Five 4,000 Year Old Painted Tombs Discovered in Egypt and 17 Facts About Australian Jews By Miriam Szokovski and would the Earth end if it stopped spinning on its axis? and today Sunday is the first day of Chol HaMoed Passover and the Second Day for those out of Israel
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.
The Three are Rabbi Yehuda Glick, famous temple mount activist, and former Israel Mk, and then Robert Weinger, the world's greatest shofar blower and seller of Shofars, and myself after we had gone to the 12 gates of the Temple Mount in 2020 to blow the shofar to ask G-d to heal the world from the Pandemic. It was a highlight to my experience in living in Israel and I put it on my blog each day to remember.
The articles that I include each day are those that I find interesting, so I feel you will find them interesting as well. I don't always agree with all the points of each article but found them interesting or important to share with you, my readers, and friends. It is cathartic for me to share my thoughts and frustrations with you about life in general and in Israel. As a Rabbi, I try to teach and share the Torah of the G-d of Israel as a modern Orthodox Rabbi. I never intend to offend anyone but sometimes people are offended and I apologize in advance for any mistakes. The most important psychological principle I have learned is that once someone's mind is made up, they don't want to be bothered with the facts, so, like Rabbi Akiva, I drip water (Torah is compared to water) on their made-up minds and hope that some of what I have share sinks in. Love Rabbi Yehuda Lave.
Andrew Forrest · FollowChief Engineer at Solstad Offshore (2005–present)
Originally Answered: What happens if the planet earth stop to rotate in its axis and continues to orbits in its orbit?
If the Earth lost its rotational inertia and stopped spinning on its axis (something that would take an almost indescribable amount of energy to do), the end result would not be the total cessation of any rotation, but rather the tidal locking of the Earth to the sun, just as the moon is tidally locked to the Earth.
Due to the gravitational influence of the sun, the Earth with no rotational energy will be forced to rotate at the same period as our orbit, meaning that one full rotation would take a year and one side of the Earth would be in permanent sunlight, and the other side in permanent darkness.
This is not an ideal situation for any inhabitants that may be on the planet at the time, as it means that the sunlit side would be exposed to a constant 120 degC and the dark side would be at minus 120 degC. This would result in the seas literally boiling on the sunlit side, and freezing solid on the dark side. There would be a ring around the planet at the effective solar horizon that would have a habitable temperature range, since it would be in eternal twilight.
There still would be seasons though, since the planet would retain it's inclination of 23.5 degrees. This would result in the strongest seasons being present at either pole, with the most uniform conditions being present at the equator.
The huge difference in temperatures between the sunlit and dark hemispheres would result in the migration of all the surface water from the hot side towards the cold, with precipitation at the twilight zone tending to run back towards the hot side. This then establishes a working hydrologic cycle that might enable life to hang on in these areas, so such a scenario is not necessarily the end of life on Earth, although the available habitat is greatly diminished.
Five 4,000 Year Old Painted Tombs Discovered in Egypt
Five painted tombs were recently unearthed in Saqqara, an ancient Egyptian necropolis just outside of Cairo, according to a report by Reuters. The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said that a recent excavation of burial shafts resulted in the finding of the tombs, along with more than 20 sarcophagi, toys, wooden boats, masks, and more.
The tombs are at least 4,000 years old, dating back to the Old Kingdom and First Intermediate period, a so called dark period in ancient Egyptian history as the regime of the Old Kingdom collapsed and political instability led to the destruction of monuments, artworks, and more. As such, not much remains from this time.
These tombs, however, are well-preserved and particularly well-decorated, with the additional inclusion of small statues and pots. Some of the paintings seem to represent food offerings. The tombs, which reside near the pyramid of King Merenre I, are believed to have belonged to senior officials and court advisors.
The identity of two of those buried in the tombs has been ascertained. One was a top official named Iry, whose tomb included a limestone sarcophagus. The other was occupied by a woman named Petty, who was both a priest of Hathor and a kind of beautician for Menere I. Menere I is believed to be the father of Pepi II, the most notable pharaoh of this age whose reign is said to have lasted for more than 90 years.
The Egyptian government has been actively excavating Saqqara over the past several months. In November, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced that it had found the tomb of a treasurer to the New Kingdom pharaoh Ramses II, which included several intact murals, in Saqqara.
These recent discoveries come amid the government's "Follow the Sun" campaign that is aimed at attracting tourists to come see the archaeological wonders of ancient Egypt, both those well-known and recently discovered. The country's economy largely depends on this tourism, which has been impacted for over a decade beginning with the Arab Spring protests there. More recently, the pandemic's slowing down on international travel and Russia's invasion of Ukraine—a large portion of tourists to Egypt are Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian—have also affected the tourism industry there.
