Finally: TAU Study Reveals Why Women Force Men to Turn Up the Heat and President Herzog in Ukraine to Mark 80th Anniversary of Babi Yar Massacre By David Israel and No Crusader Army Camps Have Ever Been Found. Until Now, in Israel and the Portion of Noah
Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement.
After the Almighty sees the evil of mankind He decides to bring a flood to destroy the earth. The righteous Noach is chosen to survive the flood in the ark that he is instructed to build. In the ark Noach and his family and the representatives of the animal kingdom will ride out the storm.
The ark is shrouded in darkness. The only way that Noach will have any idea about what is transpiring outside the ark and whether it is night or day will be means of a pearl which will emit light in the darkness (Midrash Raba's interpretation of the phrase "Tzohar ta'aseh lataivah v'el amah techalenah nil'ma'alah "(Genesis 6;17) –("Make a tzohar (skylight) for the ark and to a cubit you shall finish it to the top")
The letters "lamed" in the word "lateivah" and in the word "techalenah" are emphasized in a special manner perhaps to indicate that the "tzohar" (skylight, pearl) was directed towards the outside of the ark and not towards the inside.
And special thanks to Gadi Cohen who brought this to my attention.
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
No Crusader Army Camps Have Ever Been Found. Until Now, in Israel
Crusader knights lived on the move, which may explain why no camps have ever been found. Now one has, and now we know how the soldiers whiled away their time while waiting for war
And it came to pass that on the night of July 2, 1187, the knights of the Kingdom of Jerusalem fought bitterly – with each other. They were arguing over whether to march onto Tiberias to regain it from Saladin, whose Muslim forces had overrun the city the day before, or to keep the troops for the nonce in camp by the bountiful Springs of Saforie, aka Tzippori.
Sensibly, the Crusaders tended to camp in the vicinity of a reliable source of water, according to historical sources and horse sense, and archaeologist Rafi Lewis. The question is what else was typical of medieval Crusader camps, but we did not know because none had been found, let alone archaeologically explored.
Mainly, the evidence indicates, the commanders would be squabbling, while the rank and file would be distracted from the tensions not by drinking and carousing but by replacing the iron nails in their horses' shoes.
Anyway, after that sleepless night in the command echelon, on July 3 the Franks marched forth from Tzippori, whether heading for Tiberias itself or possibly for the springs of Hattin – it was reportedly a blistering hot day. On the morrow, July 4, they were crushed by the forces of the Ayyubid Sultan Saladin in the Battle of Hattin.
The medieval camp at Tzippori was just 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Tiberias. Over a century, both the Christian knights and the Ayyubid warriors used the encampment site, explains Lewis, who researches the archaeology of conflicts and landscape archaeology with the Ashkelon Academic College and University of Haifa.
How could it be that so much fighting between Christian and Islamic forces during the medieval period produced no (known) encampments, until this one? Maybe they were overlooked as researchers focused on more "popular" sites such as castles and sites of siege warfare, Lewis suggests.
This encampment was discovered thanks to a project led by the Prehistoric Division of the Israel Antiquities Authority, directed by Nimrod Getzov and Ianir Milevski, taking six years.
What they found was very different from Roman-style camps, as indicated by medieval sources in La Règle du Temple (Rule of the Templars), describing what Crusader camps should look like and how they should be organized. The camp is described in the third chapter in the book "Settlement and Crusade in the Thirteenth Century."
Yet again, the archaeological gem was discovered because of roadworks. This happens a lot in Israel: infrastructure works(or burrowing animals) leading to historical enlightenment. Given that Israel has been the stomping ground for humanity and our predecessors for at least a couple of million years, that's only natural. Thank you, bulldozers and naked mole rats. - Advertisment -
But this is the first material evidence of a medieval encampment site in Israel or anywhere, really, Lewis says. That is in contrast to the Romans who occupied the Holy Land a millennium or more before – Israel and the Levant as a whole are littered with Roman remains.
A lovely place to wait
The Springs of Saforie are a prolific water source in a small valley and, to be clear, this lush area was occupied from prehistory. The archaeologists unearthed superimposed settlements from the earliest advent of sedentarism, the pre-pottery Neolithic; one of the biggest known settlements associated with the Wadi Rabah culture 7,500 years ago; and from the Early Bronze Age (about 5,000 years ago).
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The site housed a well-developed fortified settlement, enclosed by a thick stone wall. The Romans quarried stone at the spot. And come the medieval period, various troops would find it a comfortable parking place.
