian-Israeli Peace Treaty specifically cites the freedom of access to all people to holy sites and even implies that prayer is allowed. However, the “status quo” accepted by Israel shortly after the Six-Day War honors the Muslim limitations.

The Foreign Ministry stated:

The status quo protects the right of Muslims to pray on the Temple Mount, as well as the freedom of all people, whether Muslims, Christians, Jews or others, to visit the Mount. Visits

The recent series of attacks against Israelis is the direct result of incitement by radical Islamist and terrorist elements … [and] includes the spread of false claims against Israel, in particular regarding the status quo on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Authority, including its chairman Mahmoud Abbas, are using inflammatory Islamic rhetoric to spread false and malicious claims against Israel, and treat those who engage in the murder of Israelis as heroes…..

Radical Islamists are bringing explosive devices, Molotov cocktails and other weaponry onto the Temple Mount, thus deliberately desecrating, damaging and endangering the holy site and turning it into a battle field.

The militarization of a site revered by all should be universally condemned. The aim of these elements is to change the status quo and to prevent visits by non-Muslims on the Mount.

Israel has guaranteed freedom to Christians and Muslims to visit all of their holly sites in Judea and Samaria and areas of Jerusalem that were under Jordanian occupation until the Six-Day War in 1967.

Jordan did not allow Jews and Christians to visit their holy sites, except in rare circumstances when a foreign Christian leader traveled to Israel.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Second Temple-Era Podium May Be Discovery in City of David

Monday, August 31st, 2015

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has made an exciting announcement: A 2,000-year-old podium may have been found in the City of David section of the Old City of Jerusalem.

A unique stepped structure exposed on the street ascending from the ‘Siloam Pool’ to the Temple Mount is raising questions among the researchers at IAA.

The intriguing, impressive pyramid-shaped staircase is constructed of large ashlar stones. It was uncovered during a current IAA archaeological excavation in the Jerusalem Walls National Park in the City of David.

The area of the excavation is the site of ancient Jerusalem, and the dig is being carried out in cooperation with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the City of David Foundation.

This structure is situated alongside the 2,000 year old Second Temple stepped street, which carried pilgrims on their way from the Shiloah (Siloam) Pool to the Temple, which stood atop the Temple Mount.

The street, a section of which was excavated in the past, is remarkably well-preserved and is built of enormous stone slabs. IAA archaeologists believe the street most likely runs above the 2,000 year old drainage channel, discovered a number of years ago, which carried rain water out of the city.

The street was constructed sometime in the fourth decade of the first century CE, and was one of the largest construction projects undertaken in Jerusalem during the Second Temple period.  Dozens of whole pottery vessels, stone vessels and glassware were found at the foot of the pyramid-shaped staircase.

Coin from the period of the Great Revolt against the Romans, discovered in the destruction layer atop the street from the Second Temple period.

Coin from the period of the Great Revolt against the Romans, discovered in the destruction layer atop the street from the Second Temple period.

“The structure exposed is unique. To date such a structure has yet to be found along the stepped street in the numerous excavations that have taken place in Jerusalem and to the best of our knowledge outside of it. For this reason, its exact use remains enigmatic,” said archaeologists Nahshon Szanton and Dr. Joe Uziel, who are heading the excavation on behalf of the IAA.

“The structure is built along the street in a place that is clearly visible from afar by passers-by making their way to the Temple. We believe the structure was a kind of monumental podium that attracted the public’s attention when walking on the city’s main street.

“It would be very interesting to know what was said there 2,000 years ago. Were messages announced here on behalf of the government? Perhaps news or gossip, or admonitions and street preaching – unfortunately we do not know.

“Bliss and Dickie, two British archaeologists who discovered a small portion of this structure about 100 years ago, mistakenly thought these were steps that led into a house that was destroyed. They would certainly be excited if they could come back today and see it completely revealed,” the archaeologists added.

