Rosh Hashanah Starts tonight and A forgotten Jerusalem: Rare color footage from the 1930s casts new light on holy city and Krackow Salt Mine Tour and new Jewish Cemetery 083019 and Smoking and Halacha: A Historical Perspective
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A forgotten Jerusalem: Rare color footage from 1930s casts new light on holy city
A forgotten Jerusalem: Rare color footage from 1930s casts new light on holy city
The archive at the capital's Cinematheque is being digitized, and treasures are being revealed — like this rare fiootage showing the Old City and the vibrant mix of Old Yishuv Jews, Muslims and Christians alongside the city's holy sites Issac Tesler
Rare footage from the 1930s shows Jerusalem as never seen before, from the lens of the Margulis family, who vacationed in the city and took with it a 16 mm camera and a newly acquired color film.
The rare documentation includes footage of Old City alleyways, the Hebrew University at Mount Scopus, and above all — the Western Wall, long before the modern-day plaza existed, when only a narrow path separated it from the Moroccan Quarter, which was destroyed after the capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War.
The Western Wall, long before today's plaza even existed (Photo: Jerusalem Cinematheque archive)
The rare documentation includes footage of Old City alleys, the Mount Scopus Hebrew University and above all — the Western Wall, long before the modern-day plaza existed, when only a narrow path separated it from the Moroccan Quarter, which was destroyed after the 1967 seizing of East Jerusalem
The highlyprized material was transferred to the Jerusalem Cinematheque archive, which digitized it and made it accessible to the public.
The Diskin Orphanage, Givat Shaul (Photo: Jerusalem Cinematheque archive)
Photos show Haredi Jews from the Old Yishuv, Muslims wearing traditional garbs, women in elaborate hats, camels, donkeys and beggars on street corners.
The Russian Compound (Photo: Jerusalem Cinematheque archive)
The few cars in the streets belong to people who served in administrative positions.
"The Western Wall always had beggars," says Rabbi Israel Gelis, a 10th generation Jerusalemite and a well-known story teller.
"In the Book of Proverbs, it says that 'righteousness delivers from death,' and indeed charity was a major part of prayer. People used to pray for Jews who lived in the diaspora and were sick or poor, they would receive letters and instantly go and pray. When they were done praying, they gave beggars by the Western Wall charity," says Gelis.
Inside the Jaffa Gate (Photo: Jerusalem Cinematheque archive)
According to Geilis, Jews were the majority of residents in the capital as of the beginning of the 20th Century.
"In the 1922 British census, there were 31,100 Jews, 14,700 Christians and only 13,400 Muslims in Jerusalem. In 1931 there were 53,800 Jews, 19,300 Christians and 19,900 Muslims, and it didn't even include the new Jewish neighborhoods outside the Old City walls," he says.
The Mamilla Cemetery (Photo: Jerusalem Cinematheque archive)
Riding down Jaffa Street (Photo: Jerusalem Cinematheque archive)
"In the footage, you can see Ashkenazi Jews wearing a Jerusalem-style hat with round rims, and a kaftan," Gelis says.
"In order to understand why Ashkenazi Jews wore Sephardic garb, we have to go back to the year 1700, the year when Rabbi Judah ben Samuel of Regensburg arrived in the city. He passed away soon after, at 41, but still managed to buy land in the Old City to build an Ashkenazi synagogue on," Geilis says.
"When he died, he left behind a huge debt to the Arab builders, and after that, Ashkenazi Jews weren't allowed to live in Jerusalem for over 100 years.
Krackow Salt Mine Tour and new Jewish Cemetery 083019
The new Jewish cemetery in Krakow was a block away from the apartment where I stayed. The old one was at the Remu Synagoge on a previous video. Then it was on to the famous salt mine near Krakow where salt was mined for 800 years
2,800-Year-Old Altar Inscription Talks Of Biblical War
Two inscriptions found on an ancient carved altar are revealing new information about a rebellion against the Kingdom of Israel that is described in the Bible.
The 2,800 year-old cylindrical stone altar was discovered in a sanctuary within the ancient city of Ataroth in Jordan and it bears two inscriptions referring to a biblicalwar. Located within a Moabite sanctuary in the ancient city of Ataroth in Jordan during excavations in 2010, the language and script is in ancient Moabite while the numerals are executed in an Egyptian writing system known as Hieratic.
Both the sanctuary and the carved altar were recently analyzed and described in the journal Levant which says the altar dates to after the time Mesha, king of Moab "rebelled against the Kingdom of Israel conquering Ataroth" dividing the territory into a northern kingdom ( Israel) and a new southern kingdom (Judah).
A Live Science report discusses an entry in the Hebrew Bible mentioning the rebellion saying that before Mesha rebelled, Moab gave Israel a yearly tribute of "thousands of lambs and a vast amount of ram wool". The so-called Mesha stele was discussed in an earlier Live Science article which has details of its 1868 discovery in Dhiban, Jordan, and the inscription claiming Mesha "conquered Ataroth and killed many of the city's inhabitants".
The Mesha Stele - the brown fragments are pieces of the original stele, whereas the smoother black material is Ganneau's reconstruction from the 1870s. (Mbzt / CC BY-SA 3.0 )
Ancient Scratches Of Skilled Scribes
Lead author of the research paper, Adam Bean, a doctoral student in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore wrote, " incense, aromatic woods and oils would have been burned on the altar". The researchers also wrote in the journal article that one of the two altar inscriptions describes "bronze plundered after the capture of Ataroth" and that the second inscription on the altar is fragmentary and therefore much harder to interpret. However, it appears to mention "the desolate city" (capture of Ataroth) and that "4,000 foreign men were scattered and abandoned in great number".
The altar inscription describes the capture of Ataroth and the fleeing of the residents. (SteinsplitterBot / Public Domain )
Speaking to Live Science , the study's co-author, Christopher Rollston, a professor of northwest Semitic languages and literatures at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., states the main finding in this new research is that the inscribed altar confirms that 2,800 years ago the Moabites did indeed take over Ataroth.
What's more, archaeologist now know that Moabites employed 'skilled scribes' who used their own script and the inscriptions on the altar "are the earliest evidence we have so far for a distinctive Moabite script," Rollston told Live Science , noting that the "inscription discovered in 1868 used the Hebrew script to write the Moabite language".
Today, Ataroth is called Khirbat Ataruz and all excavations at the site are led by Chang-Ho Ji, the Dean of Education at La Sierra University in Riverside, California. The project website says the study aims to "discover, preserve, and protect historical and cultural resources of Khirbat Ataruz" and that the ancient site encloses "one of the most magnificent Iron Age temples in the region of Levant, Middle East, one dated to about 3,000 years old".
A 2013 Sydney Morning Herald article says Jordanian and US archaeologists discovered this 3000-year-old three-story Iron Age temple, which has a multi-chambered sanctuary and open courtyard, in Khirbat Ataruz, and "it is the largest and most complete in the region," the statement said. This excavation unearthed more than "300 Moabite artifacts, including a figurine of four-legged animal god Hadad".
A statue of the god Hadad was also found at the site. (Pdulieu / CC BY-SA 4.0 )
Ataruz was resettled in the Middle Islamic period (ca. 1000-1400 AD) and although there are a number of walls associated with this period, the building stone used in the construction of the early-mid Iron Age temple complex was dismantled during the Middle Islamic period. Scientists find stone robbing was particularly extensive in the area to the north of the acropolis but regardless, Ataruz was a populous and thriving village during the Middle Islamic period.
Top image: Representation of the biblical war mentioned on the altar inscription. Source: fluenta / Adobe Stock.