Since this coming Friday will be the second day of Rosh Hashana when I will still be offline, I decided to post this week’s Good News Friday installment today, as this is the last working day of this week for me.
My first item should have been included in last week’s installment but I omitted it by mistake. Never mind, this just gives us an extra reason to celebrate this week instead! Israeli judoka Yarden Gerbi became the first Israeli judoka to win a gold medal at the World Championships:
The 24-year-old, who has been enjoying a terrific year on the international circuit, won four straight bouts before beating out Clarisse Agbegnenou, the European champion, in the finals.
Gerbi competes in the 63-kilogram category. She emerged victorious from her match with Agbegnenou after pinning her opponent to the mat and executing a powerful choke hold with her legs.
As she stood on the podium, Israel’s national anthem, “Hatikva,” playing in the background, Gerbi was visibly moved.
“I’m so happy that it really ended this way,” she later told Ynet. “I had a great competition… Nothing can be better than this… I cried a little for my parents; they also cried.”
Watch Yarden’s amazing moves – she literally knocked her opponent out!
Kol hakavod to Yarden Gerbi on bringing such honour to herself, and also for her visible pride at her country. Long may Israel continue to produce such wonderful sportsmen and women.
From the sports hall into space, Israel this week launched the Amos 4 communications satellite into space from a Kazakhstan launch-pad:
The launch used a Russian Zenit rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The launch will be completed Sunday morning, when the satellite separates from the launcher’s final stage.
After the separation, the Amos 4 satellite will continue on its trajectory for two weeks to reach its designated orbital position at 67.25 degrees East at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers. The satellite will operate at this node for several months, during which in-orbit tests will be conducted. Afterwards, it will move to its orbital position at 65 degrees East where it will operate commercially.
Spacecom CEO David Pollack said, “The company congratulates IAI for the achievement in building the Amos 4. With the Amos 4, Spacecom continues its rapid expansion to new continents and large markets, becoming a regional international player for the provision of satellite communications services in the global market.”
IAI CEO Joseph Weiss said, “The Amos 4 is at the forefront of technology, on a level with the world’s leading satellite communications. This is an impressive achievement for IAI, which is the leader and chief contractor for all of Israel’s satellite programs. The development and manufacture of the satellite by IAI’s skilled and dedicated employees is an exceptional achievement for us in aerospace.”
Kol hakavod to the IAI and Israel’s space program on the successful development and launch of this satellite. It makes us proud to think that our tiny little nation can reach unto the heavens and beyond into space.
Taking a great leap backwards from the Space Age back to the Jewish nation’s early years, two recent archaeological discoveries go to reinforce the Jewish People’s claim to the Land of Israel.
A few weeks ago the discovery was announced of a 2,700-year old Hebrew inscription on a pottery fragment in Jerusalem:
The fragment, discovered just outside the capital’s Old City at the City of David site, in what is now the Arab village of Silwan, was likely part of a large ceramic bowl dating from between the 8th and 7th centuries BCE, the Israeli Antiquities Authority said Sunday.
The text fragment on the shard, roughly transliterated without vowels into English characters as “ryhu bn bnh,” is similar to the name of Zechariah son of Benaiah, the father of the prophet Jahaziel, whose name appears in 2 Chronicles 20:14 when Jahaziel spoke prophecy to King Jehoshaphat before the king went off to war.
“While not complete, the inscription presents us with the name of a seventh century BCE figure, which resembles other names known to us from both the Biblical and archaeological record… and provides us with a connection to the people living in Jerusalem at the end of the First Temple period,” the statement said.
[archaeologists Joe Uziel and Nahshon Zanton] said that the letters inscribed on the bowl shard likely date from “sometime between the reign of Hezekiah and the destruction of Jerusalem under King Zedekiah.” Based on their analysis, they noted, the inscription “was engraved on the bowl prior to firing, indicating that the inscription originally adorned the rim of the bowl in its entirety, and was not written on a shard after the vessel was broken.”
The bowl possibly contained an offering, given by the person whose name was inscribed on the vessel, they said.
This is immense news for archaeologists everywhere, as well as being incredibly heartening for anyone who is distraught at the wanton and criminal destruction of Temple artefacts by the Muslim Waqf on the Temple Mount.
Another very important recent archaeological find was the discovery that the famed King Solomon’s Mines really did belong to King Solomon, and not to the Egyptians as has been assumed for the last 50 years. The link above is to the Hebrew NRG site. Following is the Google translation of the article, slightly edited by me for coherence’s sake:
The researchers , led by Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef, refuted scientific consensus almost 50 years old , that attached the mines in the kingdom of Egypt .
Archaeologists have used dating method known Carbon14 “, produced new findings excavated in the Timna Valley . Test results demonstrated that the activity in the copper mines peaked in the tenth century BC , just in the United Kingdom of Israel and of David and Solomon. Thus brought a delegation of Dr. Joseph glory , and ” King Solomon’s Mines ” back to the original ruler after whom they were named 80 years ago.
Perception about Solomon Mines ” suddenly changed ,” according to Ben-Yosef, after the archaeologist Beno Rothenberg uncovered a temple there Hathor Egyptian goddess”. Rothenberg was a great archaeologist , but did not possess the technology to date findings in carbon 14 . So it is automatically attributed to all other sites and activities at Timna New Kingdom Egypt – late 14th century through the first half of the 12th century BC ,” says Ben Yosef .
The new findings date the mighty copper plant , hundreds of thousands of kilns and mines , to the days of King David and King Solomon in the 10th century BC. These new results are based on carbon14 dating of 11 short-life examples – 10 date pits and one olive pit – from amongst the hundreds many of the seeds and bones excavated from “Hill of slaves .”
The 11 seeds that were dug up on “the Hill of Slaves” were sent to the radiometric dating lab at the University of Oxford , where it was determined that most of the activity took place on the 10th century BC , without any evidence of New Kingdom of Egypt.
This discovery joins a previous discovery of Ben Yosef and his team showed that Site 30 – one of the largest copper smelting camps Timna Valley – was not settled before the end of the 12th century BC , and was in active record in the 10th and 9th centuries BCE, and especially in the decades overlapping days of the Kingdom of Jerusalem Kingdom.
Last week, Oxford and test results all indicate that there is nothing on Egypt , and the activity in the Timna Valley was in the 10th century BC. The new information is a new dig that we have , in addition to the one previously tested . This dig is the final “nail in the coffin” of the assumption that the site is Egyptian. Both sites excavated show us a peak production of copper in the valley was in the days of King Solomon.
Dr. Ben- Joseph notes that the establishment of the Temple required a tremendous amount of copper, since all the walls of the temple were plated with the precious metal. The largest source and the nearest copper was in the Arava. A site previously excavated in Jordan , and the new site that was excavated about three months ago point out with no doubt, that they are from the copper mines of King Solomon .
What a great discovery! And how wonderful to have our history confirmed through scientific methods to confound all the haters and doubters. Kol Hakavod to Dr. Ben Joseph and all his team on their research and hard work.
My final item for today is another family update: Heartiest Mazal Tov to my niece Orli and her husband Doron on the birth of their first-born son on Tuesday, and of course Mazal Tov to my brother and sister-in-law David and Rina on their new grandson and to my parents on a new great-grandson!
What a wonderful way to end the old year and start the New Year!
May all this good news mark the start of good, happy and successful New Year for all of Israel and her supporters.
Wishing my family, friends and all my readers Shana Tova and Shabbat Shalom!