Art & Culture
- Written by Silvia
FIRST-EVER VIRTUAL INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS
In this period of coronavirus in which public gatherings are not possible, the Israel Antiquities Authority is pleased to invite the public to participate in the first-ever international conference on the Dead Sea Scrolls taking place May 17 – May 20, 2020.
More than three dozen scholars from around the world will gather online to share new research and discoveries on the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the public is invited to participate from the comfort of home. Registration is required for each day and capacity is limited.
Hear from scholars and experts from the Israel Antiquities Authority, University of Haifa, Yeshiva University, University of Manchester, Hebrew University, Yale University, University of Nebraska, University of Groningen, Bar Ilan University, Brite Divinity School, Catholic University of America, University of Maryland, University of Birmingham, New York University, University of Vienna, McMaster University, University of North Carolina, University of Toronto, Oxford University, University of Notre Dame, Uppsala University, University of Kansas, and Universität Göttingen.
Please note that some lectures may assume a background in Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship.
Session topics include: Canon and Authority; Archaeology, Realia and Science; Interpreting Dead Sea Scrolls Texts; Science, Technology and the Scrolls; Ideology and Theology; Qumran and the Sect; Hebrew Bible and its Interpretation; Cave 11 and the Temple Scroll; Law and Liturgy
This virtual conference is presented free to the public by the Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority in collaboration with NYU, Global Network for Advanced Research in Jewish Studies & the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies.
- Written by Israel Antiquities Authority
The Israel Antiquities Authority Reveals Rare Coin from the Bar-Kochba Revolt Discovered at the Foot of the Temple Mount, in Honor of Lag B’Omer
In honor of Lag B’Omer, the Israel Antiquities Authority presents this rare bronze coin from the period of the Bar Kokhba revolt (circa 132 CE) was discovered in archaeological excavations of the Israel Antiquities Authority in the William Davidson Archaeological Park, under the supervision of the Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem, Ltd. located between the Temple Mount and the City of David. The excavations are conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority and funded by the Ir David Foundation (Elad), which operates the site.
The obverse of the coin is decorated with a cluster of grapes and the inscription “Year Two of the Freedom of Israel” and the reverse side features a palm tree and the inscription “Jerusalem.”
Coins from the period of the Bar Kokhba revolt, which declared the rebels’ purpose - to liberate Jerusalem from Roman occupation after the destruction of the city - are well-known in archeology. Discovering such coins helps researchers map out the revolt, which took place approximately 1,900 years ago. It is interesting to note that the rebels minted these revolt coins on Roman regime coins with stripped or damaged faces, possibly out of defiance of the Roman occupation. The revolt coins featured the Temple facade, trumpets, a harp/violin, as well as the inscriptions: “Redemption of Israel” and “Freedom of Israel.”
Dr. Donald Tzvi Ariel, Head of the Coin Department at the Israel Antiquities Authority, examined over 22,000 coins discovered in archaeological excavations in the area of the Old City in Jerusalem. This examination revealed that only four of the coins are dated to the period of the Bar Kokhba revolt. This is a very small number, even more so when compared to the large number of Bar Kokhba coins that have been found outside of Jerusalem. The recently discovered coin is the only Bar Kokhba coin found in the area on which the word “Jerusalem” appears.
Despite their desire to do so, the Bar Kokhba rebels failed to breach the boundaries of ancient Jerusalem. This fact gives rise to the question of how four coins from the revolt period still managed to make their way into the city. The excavators, archaeologists Moran Hagbi and Dr. Joe Uziel of the Israel Antiquities Authority, raise the possibility that the coins were brought to Jerusalem (where the Legion camp was seemingly posted), by Roman legionnaires of the Tenth Legion, who participated in suppressing the revolt and saved the coins they found on the battlefields as souvenirs.
