2000-year-old road to the Temple unveiled

Representatives from around the world gathered in the City of David, just outside of the Old City of Jerusalem, on Sunday, for the unveiling of the Pilgrim’s Road, a key archeological site in the Israeli capital city.

US Ambassador David Friedman, White House special envoy Jason Greenblatt, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, Israeli ministers Rafi Peretz and Uri Ariel, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s wife Sara Netanyahu, American Jewish philanthropists Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, and the US ambassadors to Portugal, Denmark, and France were among those in attendance at the ceremony.

The ceremonial event angered the Palestinian Authority, as well as several left-wing Israeli NGOs, which claimed the opening of the site would further entrench an Israeli presence in eastern parts of the city that Palestinians hope will one day serve as their capital.

After six years of extensive archaeological excavations led by the Israel Antiquities Authority, a 350-meter-long section of the Pilgrimage Road was unveiled at a festive ceremony in the City of David. The project was funded by the City of David Foundation who plan to open up the site to the general public in the near future.

Archeological discoveries and extensive research were presented for the first time, demonstrating that contrary to what was once believed, the residents of the City of David or what Josephus referred to as Lower Jerusalem from the Second Temple period were quite affluent.

According to Dr Joe Uziel, Uri Levi, Nachshon Tentun and Moran Hajbi who oversaw the excavations on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority:

“The impressive street and the buildings that were exposed along its length testify to the fact that a wealthy population lived here, the most significant discoveries that contributed to this understanding were publicly shown for the first time during the inaugural event, including broken parts of an ornate stone table, an additional round table made of bitumen stone decorated with colored stones in its center.”

These are just some of the many tables discovered in the excavations, that were overseen by researcher Frankie Schneider.

A number of silver coins were found nearby, most notably silver coins minted in the city of Tire in 33CE and which, according to testimony in the Talmudic Tractate of Bechorot, were used as Half Shekel Temple tithes during the late Second Temple period.

A variety of jewelry was unearthed, including a ring with a precious stone that was discovered inside a ritual bath, and pottery vessels and vials that were used to store perfume or oils.

The total length of the street that connected the Pool of Siloam in the south of the City of David to the foot of the Temple Mount is 600 meters long and approximately 8 meters wide. To date, the southern part of the street has been exposed to a total length of 350 meters. The magnificent street was paved with large stone slabs – as is customary in monumental construction throughout the Roman Empire.

The discovery of the street combined advanced and pioneering research methods, which strengthened the understanding that King Herod the Great was not solely responsible for the huge construction projects of Jerusalem at the end of the Second Temple period. As recent studies indicate that the street was built after the reign of Herod, probably during the time of the Roman procurator Pontius Pilate, who is also known to have sentenced Jesus to crucifixion.

According to the researchers: “This conclusion, in fact, sheds light on the history of Jerusalem in the late Second Temple period, and strengthens the recognition of the importance of the rule of the Roman procurators in shaping the image of Jerusalem.” From ruins found in a layer of ash from the time of Jerusalem’s destruction throughout the street, valuable information was derived about its history, as well as the dietary regime that was practiced in the besieged city during the uprising. 2000 years after the destruction of Jerusalem, we have managed to go back in time and actually touch the last moments of the city before it was destroyed.”

According to Dr. Yuval Baruch, archaeologist of the Jerusalem area at the Israel Antiquities Authority, “Today, for the first time, one can walk along one of the main streets of ancient Jerusalem, get an impression of its sights and receive answers to fascinating historical questions that have been asked for more than 100 years about the history of Jerusalem during the Second Temple period. This is a natural continuation of the previous archaeological excavations at the site, which were begun by European and American researchers at the end of the 19th century.”

“The results of these excavations determined for the first time that the biblical City of David was located on the eastern hill of Jerusalem, the capital of King David, where the administrative institutions of the Kingdom of Judah were concentrated. During the Second Temple period, the area was included within the boundaries of the extended city – a neighborhood called the Lower City.”

