News Briefs

Video image


Comment on Facebook

We love to see this!

רשות העתיקות - לגעת בעבר
Watch:A collection of seals (bullae) from the late First Temple period, discovered in the City of David excavations, shed light on the bureaucracy and officials of ancient Jerusalem.

Who was Achiav ben Menachem? A collection of dozens of sealings, mentioning the names of officials dated to the days of the Judean kingdom prior to the Babylonian destruction, was unearthed during excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the City of David National Park in the area of the walls of Jerusalem, funded by the ELAD (El Ir David) organization.

The sealings (bullae- from which the Hebrew word for stamp, “bul”, is derived) are small pieces of clay which in ancient times served as seals for letters. A letter which arrived with its seal broken was a sign that the letter had been opened before reaching its destination. Although letters did not survive the horrible fire which consumed Jerusalem at its destruction, the seals, which were made of the abovementioned material that is similar to pottery, were actually well preserved thanks to the fire, and attest to the existence of the letters and their senders.

According to Ortal Chalaf and Dr. Joe Uziel, directors of the excavation for the Israel Antiquities Authority, “In the numerous excavations at the City of David, dozens of seals were unearthed, bearing witness to the developed administration of the city in the First Temple period. The earliest seals bear mostly a series of pictures; it appears that instead of writing the names of the clerks, symbols were used to show who the signatory was, or what he was sealing. In later stages of the period – from the time of King Hezekiah (around 700 BCE) and up to the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE - the seals bear the names of clerks in early Hebrew script. Through these findings, we learn not only about the developed administrative systems in the city, but also about the residents and those who served in the civil service.”

Some of the seals bear biblical names, several of which are still used today, such as Pinchas. One particularly interesting seal mentions a man by the name of “Achiav ben Menachem.” These two names are known in the context of the Kingdom of Israel; Menachem was a king of Israel, while Achiav does not appear in the Bible, but his name resembles that of Achav (Ahab) –

the infamous king of Israel from the tales of the prophet Elijah. Though the spelling of the name differs somewhat, it appears to be the same name. The version of the name which appears on the seal discovered – Achav – appears as well in the Book of Jeremiah in the Septuagint, as well as in Flavius Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews 15: 7-8).

Chalaf and Uziel add that the appearance of the name Achiav is interesting for two main reasons. First - because it serves as further testimony to the names which are familiar to us from the kingdom of Israel in the Bible, and which appear in Judah during the period following the destruction of the kingdom of Israel. “These names are part of the evidence that after the exile of the Tribes of Israel, refugees arrived in Jerusalem from the northern kingdom, and found their way into senior positions in Jerusalem’s administration”.

Furthermore, the sealings is the fact that the two names which appear on the seal- Achiav and Menachem- were names of kings of Israel. Though Achav (Ahab) is portrayed as a negative figure in the Bible, the name continues to be in use- though in a differently spelled version- both in Judea in the latter days of the First Temple, as reflected in Jeremiah and on the seal, and also after the destruction- in the Babylonian exile and up until the Second Temple period, as seen in the writings of Flavius Josephus.

The various stamps, along with other archaeological findings discovered in the recent excavations, will be exhibited to the public for the first time at the 18th City of David research conference, the annual archaeological conference held by the Megalim Institute, on September 7th at the City of David National Park.
... See MoreSee Less

3 weeks ago


Comment on Facebook


by Pinchas Abramovich

At the southern end of the Temple Mount there exists to this day two gates which have survived from the time of the Holy Temple: the Double Gate and the Triple Gate. Both gates were used for entry and exit from the Temple Mount during the Second Temple period.

The Double Gate is visible only on its right side, as most of it is hidden by a building which was built up against the southern wall in the Fatimid period, (the end of the Early Islamic period). The gate still exists and stands in its entirety inside the wall of the building which hides it, and can be reached from within the Temple Mount. The gate is comprised of two openings, each built with two lintels and a massive doorframe. Above the massive frame is an equally massive Herodian decorated arch which supports the immense weight of the wall above the gate.