One snag about investigating the Frankish camp is that it doesn't seem to have had stone and/or wood structures, unlike the earlier Roman Legion camps, which had both internal walls as well as outer walls marking the camp boundary.
The impression left by the remains of the medieval encampment in Tzippori is impermanence, Lewis says. Based on historical sources, Crusader soldiers were housed in tents; even the camp church was in a tent. The men were perennially ready to march for war, he explains.
So, no walls, but the archaeologists found a wealth of metal artifacts dating to the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, which existed from the year 1099 to 1291.
It isn't clear when the Christian forces began using the Tzippori camp, but as of the 1130s this was a choice assembly point for armed forces, Lewis says. He lists specific examples: In 1168, King Amaury wrote to King Louis VII from the springs, asking for help following an earthquake in Antioch. And clearly, the Franks camped there time and again until the fateful Battle of Hattin in 1187. Then Saladin himself gathered his troops at this bountiful spring.
All in all, Lewis sums up, it seems both Muslim and Frankish forces used the site over more than 125 years. To do what, though?
For want of a nail
Among the metal artifacts found at the site were almost 200 dating to the Kingdom of Jerusalem, including coins. The earliest of the coins found at the site was a bronze coin struck in Tyre at the end of Trajan's reign and the latest (apart from the Crusader ones) was a Byzantine bronze coin, of a type minted in huge numbers in Antioch by Constantine I and following regimes, explain numismatists Robert Kool and Donald Ariel from the IAA in a separate paper.
And there were a lot of horseshoe nails, relatively speaking, as well as other items related to horses. These included shoes, bridles, pricks, harness fittings, and a currycomb, as well as three needles and four arrowheads.
Let us dwell on the horseshoe nails. Back then, the nail heads were not nailed to the hilt in the horseshoe, in order to better grip the ground, the team explains. So obviously the nails would break and need frequent replacing. This is all the more pertinent given that some of the people at the camp had come from afar, even hundreds of kilometers.
"I see an interesting pattern similar to that in contemporary army camps," says Lewis: the men are awaiting the fight and are meanwhile bored, fearful and troublesome. In short, it is a dangerous situation and the last thing their commanders want them to do is have the leisure to think. And at Tzippori, a major activity seems to have been replacing broken horseshoe nails, which went beyond make-work for its own sake.
"Most of the nails we found were used ones," Lewis explains. "It's like, when you go to war you don't want a flat tire on your jeep. They came from all over the place, some from Tyre, some from Ashkelon, and it would have been a few days' ride to Tzippori. The first thing to do is replace the horseshoe nails."
The domestication of the horse apparently goes back about 5,500 years, and one wonders when horseshoes were first invented. It seems that people began to protect equine feet with leather or other "hipposandals" in antiquity, and then the horseshoe may have arrived about 2,400 years ago, going by bronze specimens with seeming holes for nails in an Etruscan tomb in central Italy.
So back to our question: what did the men do in the camp between wars? One answer is, they reshoed their steeds and at least one good sirrah was brushing an animal using the currycomb.
Since we don't know when the encampment might have sheltered Crusaders and when it might have housed Muslim forces, how do we know it was Christian soldiers changing their horses' shoe nails?
Getzov, who directed the site together with Milevski, actually studies prehistory and was investigating the earlier layers of the site. But being an archaeologist of prehistory he sifted all the dirt – not all archaeologists do – and thusly found the nails, and identified them.
As he explains to Haaretz, the Crusaders used European-style horseshoes and nails that were not the norm in the Holy Land or among the Muslim forces. "We can't say who sat on the horse – as an Israeli soldier, I used a Kalashnikov [made in Russia] – but I assume it was Crusaders," he says.
The archaeologists also found one flat, kite-shaped arrowhead.
Lewis points out that, first of all, these arrows would have been the results of training during the waiting period or possibly from small-scale clashes at the springs themselves. The arrowheads that were found had broken off their shafts; ones that didn't remained stuck in soldiers or horses and are gone, he points out.
Also, Lewis thinks the arrowheads may resolve a mystery: where exactly the Battle of Cresson of May 1, 1187, took place. True, that clash is named for the Spring of Cresson (Ein Gozeh) near Nazareth, which is assumed to be where the Battle of Cresson between the Muslim and Christian forces took place. But Lewis says not all researchers agree on this location.