It is known from rabbinic sources there were “stones” that were used for public purposes during the Second Temple period. For example, one source cites the “auction block” in connection with the street: “[a master] will not set up a market stand and put them (slaves) on the auction block” (Sifra, BeHar 6).

In the Mishnah and Talmud the “Stone of Claims” is mentioned as a place that existed in Jerusalem during the Second Temple period: “Our Rabbis taught: There was a Stone of Claims in Jerusalem: whoever lost an article repaired thither, and whoever found an article did likewise. The latter stood and proclaimed, and the former submitted his identification marks and received it back. And in reference to this we learnt: Go forth and see whether the Stone of Claims is covered” (Bava Metzia 28:B),” an IAA spokesperson added.

Hana Levi Julian

Old Meets New

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Back in July, while building two nursery schools in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Arnona, the construction team found a cave.

The Israel Antiquities Authority just announced that inside the cave archaeologists found a wine press, benches and a 2000 year-old mikvah (Jewish ritual bath) from the Second Temple period.

But what was more interesting, was that on the walls of the Mikvah they found writing in Hebrew and Aramaic as well as paintings and inscriptions on the walls. All unusual for Mikvahs of that period, but even more unusual was the amount of writing and painting that were found there in one location.

Painting and inscriptions found on the wall of a 2000-year-old mikveh in Jerusalem.

Painting and inscriptions found on the wall of a 2000-year-old mikveh in Jerusalem.

Ancient Cave Mikveh found in Jerusalem

THe IAA plans to make the painting and inscriptions available for viewing in the future.

Photo of the Day

‘Jewish Holy Temples Never Existed’ Says Israeli Arab MK

Monday, July 27th, 2015

On the anniversary of the destruction of the two Jewish Holy Temples in Jerusalem, Tisha B’Av, an Israeli Arab lawmaker insisted in a radio interview that neither ever existed.

Joint Arab List (Ra’am Tal) Knesset member Masoud Ganaim made the statement during an interview Sunday (July 26) on Galei Tzahal Army Radio. Ganaim was asked – as was Jewish lawmaker Yinon Magal from the Bayit Yehudi party — about violent riots that were being perpetrated by Muslim Arabs in the Al Aqsa mosque on the site of the Temple Mount. The rioting Arabs hurled rocks, cement blocks, firebombs and other explosives at Israel Police and even Waqf Islamic Authority security personnel from inside the mosque.

When asked about the violence, Ganaim said that the rock-throwing was not the problem: the real issue, he said, was the “incitement” caused by Jews wanting to pray at the site, considered the holiest in the Jewish faith.

Ganaim also said during the conversation that no Jewish Temples ever existed on the Temple Mount – and that he knows this for a fact because he is a history teacher.

“The State of Israel knows that Jews and Israel have no legitimacy to the site except for their legitimacy as an occupier – a legitimacy won by force,” he said. The MK blamed Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) in particular for visiting the site on Tisha B’Av, calling the minister an “occupier” and his visit “incitement.”

Magal responded that a system of reverse “apartheid” exists on the Temple Mount – against Jews – and that despite the sanctity of the site in Judaism … a Jew who wants to make a blessing over an apple he is preparing to eat will be arrested for “incitement.” At the same time, police do nothing to Arabs seen screaming or hurling rocks at visiting Jews.

“The site has always been holy to Islam,” Ganaim repeated, “never to any other religion.”

Was there ever a Jewish Temple on the site? the interviewer asked directly.

Ganaim flatly denied it, and followed up by saying he knew that to be true because he personally is a history teacher. “At most,” there “may have been” a temple “somewhere else,” he allowed, but noted that Jewish scriptures only refer to a future Temple in Jerusalem descending from Heaven.

Jews need to wait until that happens before attempting to visit the Temple Mount, Ganaim advised.

The Western Wall, located at the edge of the Temple Mount, is the remnant of outer retaining wall of the Second Holy Temple in Jerusalem, a fact confirmed numerous times by reputable archaeologists. The Second Temple was built upon the ruins of the First Temple.

