Everyone knows the Torah verse "Love your neighbor as yourself." (Leviticus 19:18)
But the second half of the verse is equally crucial: "I am the Almighty."
This teaches us that we are to love others as ourselves because we all have one Creator. Therefore we should feel the joy of others and, similarly, empathize with their misfortunes. This is the essence of all our obligations towards our fellow man.Love Yehuda Lave
Streit's Matzo trailer
Great piece of Music
Goliath's Humongous Gate Found
An expedition from the Bar Ilan University has discovered the fortifications and giant-sized entrance gate of the biblical city of Gath of the Philistines, home of Goliath. The extraordinary size of the gate was surely enough to make way for the famed giant, though he never did return from meeting David.
Gath was the largest city in Israel during the 10th-9th century BCE, about the time of the "United Kingdom" of Israel. The city is located in the Judean foothills about halfway between Jerusalem and Ashkelon in central Israel.
Prof. Meir Ettinger of the Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology says that the city gate is among the largest ever found in Israel and is evidence of the status and influence of the city of Gath during this period.
Among the various building discovered in the city is an iron production facility large enough to produce the kind of weapons used by Goliath as mentioned in the Bible. The city was eventually conquered and destroyed by Hazael, king of Damascus, around 830 BCE.
The gate of the Philistine city Gath was so impressive that it received mention in I Samuel 21 in the story of David's escape from King Saul to Achish, king of Gath.
Gath is one of the largest tells or ancient ruin mounds in Israel and was settled almost continuously from the 5th millennium BCE until modern times.
Among other significant findings at the site is evidence of an earthquake in the 8th century BCE connected to the earthquake mentioned in the Book of Amos 1:1. There was also found the earliest Philistine inscription ever to be discovered which contains two names similar to the name Goliath. In addition, a large assortment of weapons used by the Philistines were uncovered along with extensive evidence of the capture and destruction of the city by Hazael, as mentioned in 2 Kings 12:18. There is also evidence of the first Philistine settlement in Canaan around 1200 BCE.
And there is more to this giant story…
Scripture tells us that David chose five smooth stones when he went out to meet Goliath (I Samuel 17:40). Was he thinking that he might miss with the first? Or did he think that Goliath would wait for him if he did?
We know that Goliath had four giant brothers called "Lords of the Philistines" in Joshua 13:3. When David goes out to meet the humongous warrior of Gath he knows that he will also need to deal with his oversized brothers. Indeed, the other four Philistine giants eventually do show up in II Samuel 21:22 only to be defeated by David and his men.David understood that in order to achieve full victory, Israel must cast out all the giants from the land. You cannot deal with just one stronghold (or sin), but must be prepared to go all the way. Better not to cast that first stone only to discover we
Subject: LETTER TO THE WORLD FROM JERUSALEM - STANLEY GOLDFOOT (ELIEZER BEN YIS.)
On November 24, 2006, at the age of 92, a man named Stanley Goldfoot passed away.
He is remembered by family and friends for his love for and devotion to Israel and the Jewish people.
Stanley Goldfoot was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. Subsequent to his hearing a speech about the Zionist vision by Ze'ev Jabotinsky, he headed for Palestine where, at the age of 18, he joined a HaShomer HaTzair kibbutz.
After the rebirth of the Jewish State of Israel his main goal, which he eventually realized, was to establish a Zionist English newspaper, "The Times of Israel ."
In the first issue of "The Times of Israel ", Stanley Goldfoot wrote his famous controversial "Letter to the World from Jerusalem", which caused quite a stir. The article is still relevant and, in his memory, I am sharing it with you.
A Letter to the World from Jerusalem
by Eliezer ben Yisrael ( Stanley Goldfoot)
I am not a creature from another planet, as you seem to believe. I am a Jerusalemite, like yourselves, a man of flesh and blood. I am a citizen of my city, an integral part of my people.
I have a few things to get off my chest. Because I am not a diplomat, I do not have to mince words. I do not have to please you or even persuade you. I owe you nothing.
