The Western Wall Heritage Foundation and the Israel Antiquities Authority are enabling the public to view impressive new sections of one of one of the most magnificent public buildings uncovered from the Second Temple period. The discovery – the fruit of archaeological excavations recently conducted in the Western Wall Tunnels – will be part of the new route opened to visitors ahead of Rosh Chodesh Elul and Slichot (Penitential prayers). Part of the structure, to the west of Wilson’s Arch and the Temple Mount, was discovered and documented by Charles Warren in the nineteenth century, followed by various archaeologists in the twentieth century. Now that its excavation is complete, we know that it contained two identical magnificent chambers with an elaborate fountain between them. The walls of the halls and the fountain were decorated with a sculpted cornice bearing pilasters (flat supporting pillars) topped with Corinthian capitals. The decorative style of the building is typical of opulent Second Temple-period architecture. Mordechai Soli Eliav, Chairman of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation says, “It is exciting to reveal such a magnificent structure from the Second Temple period while we mourn the destruction of Jerusalem and pray for its restoration. These chambers are part of a new walk through the Western Wall Tunnels, where visitors will view fascinating finds and walk for the first time along the entire route among Second Temple-period remains that illustrate the complexity of Jewish life in Jerusalem between the Hasmonean and the Roman periods.” According to Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolach, Excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “This is without doubt one of the most magnificent public building from the Second Temple period that has ever been uncovered outside the Temple Mount walls in Jerusalem. It was built in around 20–30 CE. The building, which apparently stood along a street leading up to the Temple Mount, was used for public functions – it may even have been the city council building where important dignitaries were received before entering the Temple compound and the Temple Mount. Visitors to the site can now envisage the opulence of the place: the two side chambers served as ornate reception rooms and between them was a magnificent fountain with water gushing out from lead pipes incorporated in the midst of the Corinthian capitals protruding from the wall. The excavation also uncovered the original massive stone slabs with which the ancient building was paved. The archaeologists believe that the guest rooms, which were also used for dining, contained wooden reclining sofas that have not been preserved. Reclining dining rooms were common in the Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman worlds from the fifth century BCE to the third–fourth centuries CE. They are known in the archaeological record from private homes, palaces, temples, synagogue complexes and civilian compounds. Dining or feasting while reclining is mentioned as early as the Book of Amos – in the first half of the eighth century BCE – when the prophet rebukes the people of the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel. In the late Second Temple period, before the Temple’s destruction, extensive changes made throughout the area included alterations to the building, which was divided into three separate chambers. In one of the chambers, a stepped pool was installed that was used as a ritual bath.” Shachar Puni, architect for the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Conservation Department explains, “The new route provides a better understanding of the complex and important site known as the Western Wall Tunnels, while emphasizing the extent of this magnificent building. It creates a new visitors’ route that passes through the building and leads to the spacious compound at the foot of Wilson’s Arch (one of the bridges leading to the Temple Mount), which was also excavated by the Western Wall Heritage Foundation and the Israel Antiquities Authority. By making the route accessible and opening it to the public, visitors are introduced to one of the most fascinating and impressive sites in the Old City of Jerusalem.”
Jews cower in their homes as Arabs set fire to synagogues and comb the streets for Jewish victims. Failing that, they attempt to break into Jewish homes. They burn cars and whatever else they can lay their hands on. These events are taking place over the last two days, in Israel proper, in the city of Lod, a half hour’s drive from Tel Aviv.
Lod is a mixed city. Its Jewish population has been shouting for help as they remain trapped in their own homes while Arabs run riot. The government has quite rightly been criticized for its tepid response. Only about 30 rioters have been arrested. Finally, on Tuesday evening, the government ordered 16 Border Police companies to the city and declared a state of emergency.
As pathetic as has been the government and police response, it’s Lod’s Arabs who deserve the most censure. They are Israeli Arabs. They have grown up in Israel, not on the other side of some imaginary line, not in the so-called ‘occupied territories.’ Israel makes enormous effort to help its Arab citizens feel a part of the country, despite propaganda to the contrary. In short, there is no excuse for the savagery of this ungrateful minority.
One Jewish woman in Lod, appearing on Channel 11 on Tuesday night, described the relations she had had with her Arab neighbors up until then. She said they were a model of warmth and mutual respect. Most fascinating was hearing how the friendly relationships of years changed in the way a switch is flipped. She said she could feel the difference. Suddenly, they looked at her with hostile eyes. The woman, a sociologist by profession, said she couldn’t explain it. She also said she saw Arabs outside “dancing with joy” as the Hamas rockets flew by.
It is reminiscent of accounts from the 1929 Hebron pogrom, where “Arab homeowners had told their Jewish neighbours ‘today will be the great slaughter,’ and several of the victims took tea with so-called friends who, in the afternoon, became their killers.”
Lod’s violence has now spread to other heavily Arab cities. Bedouin in the south lie in wait along the highways, ready to stone passersby.
Arabs cheered at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate as they watched a Hamas rocket reach the Jerusalem area on Monday evening, May 10th around 6:00 p.m. Between six and seven rockets were fired in the barrage, which was directed at Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh, located approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) west of the capital.
Israelis are watching and no doubt reaching conclusions. “All the work we have done here for years [regarding coexistence] has gone down the drain,” Lod’s mayor said. Even the most dedicated peace advocates have fallen silent as Arabs, who a month ago were wishing their Jewish neighbors a Happy Passover, took to the streets with chants of “With blood and fire we will redeem Palestine.”
