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October 31, 2014 / 7 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘spring’

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.

The Blessings of Rain

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

It starts to rain in Israel, if we are lucky, some time in late October or November. If we are less blessed, it will start in December. January sees rainfall, as does February. By March, we know we’re near the end and by April it’s over. May, June, July, August, September (and usually October) – no rain – often not a single time, once in a while there’ll be a short rain – sometimes not even that.

The winter in Israel is spent watching the level of the Sea of Galilee – as it rises, we know we’ll have water for the coming dry months. Early in the winter, meteorologists will predict a wet winter, a dry one, a warm one, a cold one. Sometimes, you don’t even hear their prediction. This has been a good year – so far…though  much is still needed to take us out of the perpetual drought we have been in for over a decade. In all of the years I have been in Israel, not once has the level of the Sea of Galilee reached over capacity. There are provisions for this happening – huge flood gates that can be opened, sending water down through the Jordan Valley and into the dying Dead Sea.

Last year was adequate – this year, we still wait to hear. The winter is probably about half-over but we think in terms of days. In the last few days, the Sea of Galilee has risen an amazing 22 centimeters – I don’t know if you can imagine what that means. Yesterday it rained; today it is raining. Tomorrow and the next day, they are predicting more rain and even snow in some areas.

People are complaining about floods and traffic and the cold and through it all, there is this amazing joy. People will say, “it’s miserable out there, thank God.” Each drop is a blessing, a gift. In Israel, from a young age, we teach our children two things about water – don’t waste it, and always carry it with you. My children go with bottles of water – the heat in the summer can be very dangerous and they need to carry water with them. They shut the water when they soap themselves up in the shower; they shut the water when they are brushing their teeth. You don’t waste water in Israel. If you peel potatoes into a pot of water so they don’t turn colors – you walk outside and pour the pot of water into the garden.

As we drove into Jerusalem today, the water was flowing over the hills, pouring down the rocks, forming a river on the side of the road. Lauren tried to get a picture but the camera focused on the drops on the window instead. “Open the window,” said Davidi.

Both my daughter-in-law Lauren and I thought that was a bad idea – she’d be soaked, as would the car! But a neighbor managed to capture the power of the water. This is today’s blessing from God to a land that He loves, and a land that loves Him.

Martin Indyk: U.S. Thought Israel Was Going to Attack in Spring

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

In an interview with former US ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk on Galei Tzahal radio Thursday morning, Indyk stated that the US was expecting an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities this past spring.

Arab Attacks 60 Year Old Man at Abraham’s Well in Hebron

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

A video uploaded to YouTube by English Spokesperson for Hebron David Wilder shows a stream of blood on the rocks of the Abraham’s Well underground spring, following a near-fatal rock attack by a local Arab on a 60 year old Jewish man who came to immerse in the spring.


Jewish tradition connects the Patriarch Abraham – the central figure connecting Judaism and Islam and one of three great Jewish patriarchs buried in Hebron – with the small natural spring, saying it was the place where Abraham and his wife Sarah would go to purify themselves.

On Wednesday, a 60 year old resident of Kiryat Arba went to perform a cleansing immersion at the site, and when he reached the bottom of the stairs, was attacked by an Arab who threw a large rock at his head.  The man was found unconscious on his back at the bottom of the stairs leading to the well.  He regained consciousness at a Jerusalem hospital, to which he was evacuated by paramedics.

Israel Defense Industry To Display Cutting-Edge Innovations at Paris Military Exhibition

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Hailed as the “largest-ever Israel National Pavilion” at the biennial Eurosatory Land and Airland Defense and Security Exhibition, 26 Israeli companies will be displaying their cutting-edge technology at the famed defense industry trade show in Paris on Monday.

Organized by the Ministry of Defense’s International Defense Cooperation Division (SIBAT), the Israel Pavilion will focus on “Improving efficiency, utility and performance of the modern military force” and “will showcase a range of capabilities in areas,” such as “The Future Soldier,” “Unmanned Platforms,” and “Precision Strike,” according to a statement released by SIBAT.

All of the most prominent names in Israel’s defense industry will be represented, including Elbit Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and Rafael Defense Systems. One product making a lot of news is Rafael’s Mini-Spike electro-optic guided missile, the world’s smallest personal missile. Measuring 70 cm in length and 75 mm in diameter, the Mini-Spike weighs a total of 4 kg and has a range of 1.5 km.

Many of the innovations, though, are from lesser known companies, like Fibrotex, Net-Line, and Water-Gen. Petach Tikvah-based Fibrotex, “a leading provider of advanced static and mobile camouflage and deception systems,” will be introducing a new generation of lightweight, reversible combat uniforms. Utilizing fire-retardant fabrics, the uniform “can provide camouflage for green areas such as forests, while the other side camouflages soldiers in desert or urban environments.”

