Archive for October 2007

Synagogues after the Destruction

October 31, 2007

Even after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE there was a Jewish presence in the Land of Israel.   The Jews who remained in the land worshiped in synagogues facing Jerusalem and prayed for the resurrection of the Temple.  Lee I. Levine, noted scholar of ancient synagogues, spoke to Reform Judaism Online about the character of synagogues in Israel after the destruction.  He cites both archaeological and rabbinic sources to demonstrate what we know about ancient synagogues.

The Jewish Agency

October 31, 2007

American donors are pressuring the Jewish Agency to end its affiliation with the World Zionist Organization.  This would radically change the direction of the organization, since half the seats in the Jewish Agency Assembly belong to members of the WZO.  The donors are exerting their power by threatening to withdraw their donations if their demands are not met.

You can read all about it at Haaretz.

Alpahbet Inscription

October 29, 2007

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has published an article about the excavations at Tel Zayit and the limestone tablet found there which bears an inscription of the Hebrew alphabet.

A rebuttal of the claims made in the article can be found on the Higgaion blog.

Christian Zionists Raise $8.5 Million for Israel

October 24, 2007

Christians United for Israel, headed by Pastor John Hagee, hosted its 26th annual “Night to Honor Israel.” Most of the money raised was from private donations and went to different Israeli organizations, including the Israel National Autism Society and the Ariel Development Fund. Over $6 million was contributed to aliyah organizations, such as Nefesh B’Nefesh.

A full report can be read at The Jerusalem Post.


October 23, 2007


World-renowned archaeologist Eilat Mazar is skeptical that the Israel Antiquities Authority actually conducted excavations on the Temple Mount. She says it would have been impossible to hide until now. According to Mazar, the Antiquities Authority is trying to cover up the fact that it allowed destruction of First Temple antiquities on the Temple Mount.

Read this article at World Net Daily.
Also worth reading is the post, “Material from First Temple Period Found on Temple Mount,” on the Bibleplaces blog.

No Room for Israel

October 22, 2007

On April 23, 1964, at a speech in San’a, Gamal Abdel Nasser, President of Egypt, said:
“We swear to God that we shall not rest until we restore Arab nationalism to Palestine and Palestine to the Arab nation. There is no room for imperialism and there is no room for Britain in our country, just as there is no room for Israel within the Arab nation.”

First Temple Antiquities Discovered on the Temple Mount

October 22, 2007

After weeks of work on the Temple Mount by the Waqf, the Israel Antiquities Authority has sent archaeologists to examine the antiquities which are being unearthed. The team of archaeologists identified fragments of bowls, including rims, bases and body sherds; the base of a juglet used for ladling of oil; the handle of a small juglet and the rim of a storage jar. They date these finds to the First Temple period!

On the one hand, this is exciting news. On the other hand, it brings home how much destruction is being caused by the Waqf bulldozers.

Read more:

Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Israel Antiquities Authority

The Jerusalem Post


Objectivity in Archaeology

October 21, 2007

Prof. William Dever lectured at Columbia University on Monday Oct. 15 as part of a series on biblical archaeology. Although he never mentioned Nadia Abu El-Haj (whose book claims Israeli archaeologists are motivated by ideology rather than by scholarship), he challenged her claims, saying, “Archaeology has never been edited,” he said. “When we dig these things up, they are pristine.”

An article on the lecture, with some background on the controversy surrounding Nadia Abu El-Haj and her bid for tenure, can be read at The Forward.

The Dead Sea Scrolls in San Diego

October 21, 2007

The San Diego Natural History Museum begins the second part of its Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. The second batch of scrolls to be displayed includes a scroll of the Ten Commandments.

View the website of the exhibit, or read an article from the North County Times.

Art and Zionism (continued)

October 21, 2007

The New York Post has picked up the story about the San Francisco gallery which dropped an exhibition because of its Zionist message.