Living in the Southern Hemisphere, Australian Jews experience the Jewish calendar differently from their northern brethren. They celebrate Chanukah during the hot, bright Australian summer (often in summer camp), which means the menorah can often only be lit after 9 p.m. All-night learning on Shavuot (which falls out during their early winter) begins in the early evening and ends much later in the morning than it does in the Northern Hemisphere. But there are perks as well, such as ending the Tisha B'Av fast as early as 6 in the evening.
2. Australian National Favorite Foods Are (Often) Kosher
Like their fellow Aussies, the Jews of "Down Undah" enjoy a good Vegemite sandwich (Vegemite is certified by Kosher Australia) for breakfast, kosher meat pies and sausage rolls (with kosher beef and no cheese) at football matches, pavlova as dessert on Shavuot (or pareve for other holiday meals), and "fairy bread" (white bread spread with butter/margarine and covered with "hundreds and thousands" i.e., non-pareil sprinkles) at birthday parties.
The first Jews to Australia arrived on the First Fleet in 1788. Settled by the British, Australia was initially used as a penal colony, and the first shipment of convicts included at least 8 Jewish men and women, and possibly as many as 15. Most were accused of petty theft, such as 15-year-old Esther Abrahams, charged with stealing two lengths of black lace. Sentenced to seven years in Australia, she brought her infant daughter with her.
In the ensuing years, many more Jews came over as prisoners, middle-class free settlers, and then as part of the Gold Rush influx in the 1850s. By 1861, there were an estimated 3,000 Jews in the country, growing to 15,000 by the turn of the century.
Esther Abrahams, one of the first Jews in Australia.
4. The Community Grew in the 20th Century
A small wave of refugees from the pogroms in Russia and Poland began to arrive in Australia in the 1890s, followed by a second, larger wave following World War I. In the 1930s, several thousand German and Austrian Jews fled to Australia to escape the rise of Nazism, and a further 2000 European refugees were deported from Britain on the infamous Dunera.
In the post-war years, Australia's Jewish community saw its largest influx—Holocaust survivors from Poland, Hungary, and other European countries, ballooning in size from 23,000 in 1938 to 60,000 in 1961. Australia has the highest per capita rate of Holocaust survivors outside of Israel.
The late '80s and '90s saw an influx of Jews from the former Soviet Union, and consistent immigration from South Africa.
5. There Are Approximately 100,000 Jews in Australia Today
The current Jewish population of Australia is estimated to be between 90,000 and 120,000, comprising roughly 0.5% of the country's total population.
6. Jews Serve With Distinction
Sir John Monash, 1918. Photo: Australian War Memorial
Since Jews have been part of Australian society since its colonization and settlement, and many came from Britain and were therefore English-speaking, they quickly integrated and became part and parcel of Australian society, without facing the anti-Semitism and roadblocks limiting Jews in many other countries. As a result, Australian Jews have consistently been involved in every facet of Australian life, holding important positions in the arts, education, philanthropy, politics, science, medicine, the legal system, and the military.
General Sir John Monash, a distinguished Lieutenant-General and Commander of the Australian corp during World War I, is considered the most famous commander in Australian history. Sir Isaac Isaacs was the first Jewish Governor-General of Australia, in 1931, and Sir Zelman Cowan held the position from 1977 to 1982.
7. The Great Synagogue in Sydney Is Australia's Oldest Shul
Although services were held in homes and rented premises earlier, the first purpose-built shul was the York Street Synagogue in Sydney, 1844, which merged with a neighboring congregation to build The Great Synagogue in 1877. The Great Synagogue remains active, with daily traditional Orthodox services.
There are currently an estimated 80 synagogues throughout Australia.
The Great Synagogue, c. 1880. Photo: Charles Bayliss, via NSW State Library.
8. Jewish Agricultural Settlements Rose and Fell
Early Jewish settlers lived in rural areas, but by the early 1900s concerns about assimilation drove them to concentrate in urban areas, primarily Melbourne and Sydney.
One well-known settlement was in remote Shepparton, where Reb Moshe Zalman Feiglin, a staunch chassid of the fifth and sixth Rebbes of Chabad, set up a self-sufficient Jewish agricultural community and an ad-hoc yeshivah. He arrived in Australia in 1912, and was later joined by his wife and children, as well as five additional Chabad families. Despite the remote location and lack of infrastructure, he and his family remained committed to living Torah-centric lives.
Following World War II, the sixth Rebbe sent several emissaries to bolster Judaism in Australia. Lacking language and resources, they more than compensated with love, joy and inspiration.
Their work was boosted when Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid and Rebbetzin Devorah Groner moved to Australia in 1958 at the Rebbe's behest. What was initially intended to be a three-year stint turned into a lifelong mission, as they threw themselves into building and cultivating the Australian Jewish community.