In terms of “end times” timing this is a very significant watershed event. The hostility will only escalate from here as Jews have to isolate Palestinians living within its borders. World anti Jewish sentiment will escalate as a result. The good news is that we know the end of the story, and whilst Israel still has its greatest challenge ahead involving the Antichrist, Jesus will return to Israel to rule and reign the nations from Jerusalem when it will be known as the “City of Peace” and “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Isaiah 1:26; 2:1-4; Jeremiah 23:6)
An ancient horned Israelite altar dating back 3,000 years that was in danger of being destroyed will now be protected after having been damaged by recent building activity at the site, Makor Rishon reported.
The altar, hewn from stone, is one of only three discovered in Israel to date and the most perfect of them, according to Prof. Yoel Elitzur of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who discovered the altar 17 years ago together with attorney Doron Nir-Tzvi.
Elitzur has struggled for a year to protect the altar in the wake of construction in the area that has damaged it. At one point, a metal cable was attached to one of the horns. Also a large stone fell on it damaging two of the horns, Makor Rishon reports.
The altar is located in Givat Harel in the Binyamin region of Judea and Samaria. It has a flat surface for sacrifices and four horns, one on each corner. Its dimensions fit those mentioned in the Bible (“five amot long and five amot wide… and make horns upon it”).
Several weeks ago, the settlement of Givat Harel and the Binyamin Regional Council took an interest in the altar. The large rock that had damaged it was removed and they are developing the area as a tourist attraction.
“The discovery of the altar is profound expression of our meaningful connection to the land. It’s evidence before the whole world of our historical right to Judea and Samaria,” Binyamin Regional Council head Israel Gantz told the paper.
Also noteworthy is that the altar is located at the base of a slope and not on the hilltop as in keeping with pagan worship in which altars were place on the tops of mountains and hills.
Prof. Elitzur is also trying to save one of the other altars, the one located in the Shimson Industrial Zone. He discovered a few months ago that the altar is in danger of being lost due to the industrial development around it.
There is the scoreboard that cannot be contested, the disproportionately high number of Nobel Prizes Jews have won, and the incontrovertible fact that, despite their tiny numbers, Jews have risen to the top of just about every conceivable field of endeavour except those from which they were excluded. Jews have won more than 20 percent of all Nobel Prizes that have been awarded.
As New York Times columnist Bret Stephens noted, we inevitably are confronted with the following question: “How is it that a people who never amounted even to one-third of 1 percent of the world’s population contributed so seminally to so many of its most path breaking ideas and innovations?” God provides the answer.
God said, “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:2-3
But as Stephens soon discovered, in today’s “woke” world in which any discussion about the achievements of any group, but especially the Jews, is forbidden, to even ask such a question is to call down upon oneself an avalanche of abuse.
Rather than calling out as racists those who recognise the reality of a certain genius that Jewish civilisation has produced, it is those who find this notion insufferable who should be asked what it is about the reality of Jewish success that makes them so angry.
Some 3.5 million Jews have made Aliyah since 1948, making up 42 percent of the total population.
Established in 2016, Aliyah Day is celebrated on the seventh day of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan, coinciding with the reading of the Torah portion in which Abraham is told by God to leave his home to go to Israel. The day is marked with celebrations in the Knesset, a special cabinet session, and events at the president’s residence, schools, and army and police facilities.
Even before Israel went into the Promised Land, Moses revealed to the Jews, the scattered, persecuted future that will be their lot as a result of the nations disobedience to God. God had revealed to Moses Israel’s entire history, fortunately, including the regathering of a scattered nation, and finally, the end of the story with their Messiah, Jesus, ruling and reigning from a restored Jerusalem.
“Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you, and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you. If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. Then the Lord your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it.” Deuteronomy 30:1-3
The past year saw an increase in the number of Olim (someone who makes Aliyah) to Israel. Since the beginning of 2019, more than 28,000 new immigrants from all over the world immigrated to Israel and the positive trend continues. In 2018, 26,000 Olim came to Israel. The majority of Olim this year came from Russia and the Ukraine.
In 2019, over 70 years after the Holocaust, the world’s largest Jewish population lives in Israel. This figure represents 43 percent of world Jewry now back in their homeland as God prophesied.
Israel is God’s vehicle to bring salvation to all the world. It is central to His redemptive purposes.
God created Israel to be His “Kingdom” on earth. Nine times, He described the Land of Israel as His “Land”—“the place He has chosen as the dwelling place for His Name.”
Israel’s rebirth in 1948 after almost 1900 years was a miracle, a miracle which Jesus prophesied in the Olivet Discourse (parable of the fig tree) as the first major sign prior to His return.
My temple will stand in Israel for all time, and I will live among My people and be their God. Every nation on earth will know that My temple is in Israel and that I have chosen the Israelites to be My people.” Ezekiel 37:24-28
Take a sneak peek at a soon-to-be opened Biblical era thoroughfare that still bears the ashes from the destruction of the Holy Temple.
Imagine striding up the same stone path that millions of people walked on to arrive at the Holy Temple in Jerusalem during Biblical times, which is known as the “Pilgrimage Road.”
That fantasy is about to be reality as Israel prepares to open to the public an excavation project that has taken nearly a decade to complete. This new archaeological attraction will permit visitors to literally witness the ashes of the Jewish people’s Holy Temple, which was burned to the ground by Roman invaders.
In this clip, you’ll get an early glance at this amazing discovery!