More Pain for Others
Rabbi Mendel of Vorki required surgery on his finger. Although no anesthetics were available, Rabbi Mendel calmly sat through the operation without a sound.
After the operation, the doctor remarked how astounded he was for someone to be so calm. "He reacted as if it were not his finger. He felt no pain whatsoever."
Rabbi Mendel observed: "He doesn't understand. When a person comes and tells me his financial difficulties, even if he does not always act as properly as he should, I feel much more pain and suffering than when they operated on my finger."
Love Yehuda Lave
Rabbi Nechemia Lavi, age 41, murdered in the Old City on Saturday night.
I was able to get into the funeral and sat right behind President Rivlin. The speakers stood against the chairs instead of to them, but I got these pictures from my front row seat:
Succout is over, but it is not to late the best movie every made about Succout Guests Right here in Jerusalem
A Searing Muslim Crime of Epic Proportions
The Temple Mount Sifting Project, now in its 10th year, has uncovered hundreds of thousands of invaluable antiquities from tons of ancient debris discarded by Palestinian Muslims like trash from Judaism's holiest site.
Barkay looks over priceless pieces of debris believed to date back to the First Temple period. (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
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In 1999, thousands of years' worth of fragile and irreplaceable Jewish archaeological antiquities were surreptitiously and violently dug up by Arab bulldozers at Judaism's holiest site, Jerusalem's Temple Mount, to build an entrance to a subterranean mosque.
The resulting thousands of tons of invaluable debris – believed to contain over 1 million artifacts dating back to the First Temple period – were then carted off in dump trunks and discarded like garbage to a nearby landfill in Jerusalem's Kidron Valley.
According to internationally recognized archaeologist Gabriel Barkay, PhD, who is the co-director of the Temple Mount Sifting Project, located near Mount Scopus, the removal represents perhaps the greatest archaeological crime in history.
"Approximately 400 truckloads saturated with the history of Jerusalem were illicitly removed – barbarically removed – from the Temple Mount by the Islamic Wakf in November 1999 to promote a political agenda," says Barkay at the sifting projects headquarters earlier this month.
The professor emeritus from the Hebrew University and recipient of the 1996 Jerusalem Prize for Archaeological Research says the debris was taken from the southeastern section of the contested holy site without the knowledge of authorities, including the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).
"All of that was dug up with bulldozers in a place where even a toothbrush is too large a tool to carry out excavations," he says.
"The Temple Mount is the most delicate and the most important archaeological site in this country, and it was never ever excavated because of politics."
As a result, Barkay says, the historic plateau where the First and Second Temples once stood has become a "black hole in the history of Jerusalem."
"Jerusalem may be the most excavated place on earth, but the most important place in Jerusalem is totally unknown," he says. "It's terra incognita; a piece of unknown land."
Although Israel technically regained sovereignty over the Temple Mount after reunifying Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War, the government's concession to allow the Jordanian government to oversee the coveted holy site has resulted in what Barclay terms a "catastrophe."
"This is part of a cultural war that has been launched against every civilization that is non- Muslim… that continues now in Iraq and Syria with ISIS," he says.
Although the IAA is supposed to have oversight of all excavations in Israel, Barkay laments that the Temple Mount – which is home to Al-Aksa Mosque, Islam's third-holiest site – is considered "extraterritorial."
"Though the Temple Mount is part of the capital, it is the only place in the State of Israel in which the authorities are not working normally," he explains. "The antiquities authority does not have full jurisdiction on the Temple Mount, and therefore cannot fulfill its legal task."
Consequently, illegal Arab construction is routinely carried out there without any coordination with the IAA, Israeli government, or Jerusalem Municipality, resulting in grievous and irreversible damage to the compound's bounty of unrivaled buried artifacts.
Asked the degree of loss to Jewish history due to the ongoing destruction, Barkay estimates that it is incalculable.
"The Temple Mount is the place that is the soul, heart and spirit of the Jewish people," he reflects. "It is the only holy place for Jews – all synagogues around the world are directed toward the Temple Mount. This is the place where creation began…. and the rest of the world was created around it, according to Jewish tradition."