At the time of his passing in 2008, Isi Leibler, a former president of Australian Jewry, said: "History will record that Rabbi Yitzchok Groner was beyond a doubt the greatest Australian Jewish leader of the past century."
10. The Majority of Jewish Kids Attend Jewish Schools
One of the most distinctive features of the Australian Jewish community is its strong network of well attended day schools, giving it the highest rate of Jewish children in Jewish schools outside of Israel. There are also a number of Jewish overnight camps and youth groups with strong attendance.
Started in 1949 with only 3 students, Melbourne's Yeshivah-Beth Rivkah schools have grown into vibrant educational hubs, serving hundreds of students each year with a strong dual Jewish and secular curriculum.
In addition to the day schools, the Yeshivah Centre includes a state-of-the-art early childhood facility, large Chabad shul, an outreach-focused kollel, mikvah, post-high school seminaries for women (Ohel Chana) and men (Yeshivah Gedolah), and Chabad Youth—the largest Jewish youth organization in the Southern Hemisphere.
Students from Melbourne's Jewish schools at the Lag Ba'Omer parade.
11. The Continent's First Yeshiva Was Founded in 1966
The Rabbinical College of Australia and New Zealand was founded under the direction of Rabbi Zalman Serebryanski, one of the Russian-born Chassidim who formed the basis of the Chabad community in Australia, when Yeshivah College High School had a graduating class of six young men who were ready to pursue advanced, post-high school Judaic studies.
A year later, their ranks were bolstered when the Rebbe dispatched six senior North American rabbinical students to join them for a two-year term. At the Rebbe's urging, the students visited the Jewish communities in Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, New Zealand and even Tasmania. The Rebbe continued to send cohorts of American students, a tradition that lives on until today.
Today the majority of Australian rabbis are alumni, as are hundreds of Judaically educated and inspired lay leaders.
The first shluchim (Avrohom Altein, Leibel Kaplan, Hirshel Lipskier, Shloma Majeski, Yosef Minkowitz and Hirshel Morozov) with Rabbi Eliyahu (Yaichel) Simpson, center, arriving at the airport in Australia.
Melbourne's annual Chanukah in the Park event is attended by an estimated 10,000 people each year, from across the spectrum of Jewish observance. And that's just one example.
Australia's Jewish community is uniquely cohesive; members from the many different congregations, whose children attend different schools, and who may maintain differing levels of observance all meet at communal functions, personal celebrations, and social events.
Currently, 90 percent of Australia's Jews live in Sydney and Melbourne, with smaller communities in Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart, and Canberra.
But Australia is a huge country, and lone Jews are scattered throughout its small towns, often the only Jews in the area. Chabad of Rural and Regional Australia ("RARA") travels the Australian outback in a fully-equipped campervan, visiting Jews in isolated locations, bringing kosher food and supplies, and most importantly, community.
When doing pre-Yom Kippur Kapparot, males say a short text while passing a rooster over their heads, and females do so with hens. In much of the world, males are easily recognizable by the larger red comb and wattle. Among the breeds common in Australia, however, the hens also have similarly large features. Don't say we didn't warn you!
The first Jews arrived in New Zealand as traders in the 1830s, with an influx during the 1860s gold rush. The first synagogues were established in 1868 and 1870. New Zealand is currently home to approximately 5,000 Jews, primarily in Auckland and Wellington, both of which have active congregations.
16. There Are Chabad Centers in Six States and the Australian Capital Territory
There are nearly 200 Chabad emissary couples serving Australian Jewry as teachers, congregational leaders, and other pastoral positions. There are currently Chabad centers located in six Australian states and the Australian Capital Territory. There is no Chabad center yet in the Northern Territory.
17. They Are the First to Celebrate Each Jewish Holiday
Located just West of the International Date Line, the Jews of Australasia are the first to usher in each Jewish holiday. Thus, the first Chanukah candle is lit first in New Zealand, then in Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne, followed eventually by the Jews of Perth, on the western coast of Australia. (Conversely, the last Jew to light the menorah probably lives somewhere in Alaska.)
It should be noted that there was a time when some believed that Shabbat should be celebrated a full day later in Australia (following a later-rescinded opinion of Rabbi Avraham Yeshaya Karelitz—the Chazon Ish), but the halachic consensus soon developed that the Jewish date in Australia is determined along the same lines as the secular International Date Line.
By Miriam SzokovskiMore by this author Miriam Szokovski is a writer, editor, and author of the historical novel Exiled Down Under. She is a member of the Chabad.org editorial team and also shares her cooking and baking on Chabad.org/food. Art by Sefira Lightstone. Our in-house artist, she is an editorial illustrator who creates art to empower the Jewish collective online. Past clients have included the Forward, Mosaic Mag, and the Jewish Press. You can follow more of her work on her personal instagram account where she focuses on activism @sefiracreative.