There also exist an abundance of archaeological artifacts documenting a Second Temple presence on the Temple Mount itself as well, believed to have been the site of the Temple’s “holy of holies.” There are special laws delineated in the Torah as to when and how a Jew must be prepared in order to approach the site.

The future Temple of which Ganaim spoke is the Third Holy Temple which Jews await and which is expected to appear with the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkenu, the Messiah, who it is said will be born on Tisha B’Av.

May we all merit to see both speedily in our lifetimes.

Hana Levi Julian

Archaeologists Discover that Ancient Dead Sea Scroll Is Chapter of Leviticus

Monday, July 20th, 2015

Archaeologists have learned a pleasant surprise: One of the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls that never has been understood turns out to be a 1,500-year-old copy of the beginning of the Book of Leviticus (VaYikra).

Modern technologies made it possible for the first time to read the contents of the burnt scroll that was found 45 years ago inside the Holy Ark of the ancient synagogue at Ein Gedi excavations, on the western shore of the Dead Sea.

This is the first time in any archaeological excavation that a Torah scroll was found in a synagogue, particularly inside a Holy Ark.

The extraordinary find, presented at a press conference Monday, was the conclusion of efforts during the last year that brought the Biblical verses back to life after state of the art and advanced technologies preserved and documented the Dead Sea scrolls.

The scroll of the first chapter of Leviticus, was written in Hebrew and was dated by Carbon 14 analysis to the late sixth–century CE, making it the most ancient scroll from the five books of the Hebrew Bible to be found since the Dead Sea scrolls, most of which are ascribed to the end of the Second Temple period (first century BCE-first century CE).

The Israel Antiquities Authority Israel’s Merkel Technologies Company last year cooperated to perform high-resolution 3-D scanning of some Dead Sea Scrolls fragments and phylactery (tefillin) cases by means of a Micro-CT scanner.

The fragment of the Ein Gedi scroll was scanned along with the phylacteries and phylactery cases. The Israel Antiquities Authority then sent the outcome of these scans to University of Kentucky Professor Brent Seales, who developed digital imaging software that allows to virtually unroll the scroll and visualize the text.

This enabled the first eight verses of the Book of Leviticus to suddenly became legible:

The Lord summoned Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying:

Speak to the people of Israel and say to them: When any of you bring an offering of livestock to the Lord, you shall bring your offering from the herd or from the flock.

If the offering is a burnt-offering from the herd, you shall offer a male without blemish; you shall bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting, for acceptance in your behalf before the Lord. You shall lay your hand on the head of the burnt-offering, and it shall be acceptable in your behalf as atonement for you.

The bull shall be slaughtered before the Lord; and Aaron’s sons the priests shall offer the blood, dashing the blood against all sides of the altar that is at the entrance of the tent of meeting. The burnt-offering shall be flayed and cut up into its parts.

The sons of the priest Aaron shall put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. Aaron’s sons the priests shall arrange the parts, with the head and the suet, on the wood that is on the fire on the altar. (Leviticus 1:1-8).

Dr. Sefi Porath, who discovered the scroll in the 1970 Ein Gedi excavations, said, “The deciphering of the scroll, which was a puzzle for us for 45 years, is very exciting. Ein Gedi was a Jewish village in the Byzantine period (fourth–seventh century CE) and had a synagogue with an exquisite mosaic floor and a Holy Ark.

“The settlement was completely burnt to the ground, and none of its inhabitants ever returned to reside there again, or to pick through the ruins in order to salvage valuable property. In the archaeological excavations of the burnt synagogue, we found in addition to the charred scroll fragments, a bronze seven-branched candelabrum (menorah), the community’s money box containing c. 3,500 coins, glass and ceramic oil lamps, and vessels that held perfume.

“We have no information regarding the cause of the fire, but speculation about the destruction ranges from Bedouin raiders from the region east of the Dead Sea to conflicts with the Byzantine government.”

Jewish Press Staff

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/archaeologists-discover-that-ancient-dead-scroll-is-chapter-of-leviticus/2015/07/20/

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