Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cyrus, Darius, Xerxes, Mordechai, Binyamin

Historical retrospect influenced by propaganda can distort modern views. To unravel the mystery one must be sensitive to actors and cultures that influenced people of an ancient time. One such example is the great Xerxes, a Persian King of mythical proportion about whom modern movie going audiences are unlikely to ever restore a real sense. Historical documents, archaeology, anthropology and punctuated moments during his rule are the only tools we have to reconstruct his story. One such source is the Jewish perspective, you see, Xerxes is considered to be the well known King of Susa (Shushan), from the story of Purim.

Shushan housed the palace of Xerxes, an ancient Persian city, close to the the border of modern Iran and Iraq. It was here, some 70 years prior that the Jewish nation had been exiled by the Babylonians shortly before the Babylonians, in Shushan were defeated by Persian King Cyrus The Great.

Confidence, displayed by Jewish leaders in their prophecy that limited the Jewish exile to 70 years was bewildering to Persian officers and kings. Was the prediction arrogant enough for Jews to dominate the will of the Persian King? As the time approached and the intellectual challenge to Xerxes grew more intense, he strengthened his hand, subjecting the Jews to a battle of wits. He hosted an elaborate feast that lasted 6 months and subjected the pious Jewish community to foods, luxuries and practices they were not accustomed. During the feasts his sorcerers served from the vessels that had been captured and only ever used in the temple in Jerusalem.

Rapid assimilation became Xerxes objective. Ultimately, when that did not appear to shake the confidence of the Jewish nation, he charged his officers who would ensure the Jewish genocide. His leading bureaucrat, known through the Jewish story as Haman is considered to be of the Amalekite bloodline that also became Hitler’s Germany, primed and ready for the final genocide. Haman negotiated with Xerxes and paid to obtain the coveted post and access to the impending Jewish spoils.

Unbeknown to Xerxes, one of his recently isolated harem girls, one whom he is said to have favored, became his Queens’ envy. In a moment of jealousy the Queen challenged Xerxes. He banished her and began a courtship with Hadassah the hidden harem girl who was a relative, some say wife of her Jewish nobleman, uncle Mordechai of the Benjamin tribe. As the seventy year prophecy drew closer and conditions for the Jews became intolerable, Mordechai incensed Haman, by refusing to bow. This became the catalyst that drew the events of the Purim story to a head.

In the miraculous series of events that followed, Hester, which means hidden (Esther) influenced Xerxes to see futility in Haman's plot and the insult to her and her people who had fasted and prayed for three days prior to her approach. Xerxes and his successor integrated the Jews into Persian society, they became loyal servants of the King, they were permitted to return to Jerusalem and rebuild. Although the prophecy of return from exile had in fact come true, the significant majority of exiled Jews never returned. Life in Persia had become comfortable, Xerxes had cleverly integrated them into his society, the Jews would empower his dynasty for many generations into the future.

For those that did not return, modern day Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine became destinations of choice on their continued exile. The returnees to Jerusalem under Nehemiah and the head of the Great Assembly, Ezra eventually restored the destroyed temple and rekindled the age old practices of the Jewish people. Jewish influence was now centered in Jerusalem and Persia.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to speak to Congress on 13 Adar, the day Jews remember the Fast of Esther is reminiscent of Mordechai’s incite, but when the annihilation of your nation is threatened by the very nation over which Xerxes rules, one must surely stand firm!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Jewish Ancestral Path

If archaeology revealed the ancestral, holy origin of Jerusalem and the Jewish people would we follow it? 

It's difficult to imagine how an ancient city developed into a modern metropolis especially when archaeological records are confounded by population settlements spanning many cultures over more than 4000 years. However, Jerusalem has an almost perfect record, the origin of which remained untouched and was only recently discovered. From the site of its origin, the city obtained its holy reputation, on the mountain known as Mount Moriah, but one major event in the life of King David left its mark on our modern retrospective.

I watched a video on the Hamas strategy to attack Israel using tunnels built and destroyed during the recent Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. It was not the preemptive intelligence of the Israeli Army or the conviction of politicians that exposed the high-level threat, it was the seemingly unrelated brutal murder of three young Israeli Yeshiva students that instantly unified the nation and transferred their nationwide authority to their defense force who ultimately finished the job. A similar transference took place for King David at a crucial moment in Jewish history.

The City of David, the original Ancient City of Jerusalem exists outside of the walls people know as the Old City of Jerusalem. The walls of this higher elevation Old City, built 500 years ago, during the Ottoman period purposely cut off the Ancient City, disposing it, relegating its lower elevation, to the garbage dump that The City of David  became. In the following image, the Old City walls enclose today’s Temple Mount, Jewish, Armenian, Christian and Muslim quarters.

Click to enlarge

Discovering traces of the first people that lived in the area required a combination of archaeological science, anthropology, cultural narratives and tradition. Each piece had to objectively fit in order that a theory spanning close to 5000 years of occupation could prevail. Remarkably the intact archaeology and narrative of Biblical forefathers seemed to weave into the perfect tale. Its a story of sporadic dwelling, holy attraction, ancestral honor punctuated by invasion, reclamation, growth, unrest, conquest, defeat, occupation, exile and return.  However, without understanding the nationally inspired authority to act, we can’t contextualize the archaeological "bread crumbs".