Barkay points out that Arab denial of Jewish history at Judaism's holiest site has only exacerbated the Temple Mount's already contentious geopolitical underpinnings.
IN 2004, Barkay and co-director Zachi Dvira created the Temple Mount Sifting Project – under the auspices of Bar-Ilan University – in an effort to reclaim, analyze and document the discarded history.
The two archaeologists procured a government license to have the debris transferred to Emek Tzurim National Park, located on the western slopes of Mount Scopus, where the project is headquartered.
"Part of it got lost," Barkay says of the enormous transfer, which required hundreds of truckloads. "Part of it got mixed up with modern urban garbage, and some of the material is lost forever."
The sifting, Barkay discloses, is operated with aid from the NGO Ir David (City of David) Foundation and cooperation from the Israel National Parks Authority, while research and publication of the findings is funded by private donors through the Israel Archaeology Foundation.
"Using the wet-sifting technique, most of the finds can be identified and dated by matching them to parallel finds found in a clear context elsewhere," he says. Unique methodological techniques have been developed in the Temple Mount Sifting Project, "which is somewhere between a survey and an excavation," in order to study the finds.
A full-time staff of 20 – aided by thousands of volunteers who have come from around the country, and the globe, over the last 10 years to spend a day, or a few hours to help sift through the massive collection using dozens of hoses connected to sinks – uses advanced quantitative analytical techniques to reveal the unique patterns of the findings.
Barkay relates that many of the tens of thousands of buckets of earth that have been sifted contain fragments of pottery, glass vessels, metal objects, bones and mosaic tesserae stones, dating primarily from the First Temple period (10th century BCE ) to the present day.
Findings have also included stone vessels, approximately 5,000 ancient coins, various pieces of jewelry, a rich assortment of beads, terracotta figurines, and even clothing, he recounts. The antiquities are sorted and studied at the project's archaeological laboratory downtown, where the processing and analysis of findings are completed and compiled in a large computer database.
"We have a representation of 15,000 years of history here," he says. "From prehistoric flint implements, up to finds of the modern time."
However, only slightly more than 50 percent of the reclaimed earth has been sifted, and a massive shortfall in the project's funding now seriously endangers the possibility of continuing the work. In an effort to ensure that the project continues, Barkay and Dvira launched a crowdfunding campaign earlier this month.
"We depend on private donations, so we initiated this crowdfunding campaign, which can be found on our website half-shekel.org." He adds that the sifting project needs more than $1 million to continue operations.
Moreover, despite a growing Arab campaign to rewrite Jewish history at the contested holy site , Barkay says the project's survival is in a race against time.
"As the research has advanced, the time necessary, and the number of tasks to be completed, have significantly increased," he said. "I am in my 70s now and we have another 15 years to go here."
In the meantime, despite a growing Arab campaign to rewrite Jewish history at the contested holy site, Barkay notes the sifting project has been instrumental in irrefutably proving the inexorable link between Jews and the Temple Mount.
"Even now we have new information that may well change the written history of some of the periods of the Temple Mount," he says.
"The sifting project has proven itself to be an inexhaustible source of knowledge for the research and study of the archaeology and history of the Temple Mount, and the project is continuing full steam with many more finds waiting to be discovered by professionals and visitors who come to work at the site."
Indeed, Barkay says the tens of thousands of volunteers have become as invaluable to the project as the historic relics they sift through.
"There is nothing more touching than to look at the excitement of the face of somebody when he or she touches the soul -- the sacred soil -- of Jerusalem and of the Temple Mount," he says. "And to look at the face of a child who finds an object which is 2,000 years old... to see the spiritual uplifting, and to see the shining face of that person, is something which is not possible to experience anywhere else but here."
And that, he says, "is the most important thing for me here.
'Government That Opened Road to Arabs Murdered the Couple'
Leading nationalist activist Baruch Marzel of Hevron on Friday morning responded to the murder of a young couple outside Itamar in Samaria the previous night by squarely holding the government to blame for not preventing the tragedy.
Marzel revealed what he called the government's "share" in the murder of Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henkin in front of their children, in an attack claimed by Fatah terrorists.
"When I wrote here several days ago that the blood of murdered Jews is first of all on the government of Israel, many were shocked by my words," began the veteran Hevron activist.
