Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Israel's History - a Picture a Day (Beta) Inbox x Picture a Day - The Holy Land Revealed. "The Golden Gate".
According to Jewish tradition, on Yom Kippur a messenger (usually a priest) took the
sacrificial lamb from the Temple through the gate to the desert. The Red Heifer
purification ceremony also involved taking the sacrifice through the eastern gate to
the Mount of Olives.
Unlike most of Jerusalem's other gates, the Golden Gate was originally built at least a
millennium before Suleiman the Magnificent rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in 1540.
Indeed, some archeologists believe that the original gate, dating back to Herod's
construction or even Nehemiah's period (440 BCE), still exists beneath the current gate.
Perhaps because of the great religious significance of the gate to Jews and Christians as
the Messiah's route into Jerusalem, it is believed Suleiman sealed the gate and permitted
the construction of a Muslim cemetery in front of the gate.
The theory of an ancient gate received support in 1969 when an archeological student
named James Fleming was inspecting the current gate. Suddenly the rain-soaked ground
beneath him opened and he found himself in a pit of bones looking at the top of another
gate eight feet beneath the surface. Fleming photographed his discovery. When he
returned the next day, the tomb had been sealed with a cement slab by the Islamic
custodians of the cemetery.
Perhaps the bones date back to 625 CE when a Jewish revolt supported the Persians vs the Byzantines. Led by Benjamin
of Tiberias and his army, the Jews controlled the city for several years, possibly even restoring religious practices on the
Temple ruins. The period was marked with slaughters committed by all sides.
Monday, July 23, 2018
Posted: 22 Jul 2018 09:30 PM PDT
Updating first posting in Israel Daily Picture in preparation for Book 3, Jews and Holy Sites in the Holy Land, Revealed in Early Photographs.
The walls of Jerusalem's Old City that we see today were built in 1540 during the days of the Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent.
The location and name "Zion Gate" appear on maps dating back to the 12th century. It is one of eight gates in the Old City Wall.
Posted: 22 Jul 2018 05:37 AM PDT
Tisha B'Av is commemorated today (on the 10th of Av), Sunday July 22, 2018.
The ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av -- Tisha B'Av -- is the day in the Hebrew calendar when great calamities befell the Jewish people, including the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem, the fall of the fortress Beitar in the Jewish rebellion against Rome in 136 CE, and the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492. The day is commemorated with fasting, prayers and the reading of Lamentations. In Jerusalem, thousands pray at the Kotel, the Western Wall.
The American Colony photographers frequently focused their cameras on the worshipers at the "Wailing Place of the Jews." The Colony founders who came to Jerusalem in 1881 were devout Christians who saw the return of the Jews to the Holy Land as a sign of messianic times.
Of the dozens of pictures at the Kotel there are several of elderly men and women sitting on the ground or on low stools, customs of mourning practiced on Tisha B'Av.
Other pictures presented here show the very narrow and confined area of the Kotel over the ages until Israel's army captured the Old City in 1967 and enlarged the Kotel plaza.
A story is told of Napoleon passing a synagogue and hearing congregants inside mourning. To his question who they are mourning, he was told they were weeping over the destruction of the Jewish Temple 1,800 years earlier. Napoleon responded, according to the legend, "If the Jews are still crying after so many hundreds of years, then I am certain the Temple will one day be rebuilt."