This historical rewrite dates Jerusalem’s origin to the Early Bronze Age dwelling discovered behind the bedrock of the cliff face of the Upper (High) Ridge, above the Upper Gihon Pool and Spring. The cave dwelling contains 3-4, hollowed stone sleepers and internal family seating around a fire pit. The approximate location can be seen in the brown circle on the green boundary around the City of David in the (above) aerial image of Jerusalem. The simple dwelling, natural pool and worship on the upper ridge (facing East) preceded the later development of the more structured constructions represented in the image below.

Gihon Ridge - before city walls (time of Jacob)
~North ⇗

The preceding archaeology supports the Biblical narrative of Melchizedek, the Righteous King, High Priest of Salem, said to be Noah’s son Shem. Toward the end of his life he was visited by younger relative Abram, who he blessed. Then, in the immediate years after Abraham bound and offered his son Issac as a sacrifice to God at Mount Moriah it became Isaac's home. Remarkably, there exists a most intriguing artifact located on the perfectly preserved Upper Ridge. The monument or matzevah on the bedrock of one of four chambers, I argue was erected by Isaac's son Jacob when he accepted his new name Israel and began developing Beit El (House of God) to fulfill his covenant made at that spot. According to many well known Jewish sources this matzevah was erected on Mount Moriah by Jacob and marks the place of the famous Jacob’s ladder dream. The same sources suggest it was located adjacent to the altar on which father Isaac was offered. According to Jewish Law the altar on which Isaac was bound is the site of Israel’s Temple altar.

Jebusite City - without Palace or Temple (time of Joshua)

After Jacob left Mount Moriah, him and his descendant nation Israel were exiled to Egypt, Jacob never returned. Some 200 years later, his descendant Joshua returned to find the Gihon Spring, Upper Ridge, Pool and new city occupied and protected by buildings and high walls.

Jewish sources tell of the pact Abraham and Isaac entered with the Father or Nation King (Avimelech) not to dispel his peacekeeping descendants from their ancestral land. Despite attempts to do so by Joshua and the tribes of Israel, until the time of King David some 400 year later, Israel was unable to conquer the city from the Jebusite/Emorite descendants of Melchizedek's brother Ham, progenitor of Avimelech.

Archaeological remnants of the walls of the Jebusite City demonstrate they were later reinforced at the time of King David after he and his men were able to penetrate the underwater channel of the Gihon Spring, enter the city, occupy it and live together with Avimelechs’ remaining peacekeeping relatives including their King. From this city - Jerusalem, his ancestral inheritance, King David progressively obtained control, extending the city and building his palace as a symbol of the nations center, but national authority was not easily forthcoming. Toward the end of his life it was a nationwide pandemonium that inspired the essential, momentary transfer of authority. In the time between disaster and resolution, the King identified the site, built an altar at the top of Mount Moriah and designated it the location of the nations future Temple, which his son Solomon would build.

King Solomon's City - with Temple (time of Solomon)

King Solomon followed his father’s extensive plan, extending the city walls north to the top of Mount Moriah where the First Temple was constructed and where the second Temple ultimately followed. The national unity engineered by King David did not last long, immediately following the reign of Solomon, his son Rehoboam was denounced by challenger Jeroboam and the nation, once again divided. In part Jeroboam founded his national support in pluralistic idolatry. Since then, some 2900 years ago, despite many royal attempts the tribes of Israel have never been reunited.

Jacob left this site of his ancestors for Egypt and never returned. Joshua was unable to conquer it, King David declared the pact of his ancestors void, invaded and recovered Jerusalem city from occupiers. It's entirely possible they may have already buried the high ridge of the Gihon during the construction of their walls and citadel. Eli Shukron the lead archaeologist on the Gihon dig revealed that all four chambers of the Upper Ridge including the matzevah had been preserved in softly packed loose earth between two walls. The dirt contained small artifacts dated back to King Hezekiah. Perhaps Hezekiah had revealed it during his major excavation of the tunnel system that carried water from the Gihon Spring into the city's Shiloah Pool at the base of the Kidron Valley.

Inevitably we must answer the question of the Upper Ridge. Whether King David knew of its existence and purposely obfuscated it, declaring the site on the top of the mountain the altar of the temple, is irrelevant. If Jewish law prescribes the site of Isaac’s offering the only place for the Temple’s altar then we must ask - is the Upper Ridge at the Gihon that place and will we return to the forgotten cornerstone of our Jewish ancestral heritage?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Jerusalem's Mysterious Temple Location?

In 1964 King Hussein denied a permit for the Ras Al-Amoud mosque construction because it was on Jewish cemetery land in Jordan. At the end of the Six Day War in 1967, General Moshe Dayan, head of the Israel Defense Force formally approved the construction of the Mosque amid the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives. You can see it circled (with a blue dome) on the right of the image below including in the inset.