Today we see only the right side of the Herodian doorpost and above it the five right stones of the arch. Inside the gate is the original entrance hall and at its center is a huge column that supports the roof of the hallway, which consists of four domes decorated with paintings carved into the stone itself. This is the earliest known site where decorations of this style have been discovered. From the hall a long corridor leads north, which passed under the royal cloister (colonnaded Stoa which stoods atop the Temple Mount's southern edge) directly to the Temple Mount plaza. This corridor passes today under the Al-Aqsa Mosque and is referred to as 'the Al-Aqsa Mosque.' During the Umayyad period (the beginning of the Early Islamic period), the Double Gate served as the main gate connecting the large Umayyad palaces to the Temple Mount, known as the Prophet's Gate. The Umayyads placed a decorated ornamental frame under the Herodian doorpost and placed two decorated columns at the entrance to the gates.

The Triple Gate also stands in the place of the original gate from the time of the Second Temple, and a corridor leading from it up to the Temple Mount still exists. The gates were sealed during the Fatimid period when the city wall that left the southern wall outside the city wall was built, except for the left half of the Double Gate that remained open to the adjacent tower.

'Two Hulda Gates from the South'

The Mishnah in Tractate Midot mentions the two southern gates of the Temple Mount: 'The two gates of Hulda from the south'. Some experts identify these gates with the Double Gate or the Triple Gate.

Several suggestions were made to explain this name:

Some link the place of the gates with the seat of Hulda the prophetess from the days of King Josiah (commentary of the Rosh in the Mishnah and more).

Some link the place of the gates with the burial place of the prophetess (this view is represented in the model of Jerusalem in the Israel Museum, where a pyramid representing the tomb of Hulda was placed on the steps).

Another explanation is that the gate is named after the structure of the gates and the entrances to them, which burrow under the royal cloister (Stoa) as a "rat which burrows into houses" (see the commentary of the Rosh on this Mishnah).

The 'Guide of Jerusalem' which was discovered in the Cairo Genizah, and was written in the period of the Geonim (approx. 600-1000 CE) in Arabic, (translated by Yosef Breslevi, 'The Land of Israel, 1964'), identifies the Double Gate with the Gates of Hulda, and even mentions the entrance room and the column on the other side of the gate:

"And the Arabs call them the Gates of the Prophet... And there is a pillar in the middle of the domed hallway, which stands in the middle of the mosque where Ishmael prays. And that place is called the double gates."

The Muslim traveler Nasser Khusro, who passed through Jerusalem in 1047, also admired the pillar and the domes in the mosque, as he states:

"The stones of the gates are so massive that it is inconceivable how they can be installed by anyone other than King Solomon, the son of David."

The Main Temple Mount Entrance Gates and the Custom of Expressing Loving Kindness

These southern gates served the pilgrims who ascended the Temple Mount from the City of David to the south. The pilgrims who first immersed in the Siloam Pool would then ascend the street which traversed the center of the city, arriving at the wide stairway leading up to the gates. The pilgrims would enter through the Triple, Eastern Gate, emerge on the Temple Mount, and and continue clockwise heading eastward, then northward, as they traversed the Temple Mount, and lastly exited via the Double Gate, west of the Triple Gate.

The Mishna relates that individuals in certain situations requiring special attention, such as mourners requiring consolation, or someone seeking public prayers on behalf of an ill family member, would traverse the Temple Mount in the opposite direction (counter clockwise, west to north). He would enter through the western Double Gate, turn leftward, and ultimately exit via the Triple Gate. These people were called 'walkers to the left'. When 'rightward walkers' camer across 'leftward walkers,' they would ask of the 'leftward walkers,' "What has befallen you, causing you to walk in this direction?" Depending on the answer they could then comfort the mourner, or pray on behalf of an ill person, or bless him who has just completed a new home. In this manner even the act of walking atop the Temple Mount could become an expression of loving kindness for others.

May it be G-d's will that thw words of the midrash (Shir Hashirim Rabbah 2) come true: "... and the Gate of Hulda was never destroyed, and will remain until the Holy One, Blessed be He, [sees to the rebuilding of the Holy Temple]."
... See MoreSee Less

3 weeks ago

See the TRUTH about Jerusalem with your very own eyes!


