The Sages say that having a friend is so important that one should be willing to pay for it! (Talmud - Avot 1:6)
Paying a price does not necessarily refer to financial payments. We might need to spend time and energy to keep a friend. We may have to tolerate some of his negative habits. Or at times he might quarrel with us. Nevertheless, the price we pay for a close friend is a worthwhile investment.
Love Yehuda Lave
Einstein Rejection Letter from 1907
Underwater Hebrew tablet reveals Biblical-era ruler of Judea
Seven Fascinating Discoveries Israeli Archaeologists Made in 2016
Palestinians, pushing their claims for statehood, have regularly denied the Jewish historical connections to Israel. In fact, the 20th article of the Palestinian National Charter states, "Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history."
Following this counterfactual ideology, the United Nations' cultural agency, UNESCO, passed two resolutions in October denying the historical Jewish connection to Jerusalem.
Writing in The Tower, Eylon Aslan-Levy described the aim of the resolutions as "a bid by dictatorships (with the acquiescence of democracies) to render Israeli sovereignty over the Old City utterly illegitimate, do[ing] the most damage by prejudging how the international community should approach the question of the holy sites in any future accord."
As it so happens, this year saw several significant archaeological finds that established the facts of the historical Jewish connection to Israel and Jerusalem and contradicted campaigns to delegitimize Jewish history.
• It was announced this week that a coin from the time of the Maccabean revolt had been discovered in Jerusalem. The coin depicted King Antiochus IV Epiphanes, under whose rule Jews were barred from practicing their religion, which led to the uprising. The Maccabees' victory is commemorated annually with the holiday of Chanukah, which will be observed this year beginning Saturday night.
• In October, archaeologists found the site where Roman troops breached the walls of Jerusalem nearly 2,000 years ago, shortly before they destroyed the second Jewish Temple. The researchers discovered the remains of a tower surrounded by dozens of stones and boulders fired by Roman catapults at the Jewish forces guarding the wall. This matched the description given by the historian Flavius Josephus, who documented the revolt in his first-century work The Jewish War. The anniversary of the breach of Jerusalem's walls is commemorated by the fast of the 17th of Tammuz, which takes place during the summer.
• A week later, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced the discovery of a papyrus with the oldest known Hebrew-language mention of Jerusalem. The papyrus documents a commercial transaction. Carbon dating determined the scroll to be around 2,700 years old, around the time of the first Jewish Temple.
• Shortly thereafter, archaeologists announced that they had discovered relics on the Temple Mount dating to the first Temple Period, including pottery fragments and animal bones. The excavations, which were carried out with the cooperation of the Muslim Waqf, marked the first time archaeologists had found artifacts from the first Temple on the Temple Mount itself.
• Proof of the Jewish connection to Jerusalem also came from an unexpected source. A previously-ignored inscription on an ancient Hebron-area mosque contained a reference to the Jewish Temple. The inscription declared that the surrounding area was "an endowment to the Rock of Bayt al-Maqdis and the al-Aqsa Mosque." The term "Bayt al-Maqdis" is a verbatim Arabic translation of "Beit Hamikdash," the Hebrew name for the Jewish Temple.
• In September, scientists announced that they had reconstructed a burnt 2,000-year-old biblical text, which made it the oldest known copy of biblical scriptures as they are canonized today. According to National Geographic, which announced the results, the scroll "bridges a centuries-wide gap in the history of biblical text."
• It wasn't only Jewish history that was confirmed through archaeology. Evidence of the Christian history of Jerusalem also emerged in late October when workers restoring the Church of the Holy Sepulchre uncovered the historic tomb of Jesus, which was buried under layers of marble for centuries.
13 of 26 Man Charged With Raping A 13-Year-Old Had 19 Deportations -
Just another undocumented immigrant pedophile rapist!
What to do with all those Hollywood movies based on the Bible and history that have no Palestinians?
Little George has been busy stealing hearts over at The Australian Reptile Park
WHO RECOGNIZES JOSEPH?
WHO RECOGNIZES JOSEPH?
Rabbi Binyamin Kahane
Editor of Kahane on the Parsha note: This Dvar Torah is the very last that Rabbi Binyamin Kahane wrote. Tens of thousands of copies- some stained with blood- were found in the car in which he and his wife were murdered. His Yarseit was last week
"And Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him" (Genesis 42:8). The simple meaning of this verse, as the commentators explain, is that the brothers did not recognize Joseph because he was young and beardless when they sold him. Joseph, on the other hand, recognized his brothers because they already had beards the last time he saw them.
Rashi digs deeper, explaining that the verse is referring to more than just external appearances. He writes that when Joseph encountered his brothers on that fateful day in Shechem, they did not "recognize" him- that is, they did not act brotherly towards him and sold him to the Ishmaelites. But when the brothers were at Joseph's mercy, he "recognized" them- that is, he acted brotherly towards them and did not take revenge for all the pain they had caused him.
A brief digression: According to tradition, there are two Messiahs- the Messiah son of Joseph and the Messiah son of David. The at'chalta d'geula- the stage before the conclusion of the redemption when all surviving nations will accept the yoke of heaven- is the period of the Messiah son of Joseph. The Vilna Gaon, in his work Kol HaTor, calls the Messiah son of Joseph the "Mashiach d'At'chalta." He explains that both Messiahs live in every single generation, functioning in their roles. The role of the Messiah son of Joseph is to involve himself in the physical side of the redemption. If the Jews in a particular generation do not merit the redemption, the roles of the Messiahs are passed down to candidates in the next generation.
Let us now return to the verse with which we began this article, quoting the words of the Vilna Gaon in Kol HaTor. "Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him': This is one of Joseph's attributes. Not just in his generation, but in every generation, the Messiah son of Joseph recognizes his brothers but they do not recognize him. It is an act of Satan which conceals the Messiah's attributes such that the Jews unfortunately do not recognize his footsteps and, in fact, scoffs at them...If not for this; our troubles would already be over. If Israel 'recognized Joseph,' if Israel recognized the footsteps of the Messiah son of Joseph- i.e., the in-gathering of the exiles, etc.- we would already be completely redeemed" (ch. 2, 1:39).
Is it even necessary to expound upon our alienation from "Joseph" today? Not only is there alienation from him, but a conspiracy against him. As the Torah states regarding Joseph's brothers: "And they conspired against him to slay him" (Genesis 37:18). They see Joseph and his dreams as a threat to them. "What??!! You are going to bring the redemption? You, the youngest among us?" They decide he constitutes a danger and must be killed. Yet, just as Rashi explains that Joseph "recognized" his brothers, behaving brotherly towards them, so, too, does the Messiah son of Joseph and his followers- those who carry on the task of bringing the redemption to the Jewish people- willingly endure personal suffering for Israel's salvation, all due to the ardent Ahavat Yisrael burning within them. These days are critical ones. The Intifada that broke out on Rosh Hashanah centered on Shechem and Kever Yosef during the first few days. Afterwards, Kever Yosef was abandoned and sold to the Ishmaelites like discarded baggage. Our response must be the opposite: We must cling to all those tasks of the Messiah son of Joseph- conquering the land and fighting against the nations and erev rav within our midst. We needn't worry about being popular or palatable in the eyes of those who are unwilling to recognize Joseph. If we act in this fashion, those who wish to recognize Joseph will see and understand that "OD YOSEF CHAI!" Written in Darka Shel Torah, 2000