In the archaeological and historical research based on the testimony of the Roman historian Cassius Dio, it is accepted that the Bar Kokhba revolt broke out in 132 CE, after Emperor Hadrian declared the establishment of a Roman colony called “Aelia Capitolina.” This colony was built on the ruins of Jewish Jerusalem and began with the construction of a temple dedicated to the god Jupiter on the Temple Mount.
The establishment of the Roman city and the construction of an idolatrous temple in place of the Jewish Temple, in addition to restrictive religious decrees, distressed the Jewish population that had remained in Judea. This launched a widespread revolt against the Roman government under the leadership of Shimon Ben-Kosiba, known as “Bar Kokhba.” The revolt itself lasted about five years, causing heavy casualties among the Roman legions - so much so that they had to deploy large military units from around the Roman Empire to complete their ranks. The revolt ended with the destruction of hundreds of Jewish communities and villages that took part in the revolt. However, Bar Kokhba remains etched into the memory of the Jewish nation as a historical hero.
Photo: Bar Kokhba Revolt Coin inscribed with the word "Jerusalem" and a picture of a date palm
Photo: Koby Harati, City of David Archive
- Written by The Simon Wiesenthal Center
New Short Film Series: Courage + Valor: Stories That Inspire from SWC's Moriah Films
Announcing Courage+Valor: Stories That Inspire, a new, uplifting weekly series of short films from the two-time Academy Award®-winning Moriah Films film division of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Over the years, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has honored hundreds of deserving individuals and presented them with the Center’s Medal of Valor award for their courage and bravery.
The films highlight courageous individuals who have made a difference in the world, impacted upon others, and changed the lives of people around them for the better. Each film focuses on one remarkable individual and their poignant, and many times unknown, story of courage and heroism.
“At a time like this, we need stories that are uplifting that highlight the best of humanity. This series does just that,” said Rabbi Marvin Founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and two-time Academy Award®-winner.
“We are excited that we can share these incredible stories that we have been producing for close to three decades with a much larger audience, especially now,” said Richard Trank, Academy Award®-winner, Executive Producer, Principal Writer and Director of Moriah Films.
Profiles include Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, Tree of Life Synagogue; Mother Ricarda Beauchamp Hambrough, English nun who helped to hide Italian Jews from the Nazis; Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger; Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords; the Tuskegee Airmen; Lord Carey of Clifton, former Archbishop of Canterbury; Carl Laemmle, the founder of Universal Pictures and the savior of hundreds of European Jews fleeing Hitler; and Israeli Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, David Ben-Gurion and more.
“Courage+Valor: Stories that Inspire” from two-time Academy Award-winning Moriah Films – highlighting Sir Winston Churchill
Watch now https://vimeo.com/415605559/9f3b821428
Sir Winston Churchill, one of the 20th century’s most celebrated figures who is remembered for leading his country as Prime Minister during the dark days of World War II when German victory was considered imminent. He is also remembered for his early opposition to Adolf Hitler and Nazism and his support for Jews under threat by the Nazi regime. In May 2010, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of Churchill’s ascension to the Prime Minister’s office, his granddaughter, Celia Sandys accepted the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Medal of Valor on behalf of the Churchill family.
“Winston Churchill: Walking With Destiny” can be streamed:
Moriah Films is the Jack and Pearl Resnick Film Division of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Our documentaries focus on the 3,500 year old Jewish experience as well as contemporary human rights and ethical issues.Moriah’s goal is to produce theatrical documentaries on a regular basis that both enlighten and educate while at the same time reach national and international audiences. Two of Moriahs’ films have been recipients of Academy Awards™ for Best Feature Documentary, Genocide (1981) and The Long Way Home (1997).