Asked if just four arrowheads a battlefield make, he explains: usually even fewer are found, if any, unlike the great numbers found in the destruction layers of occupied castles, for example. If any are found in the open field (as in this case), one only finds the ones broken from the shafts and not picked up at the end of the bloodshed.
He stresses that the arrowheads may portend nothing beyond target practice ahead of war but, at least, suggests their discovery reopens the debate on the Battle of Cresson. "I think the Springs of Saforie is a good candidate, though I'm not convinced myself," he says,
Sleeping in formation
When marching to battle some distance from their encampment, the Frankish knights would go on a "fighting march", i.e., in battle formation, typically dividing into three groups. The king would be in the central force, and if they were taking a religious relic (like what they thought was a shard from the True Cross) into battle, that would be in the central force too.
The central force would be flanked by a front guard and a rear guard, each force acting as necessary, maneuvering by itself and shouldering its own functions and responsibilities.
The location of the finds at the Springs of Saforie may tell an intriguing story. "The Latin forces cannot be described as an army, at least not in the modern sense," Lewis says – they may all have been under the command of the King of Jerusalem, but each fought under its own leader and flag.
The artifacts were found in clusters, which may attest that the soldiers were camping out in their famous "fighting march" formation.
The king himself probably pitched his tent – had his tent pitched – on Tel Tzippori, a small mound overlooking the valley with its own water supply in the form of a well. "Nothing but the best for the king," Lewis observes.
Indeed, the closer the archaeologists got to the water sources, the finer the goods became. They found the classiest artifacts, the most high quality, in the vicinity of the springhouse (the main water source), which had been built centuries earlier during the Roman period.
What kind of aristocratic artifacts? Gilded buckles and hairpins, manufactured in aristocratic European style. Asked if it was likely that the Crusader warriors decked out their hairdos out in hairpins, Lewis points out that not all men in the camp came from the same cultural origin, just as each group was riding under a different banner.
The Hospitallers and Knights Templar generally wore their hair trimmed and wouldn't have needed hairpins, but maybe there were other types in the force. Alternatively, some of the pins could have been used as clothing fasteners; or the lot may have belonged to camp followers. "We know from a few years later from the siege of Acre, during the third crusade, there were all kinds of activities happening around these siege camps," Lewis says.
So after fighting among themselves all night, the Crusader commanders gave the marching order, in formation, the following morn and thus the soldiers set out, to where we are not sure.
President Herzog in Ukraine to Mark 80th Anniversary of Babi Yar Massacre
President Herzog departed to Ukraine Tuesday morning for the first state visit of his presidency, at the invitation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. President Herzog will participate in the official international ceremony marking 80 years since the Babi Yar Massacre and inaugurating Kyiv's new memorial center, together with President Zelensky, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and other leaders. Joining the Herzog delegation are Minister Zeev Elkin (government liaison to Ukraine) and MKs Moshe Arbel, Michael Michaeli, and Evgeny Sova.
Several official events will be held during the visit with the participation of the presidents of Ukraine and Germany and the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center.
Upon departing from Israel, President Herzog said: "I am flying to Ukraine to mark 80 years since the terrible Babi Yar Massacre. There, I shall mark at an official ceremony with world leaders including the President of Ukraine, President of Germany, and other leaders 80 years since the massacre. I shall also conduct a state visit to Ukraine, an important country, at President Zelensky's invitation.
"Ukraine and Israel have good relations," he noted, adding. "This year, we mark 30 years of Ukrainian independence and 30 years of relations between Israel and Ukraine. I want to thank President Zelensky, the Ukrainian Government, and the Ukrainian Parliament for recently passing a tough law against antisemitism, which adopted the IHRA's definition of antisemitism. The only way to build a present and future in which atrocities and crimes against humanity find no foothold is only to study the past, including the Holocaust of the Jewish People and their persecution, in the sense of 'and you shall tell your sons and daughters.' I welcome President Zelenksy's invitation and his commitment to the war against antisemitism. Ukraine also boycotted the Durban Conference, and I am grateful to it for this. I think in international relations in general in a period like the coronavirus pandemic, cooperation is necessary, and we shall strive to sign and promote various agreements and understandings.
"Most importantly, we shall remember and never forget the terrible massacre at Babi Yar, in which 33,000 Jews were massacred, shot dead into pits, naked, in the terrible cold—men, children, the elderly, and women. May their memory be a blessing," President Herzog said.