Click to Enlarge North,Temple Mount. East, Mount of Olives, West, City of David
The Mosque is built on the apex of the Mount of Olives, marking the point at which the Western face of the mountain turns toward its significant Southern face. Most of the graves on the Mount are less than 400 years old, but its the location of older graves, the original graves, that begins to tell a very interesting story. In fact the apex faces toward the City of David, not The Temple Mount and the oldest graves are built below the neighborhood of Silwan on the slopes facing the ridges above the City's Gihon Spring.

Although the First and Second Temples were built in the area contained by the Temple Mount, before the First Temple the city graves were not oriented in that direction. Instead, on the other side of the Kidron Valley, opposite the City's Gihon Spring graves appear to acknowledge its' holiness by their orientation toward it. Over thousands of years, as grave sites were carved in the bedrock of the opposite slope hugging the Kidron Valley, construction of new graves eventually crept north toward the available, upper sections of the Mount of Olives.

On the high ridge above the Gihon Spring (see double circle, left in above image) one of the most remarkable discoveries has been made. In context, features in the immediate vicinity include the Gihon Pool, which contained water used for ritual immersion and sacrificial purpose, the stepped structures from the pool to the high ridge, the fortress that once protected the water and the cave dwellings that housed the privileged few before a walled city ever existed. On the high ridge are four rooms carved out of bedrock, I have written extensively on these rooms in the past. However, on a recent trip I learned that a containing wall had been removed during the archaeological excavation to provide access. Further that the earth between the walls was soft land fill, as opposed to pottery and rough stones in dirt, common to the fill discovered on the other part of the slopes.

Click to enlarge -High Ridge of the Gihon Spring, rooms carved in bedrock. Two walls containing soft land fill

According to most opinions, the containing walls were built by King Hezekiah when constructing the tunnels that carried water from the Gihon Spring deeper into the City, exclusively to fill the Pool of Siloam. Why did this area merit such careful treatment 2750 years ago? Treatment that ensured its most fragile artifact, the stone monument or matzevah remained erect and intact, when almost nothing else in the City did.

In a short thesis I wrote about the Origin of Jerusalem I maintain the original stepped structures around the Gihon Pool were not designed to protect water as is the common view, but to elevate the sanctity of the holy place at the High Ridge of the Gihon Spring. If indeed the High Ridge is a remnant of the earliest holy site in Jerusalem and the monument turns out, as I believe, to be the one erected by Jacob, then according to Jewish sources and Jewish law, it will also be the location of the holy altar of the Jerusalem's Third Temple.

They say if it walks, quacks and looks like a duck, its a duck! Its not surprising the discovery of loose objects of idolatry in the immediate vicinity were also discovered, but that does not simply render this a Canaanite site. It seems throughout history idolatry was Israel's constant nemesis, its time to look at this holy site and see it for what it is.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Generation 5800

Israel's history suggests a key to peace is a swift end to its aberrant two-state solution and the adoption of the suitable alternative. In proposing such I do not suggest one can trace a biblical lineage to non-Jewish occupiers living between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea, rather a behavioral linkage to the present sorry state of Israel’s Jewish sovereignty.

Abraham’s monotheism unified his mission spiritually and practically. On arrival in the parched land God promised him and his descendants, he could clearly see there was work to do and when he encountered Noah’s son Shem or Melchizedek, he revived knowledge of his cultural descendant's.  But, he did not stay in the land, he traveled further south to Egypt where he negotiated Shem’s territorial rights with Shem’s brother, Egypt’s first pharaoh Khem/Cham or Ham. Hagar, Cham’s daughter was provided to Abraham as pharaoh’s collateral an acknowledgment of Shem’s plea. On Abraham’s return to his promised land, he struck a treaty with Cham’s descendant Avi Melech - The Father King. The two-state deal precluded Abraham banishing Avi Melech’s living relatives from Azah (Gaza), Hevron (in the West Bank) and Salem (Jerusalem).

After Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah, Sarah’s patience with Hagar, pharaoh’s collateral came to an abrupt end, she kicked her and son Ishmael (to Abraham) out of her camp. While Abraham was prepared to negotiate, a political and diplomatic treaty using the land God promised, Sarah was not, she had no intention of complicating Isaac's right of inheritance any further than Abraham had already done. After Sarah passed away (aged 127) during the moments Abraham offered his son as a sacrifice (Akeidat Yitzchak - the binding of Isaac) at Mount Moriah, he traveled back to Hevron  where he negotiated to buy the plot at Machpela where she was buried. Then Abraham turned his attention to marrying Isaac, making sure his future wife came from the lineage of Sarah’s family. Isaac married Rebecca who filled the tent of her mother in law while he played double down diplomacy, politically extending his fathers two-state covenant of peace to Avi Melech's future descendants.