"Here is the proof: the road where the holy couple Eitam and Naama Henkin hy''d were murdered last night was closed to the cars of Arabs, who are mistakenly called 'Palestinians.'"
"This March the government decided to open the road to free traffic," said Marzel. "Yesterday came the price, the heavy and unbelievable price."
The government has in several instances opened roads in the region in recent months despite the warnings of residents.
In one incident in May, police were forced to re-close a road leading from Ramallah to the town of Bitin in Samaria to Arab traffic just hours after it was opened, after an Arab car blocked a Jewish car on its way to Beit El in a potential set up for an attack.
Second Jerusalem Stabbing Victim Laid to Rest
21 year-old Aharon Banita Bennett was laid to rest Sunday afternoon at Jerusalem's Har HaMenuchot cemetery in Givat Shaul, in the presence of thousands of mourners.
Bennett, along with Rabbi Nehemia Lavi, were murdered in a stabbing attack from a Palestinian Arab terrorist in Jerusalem's Old City on Saturday night.
The same attack injured his wife and son; his infant daughter miraculously escaped unscathed.
Lavi was murdered in that attack when he ran out of his home to help Bennett; he was laid to rest at noon Sunday in the same cemetery. Israeli leaders hailed him as a hero for his actions.
Despite being an IDF soldier, Bennett will be buried in the cemetery's civilian section, at the request of his wife, Adelle Banita. IDF soldiers are accompanying Bennett throughout the funeral ceremony, however.
Five terrorists from the Shechem area admitted to the murders and to two other shooting attacks that failed.
Security forces have arrested a five-member Hamas cell from the Shechem area for the cold-blooded drive-by murders of Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henkin last Thursday night in front of their four children.
The cell confessed to the terrorist attacks and told investigators that they also were behind two other recent shooting attacks, which miraculously failed to wound anyone but struck one vehicle.
Police and the IDF arrested other suspected terrorists who were involved in the attack. A gag order was lifted Monday by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), which along with the IDF and police arrested the cell Friday night.
The terrorists were identified as:
Ahmed Aliwi, 37, the ringleader and who recruited the terrorists for the cell and provided them with weapons;
Yahya Mohammed Hamad, 24, who shot and killed the Henkins;
Samir Ibrahim Kusa, 33, who was the driver in all three attacks;
Karam Fathi Razek, 23, who also fired at the Henkins; and
Ziad Ziad Jamil Amer, 31, who helped carry out the well-coordinated attack, with two terrorists in the attack vehicle and another member of cell driving a second vehicle to make sure the IDF was not patrolling at the time.
After the killers stopped the Henkins' car with gunfire, they left their vehicle and fired at the Henkin family at almost point-black range. The young children, the youngest a baby,were sitting in the back seat and were not wounded while watching their parents shot to death.
A mishap in the terrorist operation may have helped the Shin Bet to trace the gang. Razak was accidentally shot by one of the members of his cell and dropped his pistol, which was found by security forces.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening (Monday, 5 October 2015), made the following statement:
"I would like to commend the ISA personnel who solved the terrible murder of the Henkins near Nablus. They acted very quickly and also apprehended the murderers. We are acting with a strong hand against terrorism and against inciters. We are operating on all fronts. We have brought an additional four IDF battalions into Judea and Samaria, and thousands of police into Jerusalem. The police are going deeply into the Arab neighborhoods, which has not been done in the past. We will demolish terrorists' homes. We are allowing our forces to take strong action against those who throw rocks and firebombs. This is necessary in order to safeguard the security of Israeli citizens on the roads and everywhere. We are not prepared to give immunity to any rioter, inciter or terrorist anywhere; therefore, there are no restrictions on the action of our security forces. We will also lift restrictions regarding action against inciters. We will act against the Islamic Movement which, together with Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, is the main source of incitement.
I would like to thank the personnel of the IDF, Border Police, Israel Police and the ISA who have been working around the clock for our security; they are doing excellent work. They have full backing from me and from the government. We are in a difficult struggle but one thing should be clear – we will win. Just as we defeated previous waves of terrorism, we will defeat this one as well."