Finally: TAU Study Reveals Why Women Force Men to Turn Up the Air Conditioner
A scientific explanation for the battles over air conditioning: researchers at Tel Aviv University's School of Zoology offer a new evolutionary explanation for the familiar scenario in which women bring a sweater into work, while their male counterparts feel comfortable wearing short sleeves in an air-conditioned office. The researchers concluded that this phenomenon is not unique to humans, with many male species of birds and mammals preferring a cooler temperature than do the females.
The study proposes that the fact that males and females feel temperature differently is a built-in evolutionary difference between the heat-sensing systems of the two sexes, which is related, among other things, to the reproduction process and caring for offspring.
The study was led by Dr. Eran Levin and Dr. Tali Magory Cohen from the School of Zoology and the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History at Tel Aviv University, Yosef Kiat from the University of Haifa, and Dr. Haggai Sharon, a pain specialist from Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Tel Aviv Sourasky Tel Aviv Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital). The article was published in the Journal Global Ecology and Biogeography (An alternative hypothesis for the evolution of sexual segregation in endotherms).
The new study included an in-depth statistical and spatial analysis of the distribution of dozens of bird and bat species living in Israel, along with a comprehensive review of the international research literature on the subject. Dr. Levin, who among other things studies the physiology and behavior of bats, noted in his previous studies that during the breeding season males and females tend to segregate, with the males inhabiting cooler areas. For example, entire colonies in caves on the slopes of Mount Hermon are composed of only males during the breeding season, while in the warmer area of the Sea of Galilee there are mainly females, who give birth and raise their pups there. It was this phenomenon that aroused his curiosity.
Moreover, a study of the research literature reveals several examples of a similar phenomenon being observed in many species of birds and mammals. In migratory bird species, males spend the winter in colder areas than females (it should be noted that in birds, the segregation between the sexes takes place outside of the breeding season since the males participate in the raising of the chicks). Amongst many mammals, even in species that live in pairs or in mixed groups all their lives, the males prefer shade whereas the females prefer sunlight, or the males ascend to the peaks of mountains while the females remain in the valleys.
Following the literature review, the researchers conducted their own research. They sampled information collected in Israel over nearly 40 years (1981-2018) on thousands of birds from 13 migratory bird species from 76 sites (data from Birdlife Israel and the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History) and 18 species of bats from 53 sites (data from the researchers and the Society for the Protection of Nature.) In total, the study included more than 11,000 individual birds and bats, from Mount Hermon in the north to Eilat in the south.
The reasoning behind the choice of birds and bats for the study is the fact that they fly and are therefore highly mobile, and the researchers hypothesized that the spatial separation between the sexes – sometimes extending to different climatic zones – would be particularly clear in these groups. Moreover, Israel's significant climate diversity allowed them to study individual animals of the same species that live in very different climatic conditions.
The findings of the study clearly demonstrated that males prefer a lower temperature than females and that this preference leads to a separation between the sexes at certain periods during the breeding cycles, when the males and females do not need, and may even interfere, with each other.
Dr. Levin: "Our study has shown that the phenomenon is not unique to humans; among many species of birds and mammals, females prefer a warmer environment than males, and at certain times these preferences cause segregation between the two species. In light of the findings, and the fact that this is a widespread phenomenon, we have hypothesized that what we are dealing with is a difference between the female's and males' heat-sensing mechanisms, which developed throughout evolution. This difference is similar in its essence to the known differences between the pain sensations experienced by the two sexes, and is impacted by differences in the neural mechanisms responsible for the sensation and also by hormonal differences between males and females."
Dr. Magory Cohen notes that this difference has several evolutionary explanations. First, the separation between males and females reduces competition over resources in the environment and keeps away males who may be aggressive and endanger the babies. Furthermore, many female mammals must protect their offspring at a stage when they are not yet able to regulate their body temperature on their own, so they developed a preference for a relatively warm climate.
Dr. Levin and Dr. Magory Cohen conclude, "The bottom line is, going back to the human realm, we can say that this difference in thermal sensation did not come about so that we could argue with our partners over the air conditioning, but rather the opposite: it is meant to make the couple take some distance from each other so that each individual can enjoy some peace and quiet. The phenomenon can also be linked to sociological phenomena observed in many animals and even in humans, in a mixed environment of females and males: females tend to have much more physical contact between themselves, whereas males maintain more distance and shy away from contact with each other."