Rebecca bore son’s Jacob and Esau and struggled hard to maintain and establish Sarah’s progeny. Jacob returned from the land of Sarah’s family, where he married his wives and established his family and fortune. They arrived in Shechem (Nablus), then first traveled back to Mount Moriah. At the site of Akeidat Yitzchak he began to execute a previous covenant he made at the same site. Before he left the Promised Land he promised -"The stone which I have set as a covenant will be the House of God." While attempting to build the House of God,  Rebecca passed away, Jacob abruptly left the site to bury his mother in Hevron, she was 127 years old. Tragically, on the way his first love, wife, Rachel passed away during the birth of their 13th child Benjamin. Years later the family were exiled to Egypt.

Because of Abraham and Isaac's aberrant two-state covenants on the land, Jacob's promise and covenant is yet to be fulfilled. Two previous House of God attempts to build and maintain temples at Temple Mount, the worlds most contested real-estate failed. Finally we live in the generations that are capable of realizing Jacob's dream, however Jewish self inflicted struggle over Sarah’s sovereign view must be rectified. Although Abraham merited a child only because he compassionately prayed that Avi Melech have a child, Jews must not fall victim to the heady Utopian passions of Abraham and Isaac. Instead they must follow the doggedly, determined, materialistic visions of Sarah and Rebecca. If Abraham had simply stayed in the land, things would have been different!

The Hebrew year 5800 is 25 years ahead, this is the right time to realize Jacob's vision. I hold a view that the worlds most hotly contested real-estate may yet hold some surprises, that the first two temples were built in the wrong places, higher up the mountain, but the right place is on its neck. However, the focus for now is Sarah’s sovereign view, whether Jews sell out or stick to her program depends on their constant mindfulness. Jerusalem 5800 proposes and demands It become a World City, one that has been planned during the past four years by more than 40 consultants. Its more than 400 pages are built on the foundation of the Israeli and City government and the bureaucracy’s existing plans.

In the lead up to Israel's next election, the 5800 plan will inspire serious questions about a divided or united Jerusalem by which politicians will be blessed or plagued. But, building the city is part plan that cannot happen until the mental adjustment over Jewish sovereignty is made. Ask yourself whether you are ready to uphold mother Sarahs’ sovereign view and what is the modern context? A modern Jewish nation cannot condone a land that divides people and denies them reasonable representation, but two-states is still being used to divert Jews and those persuaded by aberrant covenants. Meanwhile poverty in Jerusalem is running at 37% while benefactors feed social injustices for the benefit of their brand insurgency. Economic prosperity is Israel’s most advanced anti-terror weapon, but unskilled labor supply remains low and must be accelerated. To rebuild we must be serious about the financial sustainability that ancient Jewish culture provides to industries like tourism.
Democracy is no friend of Jewish sovereignty especially if Israel extends citizenship to all non-Jews living West of the Jordan River. Therefore, it must ensure its Jewish sovereign future ultimately modifying its government structure before it provides all people resident alien status, a path to citizenship and the vote. The 70 elders that once represented the Jewish community prevailed over a hierarchy of community captains of 1000’s, 100’s, 50’s and 10’s. Israel’s national government still incorporates some equivalence to this framework found in the in elected City Rabbi’s that obtain their status through community synagogues and Mayors of cities nationwide. I believe this framework can eventually be elevated by a national referendum to establish a bicameral parliamentary equivalent, Israel’s future senate. At such time in the future a senate of elected Rabbi’s can represent Israel’s community interest by approving the law’s of the country. Once authoritative, they can also obtain the mantle to modify and converge Talmudic law to develop it consistently with Israel’s state law so that only one body of law eventually governs all citizens of the nation.

As the world around Israel implodes Jews must remain focused on Sarah’s vision, she had it right, only one owner, one land.  Through her, Rebecca and Jacob’s wives Leah and Rachel, Israel's Jews remain grounded to achieve their collective destiny. Each must find a way to participate, get involved, sharpen and strengthen their views for the home stretch. One way to do that is to sign up at Jerusalem5800 on Facebook or the web.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Context Spanning Time and Place!

Woodcut by Gustave DorĂ© depicting
the burial of 
Sarah in the cave
The Bible spans 2500 years, but the first two of its fifty three sections quickly advance through 2000 of those years. A preamble to the story of Israel’s indigenous development, the transition is punctuated by two events that rarely caught the eye of commentators past and which unequivocally identifies Israel with its singular most important place. In contrast to place, back then the perception of time was very different than it is today. No one would have planned anything to the precision of a minute or hour, perhaps a day at best, but place or location was fixed and often associated with deeply spiritual events and meaning.

The Quran leads Muslims to believe an ambiguous contradiction to the much earlier Bible, that Abraham’s son Ishmael (by Hagar) was offered as his child sacrifice. However, the Bible makes it clear, Isaac was bound at the altar and the commentators back it up with ample grammatical, mystical and literary proofs. One such commentary tells that during the sacrificial event known as “Akeidat (the binding of) Yitzchak’ (Isaac), Isaac’s mother Sarah, who was in Kiryat Arba (Hebron) at the time, passed away from the ethereal shock of that moment. Elated Abraham returned home from the site of the binding at Mount Moriah only to buy the cave of Machpelah and bury his wife.