You did not build this city, you did not live in it, you did not defend it when they came to destroy it. And we will be damned if we will let you take it away.
There was a Jerusalem before there was a New York. When Berlin, Moscow, London, and Paris were miasmal forest and swamp, there was a thriving Jewish community here. It gave something to the world which you nations have rejected ever since you established yourselves - a humane moral code.
Here the prophets walked, their words flashing like forked lightning. Here a people who wanted nothing more than to be left alone, fought off waves of heathen would-be conquerors, bled and died on the battlements, hurled themselves into the flames of their burning Temple rather than surrender, and, when finally overwhelmed by sheer numbers and led away into captivity, swore that before they forgot Jerusalem, they would see their tongues cleave to their palates, their right arms wither. (see psalms 137)
For two pain-filled millennia, while we were your unwelcome guests, we prayed daily to return to this city.
Three times a day we petitioned the Almighty: "Gather us from the four corners of the world, bring us upright to our land, return in mercy to Jerusalem, Thy city, and swell in it as Thou promised."
On every Yom Kippur and Passover, we fervently voiced the hope that next year would find us in Jerusalem.
Your inquisitions, pogroms, expulsions, the ghettos into which you jammed us, your forced baptisms, your quota systems, your genteel anti-Semitism, and the final unspeakable horror, the holocaust (and worse, your terrifying disinterest in it) - all these have not broken us. They may have sapped what little moral strength you still possessed, but they forged us into steel.
Do you think that you can break us now after all we have been through?
Do you really believe that after Dachau and Auschwitz we are frightened by your threats of blockades and sanctions?
We have been to Hell and back - a Hell of your making. What more could you possibly have in your arsenal that could scare us?
I have watched this city bombarded twice by nations calling themselves civilized. In 1948, while you looked on apathetically, I saw women and children blown to smithereens, after we agreed to your request to internationalize the city. It was a deadly combination that did the job - British officers, Arab gunners, and American-made cannon.
And then the savage sacking of the Old City - the wilful slaughter, the wanton destruction of every synagogue and religious school, the desecration of Jewish cemeteries, the sale by a ghoulish government of tombstones for building materials, for poultry runs, army camps, even latrines.
And you never said a word.
You never breathed the slightest protest when the Jordanians shut off the holiest of our places, the Western Wall, in violation of the pledges they had made after the war - a war they waged, incidentally, against the decision of the UN.
Not a murmur came from you whenever the legionnaires in their spiked helmets casually opened fire upon our citizens from behind the walls. Your hearts bled when Berlin came under siege. You rushed your airlift "to save the gallant Berliners". But you did not send one ounce of food when Jews starved in besieged Jerusalem. You thundered against the wall which the East Germans ran through the middle of the German capital - but not one peep out of you about that other wall, the one that tore through the heart of Jerusalem.
And when that same thing happened 20 years later, and the Arabs unleashed a savage, unprovoked bombardment of the Holy City again, did any of you do anything?
The only time you came to life was when the city was at last re-united. Then you wrung your hands and spoke loftily of "justice" and the need for the "Christian" quality of turning the other cheek.
The truth - and you know it deep inside your gut - is that you would prefer the city to be destroyed rather than have it governed by Jews. No matter how diplomatically you phrase it, the age-old prejudices seep out of every word.
If our return to the city has tied your theology in knots, perhaps you had better re-examine your catechisms.
After what we have been through, we are not passively going to accommodate ourselves to the twisted idea that we are to suffer eternal homelessness until we accept your saviour.
For the first time since the year 70, there is now complete religious freedom for all in Jerusalem .
For the first time since the Romans put a torch to the Temple, everyone has equal rights (you prefer to have some more equal than others.)
We loathe the sword - but it was you who forced us to take it up.
We crave peace, but we are not going back to the peace of 1948 as you would like us to.
We are home. It has a lovely sound for a nation you have willed to wander over the face of the globe. We are not leaving.
We are redeeming the pledge made by our forefathers:
Jerusalem is being rebuilt.
"Next year" and the year after, and after, and after, until the end of time - "in Jerusalem "!
The Times of Israel
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