Photos / Video The Simon Wiesenthal Center
- Written by Maccabi World Union
Lag BaOmer Message: Antisemitism and Defenselessness
Shimon Bar Kochba's military victories gave the People of Israel nearly 3 years of national independence during 132-135CE (Common Era); on Lag Ba'Omer we celebrate that Great Hebrew Revolt. The same rebellion, however, also led to the worst massacres of Jews in ancient times, and the Exile of most of our People from almost all of our ancestral Land of Israel. Bar Kochba's war began in the hills of Judea and carried as far afield as Beit She'an in Lower Galilee. It cost Rome and its Empire the utter destruction of 2 Legions of the 12 eventually sent to crush the Jewish rebels; it was a massive expedition, with the best Roman general of the time, Julius Severus, and the former Governor of Germania, Hadrianus Quintus Lollius Urbicus, leading huge numbers of troops summoned from as far away as Britannia..
The end result had dramatic and fateful consequences for the Jewish People: Emperor Hadrian issued a decree of final expulsion of the Jews from Judea. For the first time in history – including the tremendous destruction of the two Temples of Jerusalem, 586 BCE and 70 CE – the children of Israel were denied the right to live, even as subjects, in their ancient homeland. The Jewish People were constrained to a wait stretching for thousands of years to return to our national life in the Land of Israel.
The Jewish People returned again and again to the Land of Israel during those centuries of expulsion - who could have imagined that it would last almost 18 long and extremely painful centuries? The collapse of the Bar Kochba Revolt against Rome began the period of the Exile of the Jewish People, the establishment of multiple diasporas, and the consequent dependence on the will of those who dominated them, all too often with dire consequences. From a sovereign warrior people who experienced periods of greater or lesser strength and forms of independence, the Children of Israel became a scattering of defenseless, unprotected communities whose right of domicile, even right to life, was precarious, always in question.
When Christian Europe made the accusation of deicide an integral part of its theology, the demonization of the Jewish people became established State policy; anti-Semitism was part of both religious and political policies. If the Jews murdered God Himself, they had the capacity to perform the most extreme evil. This spawned a permanent barrage of new accusations and systematic teaching of hatred against the People from whom Jesus had sprung, to whom he belonged and whose teachings he honored.
The creation of the State of Israel radically changed the Jewish People's condition of defenselessness. Even though it has endured war-in-every-decade since its creation, and many, many military actions between the great confrontations, though it suffers the sorrow of tens of thousands of fallen, and hundreds of thousands of wounded, Medinat Israel restored to the Children of Israel our ability to establish our own destiny, decide for ourselves and resist genocidal threats. That half of the Jewish People living today in the Jewish State are not strangers to suffering, sacrifice and pain, but enjoy our recovered independence and reestablished strength; Israel made "Never Again" a reality of independent and happy life.
At present, Diaspora Jewish communities are not in the same condition. With shame and blame forgotten for crimes during the Shoah, anti-Semitism has grown exponentially in the West in recent years. Some traditional hatreds for Jews mutated into other rationalizations adapted to the fashions of our time, their murderous claws striking with literally redoubled force. Three large streams fill this well of hate; some have even recovered a degree of that bon ton so common before the Holocaust; people can say nasty things about the Jews in public, even in polite society. In his compilation of sources on the situation of anti-Semitism in the last year, part of a study commissioned by the World Zionist Organization, Eli Nachum describes these 3 streams that promote hatred of the Jewish People and criminal acts: the radical left, the radical right, and radical-political Islam – Islamism:
"The Radical Left: The colonialist past that haunts Europe has been projected since 1967 upon Israel's control of Judea and Samaria. The entry of many Jewish people in key positions in Europe's economic and political worlds also strongly aroused the Radical Left bias against Israel, often under academic auspices. University professors repeatedly explain that Israel is the source of violence, child murder, and war crimes throughout modern history. This is not criticism, but lies.
The Far Right: While Antisemitism in Europe in recent years came in Radical Islam and Radical Left forms, the Far Right returned to the center this year. Two attacks aimed at Muslims at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand and at Jews at a synagogue in Halle, Germany returned attention to the Far Right. In Germany, most of the hundreds of Anti-Semitic incidents recorded this year were perpetrated by far-Right activists.