Isaac remained in the vicinity of Mount Moriah and was later betrothed to Rebecca who may have been three when Sarah passed. She eventually gave birth to twins Jacob and Esau who grew up mired in their bitter sibling rivalry. Rebecca is said to have perfectly resembled their grandmother Sarah. Like his father who married into the extended maternal family, Jacob was sent away to be betrothed. On his outward journey, at the site of Isaac’s binding on Mount Moriah Jacob dreamed of a stairway bridging earth to heaven. There he set a monument and made a covenant to return and build a house of God, provided he was blessed to return. Twenty years later, a successful Jacob returned together with his wives Leah, Rachel, their 12 children and significant entourage.

Jacob's Stairway leads to Jacob's Monument (matzevah)
Sarah passing aged 127, during her son's binding at Mount Moriah is not immediately apparent as providential. But, Rebecca passing, during Jacobs return, at the consecration of his new name ‘Israel’ and House of God (BeitEl) construction at the very same Mount Moriah site, invokes an undeniable providential parallel. Some 124 years separated these matriarchal death and burial events at Machpelah; Rebecca would have been 127 years old. These event couples seemed to transcend physical time, yet they established and permanently connected the Mount Moriah site of Akeidat Yitzchak and Jacob’s Beit El (House of God) with Abraham’s Machpelah. These events evoked a physical point known in Jewish liturgy as Tzion, the physical place God’s presence manifests in the world.

On Jacob’s way to Machpelah to bury his mother, the portal to the next world demanded Rachel's soul. While giving birth to Benjamin, Jacob’s 13th child she passed away before arriving at Machpelah. Rachel was buried between Mount Moriah (Jerusalem) and Hebron, outside Bethlehem along the straight line route of Jacob’s journey. On that route, it is said Rachel reminds the Jewish people her tears are the reason they merit the rebuilding of the Jerusalem’s third and final temple, at that very same place on Mount Moriah.

The ignorant are dumbfounded by the intricate logic of the Torah’s grammatical foundation; the chronology, letters, words and phrases that make up Israel’s Bible, instead they berate Israel’s indigenous record. Some honor its chronological construct, cunningly fitting their views to interpretations’ strictly codified rules. Still, some exploited the rules of time and place to further their self-serving ideals and successfully diverted the nations thinking. With the discovery of new archaeological evidence, history is being clarified and references to Salem, Luz, Beit El, Sukkot, Mount Moriah, City of David and Jerusalem become one and the same by time, place and spiritual context.

Finally we are being confronted by the stunning prospect that Jacob’s Beit El (House of God) is presently being excavated at the City of David. Through this lens we are, once again able to grapple our perceptions and misconceptions of Torah’s truth.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Israeli Democracy - Look, who is to the P.M.'s left?

Bibi Netanyahu, Israel's P.M. reviews his left flank
The impractical and implausible segmentation of millions into two states or their inclusion on a single, statewide Israeli voter role is no doubt problematic. Despite UN or global diplomacy, no leaders of Jews, Muslims or Christians can throw enough rhetoric at the issues and turn the tide of opinion for such a divergent population. Among Jewish representative leaders of Israel, liberalism and conservatism continues to direct competing and often conflicting policy. But, the millennial battle between Liberalism and conservatism has a new contender for the crown and its fast approaching your democracy too.

Radicalism exploits everything often confusing constituents who don’t quite know what to do or how to respond. In the staunchest democracies voter sentiment is affected by national intelligence that is selectively disclosed and it may come as a shock, but radical extremists do elicit sympathies from moderate voters. Radicals can and will penetrate democracy's' Achilles heel and win over support for their cause. Regardless of their often sordid behavior much of which is forgotten days or weeks after the initial shock, radical ideals are often founded on some apparent social justice compelling enough for liberals to support.

An ancient Talmudic law suggests; when it is established, Israel’s principle sovereign body, the Great Sanhedrin, a court with 69 members and a President cannot order a murderer guilty unless there is at least one dissenting member. In this court liberal dissent is a prerequisite, the antidote to a prevailing radicalism capable of sentencing people to death unlike “Kangaroo” courts presently convened by radical Islamists to benefit their ideal.

Radical Islamic militants exploit a general permission granted by Prophet Muhammad in Medina around 1400 years ago. He permitted a jihad to convert (generally wealthy) people to Islam as a justification for his poverty stricken followers stealing their possessions. Today this criminal behavior is justified by militants who believe these teachings transcend the moral and criminal laws of most countries. The idea behind a Great Sanhedrin is one radical Islamists shun, because their Shiite vs Sunni insurgency relies on fractional justice to determine their dominant messianic bloodline.The winning leader of this intra-Islamic purge will then usurp any competing Judeo Christian Messiah. This is the beating religious heart of present day radicalism and will continue regardless, until such stage as the final outcome of this Biblical lineage is absolutely determined.
These very ancient, interconnected, middle eastern bloodlines are compelled to fulfill their inherent endgame and so it is for the Jews of Israel. The seemingly weird progression of events since September 11, 2001 and the Arab Spring have led to the present Islamic State rhetoric and action, what next? A democratic states symbolism is an important contributor to the psyche of the nation, especially those that remain vulnerable to the influence of radical extremists. For Israel the complex machinations affecting liberal conservative democratic bias is exacerbated by the added, unique dimension of the Jewish religion and the intention of Jews to retain governing dominance to realize their messianic quest.