Comment on Facebook


Comment on Facebook


Comment on Facebook

This past week we remember the horrific Sbarro Pizzaria bombing in Jerusalem 16 years ago. It was when Islamic terrorists murdered 15 men, women and children and injured 130 more... all civilians.  The palestinian authority still pays a salary to the terrorists every single month. These are the same terrorists who want us to believe that theyll suddenly become peaceful if we gave them part of Israels eternal, unified capital city - Jerusalem.

What do you say?


Comment on Facebook

Do you have trouble mourning something that happened 2000 years ago?
I know I do! That's why sometimes you need a shock to your system, something that you can feel, to remind you how real everything was.
We got this at the Temple Mount sifting project this week.

I went with the Mirkhani family from Teaneck to sift through some dirt excavated next to the Temple Mount to see if we could unearth pieces of our history. And boy we did!

I had been there with many groups but this had never happened to me before. We found a small bronze shekel coin which was 2000 years old!
The archeologist had told us that it is really special because it was probably a part of a series of shekel coins which had an inscription on it:

"The 4th year of the rebellion"

The rebellion is referring to the great revolt which began in 66 CE and saw the destruction of the second temple in 70 CE.
"Wait a second" I thought to myself, "if these coins were made in the 4th year of the rebellion, then we have just revealed and are holding in our hands a coin minted by someone in Jerusalem in the year of the destruction of Jerusalem and holy temple!" We were probably the first people to touch this coin since the 9th of Av in 70 CE (based on where it was found)!
A few minutes later the archeologist showed us a Roman spearhead they had just found as well, used in the battle that destroyed Jerusalem!

This Tisha B'Av and the three weeks period will now be a more meaningful experience for me and I hope for the mirkhani family as well because we were able to feel and see the destruction and discover it on our own.
Hopefully we will all be able to cry over the destruction of Jerusalem and dance over its construction!
... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago

Imagine - holding the history of Jerusalem in your hand! We all need physical reminders sometimes...  and here it is!

SHARE the TRUTH about Jerusalem!


Comment on Facebook

... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago

Have you ever wondered how Israel was able to reunite in Jerusalem with the holy city as its capital city after thousands of years in exile?  This is a picture of Israels soldiers in an army base synagogue yesterday, mourning the loss of the First & Second Holy Temples.  Thosuands of years are no match for the love of Israel for Jerusalem!

SHARE the TRUTH about Jerusalem!

... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago

Support a safe, united and free Jerusalem!


Comment on Facebook

Basura son los musulmanes . Que viva Israel por siempre


Comment on Facebook

Joni David

Enough is enough. There is no justification for murder. Stop giving the Palestinian leadership a free pass.

The campaign of lies about the Temple Mount by Palestinian and Arab leaders is nothing new.

In 1929, their excuse for a murderous pogrom and ethnic cleansing of Hebron was that there were "Jewish benches" at Western Wall and the Jews were going to "attack" Al Aqsa mosque (which was completely false).

In 1987, though not related to the Temple Mount, they launched the first intifada after spreading lies that Israel orchestrated a car crash to kill Palestinians in Gaza.

In 1996, Palestinians killed over 25 Israeli soldiers following the opening of the Western Wall tunnels to the public.

In 2000, the horrific second intifada began following Israeli PM Ariel Sharon's tour on Temple Mount, which Palestinians viewed as "provocative" and thus "justified" the murder of hundreds of Israeli civilians in suicide bombings and other terror attacks.

The 2015 "stabbing intifada" was fueled by untrue rumors that Israel was prohibiting Muslims from praying at the Temple Mount following a riot in which Muslim youths attacked non-Muslims visitors to the compound. Access was restricted for Muslim youth for two days...but the rumor mill fueled the deaths of hundreds of Palestinians and Israelis.

Now, 2017, following the abuse of the holy site by terrorists with machine guns on the compound, Israel installed metal detectors to safeguard the holy site. Instead of the Arab world applauding this effort to keep a Muslim and Jewish holy site safe, the Arab and Palestinian leaders are spreading rumors that Israel is banning Muslims from Al Aqsa.

This has ALREADY erupted in massive riots and already the deaths of 3 Israelis in Palestinian terror attacks.
... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago

Lies about Jerusalem and the Jews have long been used as fuel for Islamic terrorism.  

Its time to SHARE the TRUTH about Jerusalem --


Comment on Facebook

Facebook Iconfacebook like button