Netline Communications Technologies will be displaying a portable jamming device that neutralizea remotely detonated Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Portable, lightweight, and accurate, this system – called the C-Guard HHJ – is intended to aid Special Forces, infantry soldiers, and SWAT teams in urban scenarios, where IEDs have wreaked havoc on military forces across the globe.

Water-Gen, a company focused on providing water generation solutions, will introduce two potentially-revolutionary products: GEN-250G, which creates water from air, and the SPRING backpack-portable water treatment unit system. GEN-250G produces “up to 500 liters (135 gallons) per day of pure, fresh, cold drinking water,” and is “able to withstand the harshest field conditions.” SPRING purifies water using reverse osmosis and UV, and “can filter 300 liters (75 gallons) per battery pack.” According to press release, Water-Gen recently won a tender to supply the British Ministry of Defense with a water generation system, and is also cooperating with the armies of Spain, India, and the United States.

Among other innovations that will be showcased are hand-held through-the-wall radars, mini-Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), robots, and frequency-hopping radios. The exhibition will take place from June 11th-15th, and will include over 1,400 exhibitors from around the globe.


German Bullies, A Milk Bucket, And Divine Providence

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Judaism holds that nothing happens by chance, that everything is orchestrated by Hashem. And so it was long ago on a Sunday morning, about a month after Pesach when my father ran an errand for his parents.

It was the early 1930s and my father, Kurt Lion, then seven or eight years old, was still living in the southwest German farming village where he had been born. His parents had asked him to take a bucket full of milk, drawn from their cow, and deliver it to an uncle who lived nearby. At the time, with the rise of Hitler and hatred of Jews pervading even the most rural of German villages, my father was fearful of running into gangs of Gentile kids in the street – as they might bully him for being Jewish.

But on this Sunday a group of five youths followed my father stubbornly, even as he tried to evade them. They spewed anti-Semitic taunts at him, although he kept pleading that he wanted no trouble. They continued to bear down on him and the group’s leader, several years older than my father, lunged forward to throw a punch.

For the rest of his life my father had vivid memories of what happened next, and he always recounted it with a smile. He ducked away from the punch but at the same time flung the bucket of milk toward his attacker. The milk spilled all over the anti-Semite’s clothing, which incidentally had been his “Sunday finest” for churchgoing.

“My mother is going to kill me!” the attacker cried out, retreating. “Then you should have left me alone,” my father responded.

Some of the other youths again moved toward my father. But he raised the bucket, still half-filled with milk, and sloshed it menacingly.

“I’ll get you too if you don’t leave me alone,” he warned. The group, now also fearing a milk shower on their Sunday clothes, ran away.

My father returned home, said he needed more milk for his uncle and told his parents what had happened. His father, Philip, laughed and joked that the milk had not been wasted; their cow would have approved that its milk was used for this purpose. And he complimented my father for keeping up his courage, “staying brave, and using his Yiddishe kop.

The lesson my father learned that spring morning boosted his confidence and helped him survive the hard times ahead. In the subsequent years, he became adept at defending himself and his Jewish friends in neighborhood fights with anti-Semitic bullies.

During the war he lost his parents but though left an orphan, this fighting spirit kept him going. He joined the French Resistance and continued to fight back against the Germans who inflicted such horrors against his family and our people.

This spring, a few months after my father’s first yahrzeit, when I thought of his amused memories at chasing off the anti-Semitic gang with a bucket of milk, I pondered Divine Providence. A childhood incident that could have ended with my father being beaten badly, humiliated, and perpetually fearful wound up boosting his confidence instead – ultimately instilling in him the bravery to fight and survive.

Knesset Calls Special Session; Migron Bills on Agenda

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

The Knesset will meet this Wednesday at 11 AM to discuss the two bills that would legalize the outpost of Migron.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision to order Migron evacuated in a matter of months, the nationalist MKs promised to fight back with legislation. The two bills that were shelved back in January will be discussed following Likud MK Danny Danon’s success in attaining 25 MKs’ signatures to call a special session during the Knesset’s 39-day spring recess.

Most of the Netanyahu government’s 66 coalition members refused to sign Danon’s request, including all of Yisrael Beitenu and Independence, which led to Danon enlisting opposition National Union and Kadima MKs to meet the 25 MK minimum needed to call a special session during a recess.

Speaker Rivlin authorized the request for a Migron Knesset session last week and chose April 18th as the meeting date.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/knesset/knesset-corner/knesset-calls-special-session-migron-bills-on-agenda/2012/04/17/

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