A nations pomp and ceremony emerges from its history and development. Jewish Israels hurriedly adopted pomp, since its re-established in 1948 is not mature enough to assure continuing Jewish electoral rule in its cities and across its nation. For example, shifting some of Jerusalem's city boundaries by less than a few kilometers would ensure the election of an Arab Mayor. Or, incorporating all people west of the Jordan on the electoral role would reduce the Jewish majority to approximately 53%. Therefore, Israel’s continuing Jewish sovereignty is a question that causes its leaders to express a delicate diplomacy to win international acclaim and domestic popularity. Jewish sovereignty is not democratically guaranteed and it is far too precious an ideal to squander especially in light of the radical alternative.

We must ask hard questions about the future of Israel's national symbolism and its governing structure. Does it honestly embrace and signal its intention to ensure its Jewish ideal? And another, when will Israel’s Chief Rabbi be seated to the Prime Ministers right at official state functions? Since Jewish sovereignty is a prerequisite at least this symbolism ought to be strengthened!  Placing the seat of Israel’s Chief Rabbi, presently held by a representative of the Sephardic and Ashkenazi communities (soon to be consolidated), to the right of the PM would honestly declare the Jewish Sovereign intent of Israel’s Jewish citizens. Once this level of intellectual honesty is achieved radicalism will begin to dissipate because Israel will finally be on the home stretch to a Jewish Sovereign guarantee of its free world democracy, then everyone can vote in the permanent, single Jewish State of Israel.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Extraordinary Original Kotel!

Tension, war and divergent world views juxtapose excitement at the City of David where opinions of archaeologists, students and operators are converging as excavations illustrate and inform long held narratives and traditions. This crucial land, immediately south of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount is fast becoming one of the most important excavations in history because Judaism, Christianity and Islam are directly vested in its outcome.

Ancient walls were built for many reasons, but a recent east facing wall discovered at the City of David was built to protect the ancient city. However, the soft earth discovered at its footings was deliberately placed to conceal important bedrock artifacts in the area immediately in front (east). These unique areas have not seen the light of day for more than 2600 years. The archaeological signs suggest that the concealed area behind the wall (west) housed the Ark of The Covenant where it would have rested for several decades before it was re-located to the Temple built by King Solomon.

Who built this First Temple period wall remains a mystery, but pinning down the responsible King will establish many supporting theories that interconnect and color the narrative. I constructed the visual collage below to compare the map archaeologist Montague Parker sketched almost 100 years ago when the bedrock was more accessible than it is today. I placed excavation images on the rendition backdrop of the Gihon Spring House (bottom right of image) demonstrate the context. As new discoveries are being made, Parker's map (below) detail evidently depicts overlapping features at various layers of earth from the top of the hillside to the valley floor..
The A Wall (above ground wall) was exposed for the first time in July 2014, but the B Wall (below ground wall), which was uncovered in 2008/9 remains housed below temporary ground covering. The present excavation boundary, of the underground B Wall stopped at its East facing wall. The new excavation objective of the above ground A Wall is to obtain western access behind the wall to assess the undiscovered archaeological features of the circled Area ‘G’ (also marked as G on the Parker map) and beyond.

3D Parker.JPG

In the upper left image marked ‘A’, I recently stood on the wall’s parapet inspecting the latest discovery and checking its relationship to the Parker Map. Area ‘B’ are the now familiar bedrock ‘V’ markings probably used to facilitate the dissection and preparation of sacrificed animals. Area ‘C’ is the matsevah (monument), which I believe was erected by Jacob. Area ‘D’ is the underground ziggurat structure leading from the Gihon pool to the upper ridge. I believe this was also constructed by Jacob almost 1000 years before the city wall was constructed. The cave home at Area ‘E’ (‘K’ on Parker’s map) may have been constructed by Shem, the RIghteous King of Salem several hundred years before Jacob’s constructions at this site.

The Wall.JPG

At this point it remains possible that area ‘G’ (on Parker’s map) is a room that is also capable of qualifying as a frame of the ramp to an altar. Frames like this were once filled with local stones and rocks during occasional sacrifices brought periodically through centuries of use. The area on which the lower section of the wall (The B Wall) is built will be revealed by the present excavation that will shortly allow archaeological teams to investigate its western face from the west.

This western wall face would not be the same as its famous Kotel counterpart the Wailing Wall, but an excavation that develops in the direction suggested would rapidly make an historical and spiritual dwarf of everything constructed on the Temple Mount higher up the mountain. It would be very hard for archaeological academia or intellectual students of Torah to ignore the signs appearing at the City of David, at some point they will be compelled to establish a view. As things stand, I’m convinced and if you don’t get the magnitude, follow the links in this article to learn more.

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Cruelest Cut!

