It has not been an easy week, to say the least, with the despicable terrorist murder of Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi in Barkan, and another stabbing in the Shomron Regional Brigade (bet you didn’t hear about that one!), not to mention the ongoing massive arson war by Hamas against Israel in the South, with thousands of acres burned to a crisp, and countless wildlife and plant-life utterly destroyed. The terrorists are watching and learning from Israel’s pathetic non-response to their arson and are now launching incendiary devices into Jerusalem, Modiin and other areas in central Israel.
But I feel we need something to lift our spirits before Shabbat so here is this week’s Good News Friday installment.
Since the legitimacy of Israel’s right to Jerusalem is constantly challenged by antisemites, and indeed the Jewish people’s very connection to Jerusalem is being denied by UNESCO, it is very exciting and gratifying news that an ancient inscription from the Second Temple period, about 2,000 years old, containing the word “Yerushalayim” (Jerusalem) in full, has been unearthed in an archeological dig in Jerusalem:
An exciting archaeological discovery uncovered in Jerusalem was presented for the first time Tuesday at a press conference of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and the Israel Museum. It is a stone inscription from the Second Temple period (1st century BCE), which marks Jerusalem’s name in Hebrew letters in full spelling – as is written today.
The inscription was discovered last winter near Binyanei Ha’uma in the capital, in an excavation conducted by IAA archaeologist Danit Levy before the paving of a new road. During the excavation foundations of a building from the Roman period that was supported by column sections were exposed. The crowning glory was a round stone column that was incorporated into the Roman building repeatedly with an Aramaic inscription in Hebrew letters, typical of the Second Temple period, around the reign of Herod.
This is the language of the exposed inscription:
The Jerusalem Archaeologist at the Antiquities Authority, Dr. Yuval Baruch, and Prof. Roni Reich of the University of Haifa, who read and studied the inscription, say that “the inscriptions from the First and Second Temples that mention the name ‘Yerushalem / Yerushalayim [Jerusalem] are very rare. They said it is rare to find the name Jerusalem in full script as is customary today. “In fact, this is the only stone inscription from the Second Temple period recognized in studies, which mentions the name Jerusalem in full spelling.”
“Such an occurrence is known only once during the Second Temple period, on a coin from the time of the Great Revolt against the Romans (66-70 CE). The scarcity of the name in the full spelling is also evident from the Bible, where the city appears 660 times, and only in 5 cases, relatively later, is the spelling full.”
The Times of Israel has more background:
“My heart started to pound and I was sure everyone could hear it. My hands were trembling so badly I couldn’t properly take a picture,” said Levi, who dates the column and its inscription to 100 BCE.
The 80 cm. high column has a diameter of 47.5 cm, said Levi, and would have originally been used in a Jewish craftsman’s building. It presumably belonged to or was built with money from Hananiah son of Dodalos.
While inscribed in a Jewish village — Levi said there is evidence of ritual baths as well as other finds bearing Hebrew lettering at the site — the column was eventually reused in a plastered wall, found in a ceramic construction workshop in use by the Tenth Roman Legion, that would eventually destroy Jerusalem in 70 CE.
Hananiah may have been one of the several potters of the village located a mere 2.5 kilometers (about 1.5 miles) outside of ancient Jerusalem, who created vessels used by Jerusalemites and pilgrims for everyday cooking and Temple offerings. Industrial areas such as this one, said Levi, are always found outside of urban areas to avoid the city’s pollution.
Strategically located near clay, water, and fuel for their kilns, the village was also on a main artery leading to the Temple — which is used until today, noted the IAA’s Jerusalem Regional Archaeologist Dr. Yuval Baruch at the unveiling.
Jerusalem during the Second Temple, said Baruch, was one of the largest cities in the east, with a population of at least 50,000 residents, which swelled by as many as hundreds of thousands, during the three annual pilgrimage festivals. The excavated artisans’ site is approximately 200 dunams, “larger than a small village,” which would have been necessary to cater to the needs of the pilgrims ascending Temple Mount.