Radical Islam: In Arab countries, education emanating from the upper echelons of power succeeded in teaching hatred of Jews. Even where it was discontinued, negative perceptions were absorbed. Today, hate emerges from the people; it permeates popular TV series and programs. Depictions and characterizations of the Jews in various Qur'an verses are powerful. They've always been there, but it's a question of dosage. Interpretation of these verses is the most difficult issue to deal with. Islamist movements typically adopt the harshest interpretations. Over and over, verses are presented that portray the Jews in a negative light, primarily portraying them as the most avowed enemies of Islam."
Anti-Semitism re-emerged not only in the least progressive Islamist regimes, but on the streets of large and smaller cities of the West, generating huge quotas of hatred rationalized and wrapped in old and new conspiracy theories of the militant right, fascist left and Islamo-terrorists, again demonizing Jews as "the reason for all the ills of the world". The Diaspora Jews' helplessness-insecurity / Israelis' security-strength contrast is deeper now, and in some of the world's Jewish communities, even critical. The security of the Jews in the countries of the West, which seemed for so long after the Shoah to have been finally guaranteed, is again a reason for real and justified concern: the perceived powerlessness of governments of good leaders, the hypocrisy of governments of bad leaders, and their sincere or false repudiations in the face of brutal increases in murders and attacks on Jewish passers-by, destruction of property, desecration of synagogues and cemeteries, and the tons of hatred on social media.
In these days when we remember Bar Kochba's small victories in Lag BaOmer and the tragedy of his final defeat, we value the extraordinary achievement of national independence regained in our historic land - our inheritance, our heritage. We also redouble our efforts to denounce anti-Semitic hatred, attacking their bases and demanding that the West which fell ill with hatred against the Jews through the cancer of deicide assume its responsibilities: remove the malignant tumor from its body, protect Jewish communities that contributed so much to the healthy development and progress of the European societies in which they live.
May the spirit of Lag B'omer inspire us to continue the optimistic construction of our national future, to urge us to protect Jewish life everywhere... and may the lights of our Lag B'omer bonfires illuminate our present glory and our promising future here in Medinat Israel.
Lag BaOmer Sameach!
RABBI CARLOS A. TAPIERO
Deputy Director-General & Director of Education
Maccabi World Union
- Written by Steven Aiello
The Ambassadors Club of Israel commemorated Israel’s 72d Independence Day in the most appropriate fashion -- with a Zoom session attended by dozens of diplomats, journalists, and civil society leaders, and many more viewing via Facebook live.
The guests were welcomed by Ambassador Yitzhak Eldan, President of the Ambassadors Club, as well as CEO Mr. Itsik Kamilian, and Mr. Rami Carmel. Ambassador Eldan noted the importance of diplomacy, collaboration and solidarity during these trying times, and saluted the emergency forces working hard to protect and save lives. He also highlighted the important role of diplomats, lighting a virtual torch in honor of the hard work in difficult and unprecedented conditions.
Dean of the diplomatic corps and Honorary Dean of the Ambassadors Club, H.E. Hennadiy Nadolenko, Ambassador of Ukraine, also addressed the gathering, and noted that Israel’s fortitude and celebration in light of the current challenges from the pandemic were just “one more impressive achievement in showing a strong, innovative, democracy.
The ambassadors then led a toast to Israel. Many ambassadors then addressed the audience, or used the chat option to write blessings to the state of Israel and thanking the Ambassadors Club. for continuing to forge ties and support the diplomatic corps, including opening an emergency support hotline. Among those offering their greetings and support were the Ambassadors of the European Union, the Philippines, Cyprus, Latvia, Thailand, Rwanda, Ghana, Sri Lanka and Paraguay. David Freeman, the Baha’i representative, also offered best wishes. A very touching moment came when the diplomats joined in song to sing happy birthday to Nitza Raz-Silbiger, the director of the Protocol department at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.This was certainly an Independence Day party that will not soon be forgotten.
Diplomacy.co.il congratulates the Ambassadors Club and the diplomatic corps, and offers best wishes on the occasion of Israel’s 72d birthday.