The Temple Mount - Southern Wall - Hulda Gates
In a beautiful Jerusalem hotel, in the peak of Summer season I am alone, the only guest eating breakfast in an entire hotel of more than 200 rooms. Where are the families, the business people, the fans of this great city? I’m reminded of the words of Prophet Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah) inscribed in the years before Jerusalem’s destruction: “How does the city sit solitary, that was full of people. How has she become as a widow. She that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how has she become tributary. She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks; she hath none to comfort her among all her lovers; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies.”

In Jew savaged Europe on Tisha B’Av, Napoleon once entered a village synagogue where mourners were lamenting over their destroyed Temple. There he stated; “A nation that cries and fasts for 2,000 years for their Temple will surely be rewarded with its rebuilding”. Little has changed, today Jews struggle to find sanctity in nations around the world, Israel fights wars on its borders, the media preys on the ever popular Jewish negative image and exiled Jews postpone their time to be present in Israel, body and soul. I’m not talking about a 50% decline in inbound tourism, it’s more than 90% in the top end hotels that would normally be teeming with guests. Being present in Israel at a time of conflict is a serious commitment, but for the most part many of her cities remain unaffected.

Israel’s diplomatic machine is spinning to offset the global conditions closing in on her Jews in their other nations. Despite these unfamiliar geo-political occurrences, the magnetism of Israels strengthening Jewish cultural core continues to carry the loudest voice. In times of war when even the anti-religious dedicate time to lay tefillin or light candles and the cry for the Temple grows ever louder, loyalty to Israel's Torah ideal is more evident. Jerusalem’s Temple complexities on The Temple Mount are notorious. Jewish practices not to shave, launder clothes or eat meat for the first nine days of the Hebrew month of Av, the day of the destruction, amplify sentiments. Luxuries are denied by loyal Jewish families who yearn for the Temple rebuilding.

Most who connect with the Temple ideal fixate on the reclamation and building on the Temple Mount site. But, a location for the Temple altar has to first be decided by at least an authoritative body before a building can be planned on it's site on Mount Moriah. The authoritative religious body must be widely supported across the spectra of Judaism. It must arise to determine the nations legislation in deference to its Biblical or Talmudic law so that resolutions can be determined and new instructions issued before a new building can be erected.

Jerusalem's Temple will be built once the greater city is optimally prepared for its erection and can capitalize on the economic benefits that flow from it. Such benefits hold great hope for the eradication of poverty that presently distorts and exaggerates the importance of Israel's insurgents. Demand ushers in the developing opportunity for the realization of such an event. Napoleon was right, the Temple will be rebuilt because inherent in Jewish culture is a deep conviction to see it's return. Despite the views of Jews like M'eretz political party's Erel Margalit who has abandoned the ideal and opposes such activism, the traditional lament grows stronger. The Temple ideal directly serves Israel's spiritual and economic interest and for these reasons alone, even the most extreme opposition will progressively be muted as the nation discovers, adjusts and moves toward its internalized, native insurgency for peace.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hamas corrupt men of violence - Israel's heroes of peace!

For The Fallen Heroes of Peace 
Hamas; the word originates as a Biblical term to depict the corrupt psyche of man in the period before the great flood of Noah. Back then, the world was filled with people who had become corrupt by an alternate reality antithetical to Noah's. Mans distinctive, irreconcilable, schizophrenic condition was settled by the events of the flood that eliminated all corrupt, alternate thinkers except one - Og, King of Bashan!

Bashan, approximately Syria's Damascus, was the kingdom where this mental corruption had become entrenched.  During the flood Og held onto the back of Noah's Ark, the protective righteous cocoon that heralded Noah's new world.  The remnant Og, survived the watery onslaught allowing him to cast Hamas's psychological shadow to a lineage that would once again rise to perpetuate a corrupt mindset.

Moral reality is corrupted by the Hamas nemesis, the alternative where jealousy, envy and incest promote twisted conduct into apathetic society. In the way that inbreeding first affects core family groups, Hamas spreads its warped morality to greater communities like an infestation that demands rapid replication and influence. There, Hamas preys on the socially inept who succumb to their doomed future.

Today's 'conduct unbecoming' by prominent society members exploits Hamas corruption only highlighting the incestuous nature of its millennial psychosis.  Its far reaching influence into the mindset of cultures and civilizations since Noah demonstrates its remarkable resilience. Those corrupted by it will almost always fail to understand or sympathize with the view of those who recognize and are destined to destroy it.

Governments, including of some of the most populous nations have fallen victim to the moral repugnance that is Hamas. Their frequent liberal leaning permits authority to tolerate those who rally to publicly bash the moral dogma central to their eroding conservative culture, a sure sign that Hamas has achieved its infectious goal.

In Noah's day, the high moral scepter passed to his son Shem who became the high priest of Salem, Jerusalem. Shem personified this new moral reality to which Noah subscribed. Shem, Malchitzedek, The Righteous. King, fully embraced the moral code that will eventually defeat the Hamas remnant. The Jewish lineage carried that righteous moral standard through Shem.