Hmm, so the Jews living in the land of Israel 2,000 years ago and more were ascending to the Temple Mount, NOT the Al Aqsa Mosque or Western Wall, in their holy capital of Jerusalem – but this well-known and extremely well-documented fact si denied by UNESCO at the behest of the Arabs… this makes them not only wilfully blind but wilfully malicious and evil.
Kol hakavod to all the archeologists for this fantastic discovery.
Since we are on the subject of Jewish indigenous rights in Israel, it is extremely good news that the final obstacle has been removed from establishing the new settlement of Amichai in Samaria, in place of Amona which was destroyed at the behest of left-wing agitators and provocateurs who incited local Palestinians to lodge spurious claims against Amona – and who then attempted the same trick against Amichai:
“Today is a holiday for us and for everyone within whom a Jewish and Zionist heart is beating. After a stubborn and heroic struggle we have waged in recent years, the Supreme Court rejected the petitions against Amichai’s establishment and ruled that it was not discussing the issue of establishing new communities in Judea and Samaria. With this, the final barrier to establishing the Amichai was effectively removed,” the residents said in a statement.
“In the short term, hundreds of families are expected to join Amichai and will make the continuum of Jewish settlement from west to east – from Tel Aviv to Ariel, Eli, Shiloh and now to Amichai to the Jordan Valley – a fait accompli, and thus have made the chances of a Palestinian state in Gav Hahar [region of Samaria] zero.”
“Today we call upon the prime minister and his ministers: We have seen that it is possible. Establish more and more communities in Judea and Samaria. Authorize the existing communities as soon as possible. Bring, as soon as possible, a million Jews to Judea and Samaria, and thus bring abundance and thriving to the entire land,” the residents added.
They concluded their statement with longing for the town they left behind. “We will never forget our community – Amona. We will forever remember the oath to return to the mountain of goodness from which Jewish life was uprooted, and if not us, then our children and grandchildren will fulfill the oath – because the homeland is ours.”
I am quite astonished at the even-handedness of the Supreme Court which usually finds in favour of the Palestinians and hardly ever with Israelis. Thank G-d for this miracle, and kol hakavod on this ruling. May the new residents of Amichai have great success and lots of nachat in their new home, and may the settlement enterprise continue growing from strength to strength.
And one final item for today. It’s not exactly good news, but we don’t often hear such an articulate defense of the Jews, and such an indictment of antisemitism, in such a public forum. With all the antisemitism scandal engulfing the British Labour Party, British Jewish author and commentator Howard Jacobson appeared on the BBC program “Intelligence Squared” arguing in favour of the motion that “Jeremy Corbyn is unfit to be Prime Minister”.
Israellycool brings us the background and the video below:
Just watch Jacobson in action and shep nachas!
Aussie Dave also provides us a link to the full text of Jacobson’s speech if you want to read it more thoroughly and enjoy his mastery of the English language even more.
I can’t resist it. I’m going to provide you with some zingers before I close:
Something tells me you’re expecting me to call Jeremy Corbyn an antisemite. There’s been a bit about it in the press, and I… well, you know…
But I’m not going to call him anything. He says he isn’t an antisemite, Hamas says he isn’t an antisemite, the white supremacist David Duke says he isn’t an antisemite, and that’s good enough for me.
Am I being ironical? Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m incapable of irony.
We know what an antisemite look like. He wears jackboots, a swastika arm-band, and shouts Juden Raus; Jeremy Corbyn wears a British Home Stores vest under his shirt and is softly spoken. Antisemites accuse Jews of killing Jesus; Corbyn is an atheist and seems not to mind if we did or didn’t. Whether that’s because Jesus was Jewish and killing him meant one less Jew in the world, is not for me to say. And – and – he doesn’t deny the Holocaust…
Mind you, he knows a man who does. In fact he knows a surprising number of men who do.
Go and read it all, and enjoy the word-play and clever nuances of language that Howard Jacobson uses.
I hope the news I have brought today has given you something to smile about over Shabbat.
Shabbat shalom everyone.