For the entire time Noah's Ark bobbed in the turbulent waters, Og was maintained on a thin wooden ledge. Then, around 400 years after the flood we find a transformed Og, King of Bashan who himself had reformed to become Eliezer, the trusted servant of Abraham the moral monotheist. But, the cat was out of the bag and to this very day, Israel and the world's nemesis, Hamas also masquerades as a mindset, a dark infusion that penetrates the moral clarity of Israel, nations and their leaders.

When you next read the words of media giants, diplomats, religious or lay leaders or posters to social media, stop and think whether or not they are corrupted by the Hamas effect. Then thankfully consider this 4000 year inbred mindset is finally being confronted by Israel's righteous heroes in Gaza. Oppose the Hamas ethic, be strengthened, wish Israel's soldiers, who fight for Noah's reality, good-luck, God speed and pray that the souls of the fallen will be heralded by you and your descendants!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Dilemma of Jewish Sovereignty and Democracy.

Intrigued about the future of Jewish sovereignty over Israel, an often controversial topic? Most Jews rapidly retort and support, often without any real understanding of its implication. They probably mean Israel should never fall into the hands of any non-Jewish group or nation that doesn't identify themselves as Jews. But, how can such an outcome be assured given the democracy Israel’s modern state claims in it’s Basic Law of 1948. Surely a democracy means that people living within a nation’s borders must enjoy an equal right to vote, if so how long will Israel hedge as it defines its borders?
This thorny question is most perplexing and often the root cause of extreme disagreement among Jews. Some of the most religious claim Israel does not require a state, that Israel is a spiritual concept defined in the psyche of its people and reliance on international law to define borders is meaningless and unproductive. On the other hand those that rely on Israel’s State law and its response to International Law focus on the physical definition of national borders as determined by the laws of consensus. The diversity presents the dilemma of a nation seeking a sovereign guarantee for their Jewish ‘democratic’ Israel.
Under the two-state-solution, once the dream of Israel’s President Shimon Peres and his supporters, Israel would have been divided into a Jewish and a non-Jewish state under the Palestinian Authority. However, the internationally sponsored idea has formally been felled by the election of Reuven Rivlin Israel’s new President who for the next 7 years will promote his vision, a unified state of Israel, a democracy in which all citizens have the right to vote. In the midst of the furor in the middle east, Israel will begin to grapple with the eventuality this single state poses to its Jewish ideal.
The pressure exerted on Israel to adopt the two state solution with a partner who is ill defined, ideologically opposed and does not accept Israel’s Jewish status will continue to be formidable. No matter which way Israel’s future population forecasts fall, the risk to Jewish sovereignty in a single democratic state is too much for the Israeli electorate to bare. However, giving up security control to an enemy occupying land, not presently annexed by Israel is daunting and impractical. The status quo can only last so long without Israel moving in one direction or the other, but the untenable advance of regional terrorism and rhetoric will be more alarming to Israel's Jewish electorate than the prospect of losing its Jewish majority in a future single state.
The question, who will guarantee Jewish sovereignty is fast becoming serious for the future state of Israel. Existing mechanisms within the states legal construct are limited, but there is one which I favor and which fully satisfies the essential guarantee of Jewish sovereignty. Comparative states to a Jewish Israel are the Vatican, Iran and the present possibility of an Islamic State. Although other states may identify themselves as religious, they do not base their constitution on a religion and swear behind it, most separate church and state. Jews also believe a Jewish state is necessary to avoid a future holocaust. The good news, is that there is a model that works.
Jewish sovereignty, guaranteed by national rabbinical representation in a Senate or Upper House of Israel’s government may be a confronting prospect to many, but the national benefits for all groups are presently misunderstood and overlooked. The majority of Israel’s Jewish secular or religious electorate presently participate in the religious services of a local synagogue. Municipally appointed Town Rabbis are periodically nominated by members of these community synagogues to represent their communal religious interests. Elected Town Rabbi’s[1] are self-motivated to empower their framework and elevate it to take its place on Israels national political stage. Parliamentary representation in a bicameral government of a single Jewish state may be difficult to comprehend, but societal change can often be orchestrated through grass root participation. Town hall meetings, community activity and representations organized by appointed Town Rabbis and leaders will be hallmarks that signify the success of this future movement.
Simultaneously, shifting governmental priority from its present emphasis on energy and technology to labor intensive domestic industry is essential to satisfy Israel’s growing constituent underclass. Political parties that prioritize development of sustainable industries capable of employing a significant portion of the unemployed and non-participating[2] workforce will benefit. Israel’s indigenous cultural prerogative, including for the optimal growth of tourism is a principle that will serve Jewish and non-Jewish population groups of a single state. As such this is directly tied, specifically as the means to develop skills[3], economic benefits and ultimately deliver financial re-distribution to the broader population.
Jewish objectors may struggle to digest such a prospect, a democracy that stacks its constitutional sovereign deck in favor of its religion. But, the importance of Jewish sovereignty looms so large that the mountain placed over Jewish heads will spur them to embrace  unexpected models inspired by their ancient past.