“Among the important findings that were discovered then were sections of the stepped stone street from the time of the Second Temple, built over 600 meters from the city’s southern gates and the area of the Shiloah Pool, up north towards the Holy Basin. Six years ago we renewed archeological excavations along the street, and it was exposed in all its glory to the benefit of the thousands of visitors who could walk there. “

Time spent with research and workarounds

1.1. As designers, often the most difficult challenge is in educating the clients.

Simply put – tell them not to do that!

1.2. The designer who doesn’t code:

  • The designer doesn’t knows the CSS Grid specification
  • The designer doesn’t knows exceptions are painful and bloat the source code

It could take

5 times or 500% more than usual average work for a website

That’s immense. It all adds up during development time, and, rolls out as a technical debt for the future.

‘Lost’ $170 million Caravaggio biblical masterpiece snapped up before auction

A painting thought to be a “lost masterpiece” by Italian painter Caravaggio has been bought two days before it was due to go under the hammer in France.

“Judith and Holofernes,” which was found under an old mattress in the attic of a house in the French city of Toulouse, was snapped up by a foreign buyer, the auction house selling it said on Tuesday.

Art expert Eric Turquin — who authenticated the painting — said it was worth between 100 and 150 million euros (up to $170 million), although several Italian specialists have doubts about the canvas.

But Turquin, France’s leading authority on Old Masters paintings, had staked his reputation on the work being the fiery artist’s lost “Judith and Holofernes.”

The painting depicting a grisly biblical scene of the beautiful Jewish widow Judith beheading a sleeping Assyrian general was to be auctioned in Toulouse on Thursday.

But before bidding could start a foreign buyer “close to a major museum” stepped in, said Marc Labarbe, the local auctioneer who discovered the painting when he was asked to value some “old things in the attic” five years ago.

“The fact that the offer comes from a collector close to a major museum convinced the seller to accept (the offer),” he said.

Labarbe said he could not reveal the name of the buyer or the price paid because of a confidentiality agreement.

But he confirmed that the painting — dated to 1606 — will leave France after an export bar, which classed the canvas as a “national treasure,” was not renewed in November.

Turquin had earlier told AFP that he was sure the painting was by the volatile and violent genius, who created it while he was on the run from a death sentence for murder.

“Not only is it a Caravaggio, but of all the Caravaggios that are known today, this is one of the great pictures,” he insisted.

“The painting is in an extraordinarily good state, much better than the Caravaggios I have seen in Naples,” he added.

But although experts are united in hailing the quality of the work, a minority of specialists — particularly in Italy — have their doubts.

They believe it is a copy made by the Flemish artist Louis Finson, who worked alongside Caravaggio as he painted.

But Turquin is adamant it is the original from 1606 whose existence was first noted in letters between Italian dukes and art dealers four centuries ago.

He is more convinced than ever since the canvas was cleaned in January, a process that took three weeks. On top of X-rays, the cleaning “has shown that the painting was changed a lot as it was painted, with lots of retouching. That proves it is an original,” Turquin said.

“Copyists don’t make changes like that, they copy,” he added.

A less virtuoso version of the scene by Finson hangs at the Palazzo Zevallos in Naples.

Standing in front of what has been called the “Toulouse Caravaggio” in a strongroom above his Paris office, Turquin showed the telltale trace of how the artist had changed his mind about which way Judith should be looking.

“After five years of reflection, no one has put up a counter-argument,” said the expert, accusing the Italian doubters of “pronouncing against the painting without seeing it.

“They say it’s impossible because Caravaggio painted (no more than) 65 canvases… For them the history of art is set.”

Turquin said the painting marked a turning point in Caravaggio’s development as an artist.

The fiercely original painter had created his first canvas on the theme, the far more formal “Judith Beheading Holofernes” in 1598, which hangs at the Palazzo Barberini in Rome.

Header: Workers hang on a wall a painting believed by some experts to be Caravaggio’s ‘Judith Beheading Holofernes’ for its public presentation at the Drouot auction house in Paris on June 14, 2019 before it goes under the hammer on June 27 in Toulouse, the city where it was discovered five years ago. (Francois Guillot/AFP)

France must give back the Tombs of Kings to Israel

Just this week in Jerusalem, the Tomb of Kings reopened its doors to the public The French consulate in Jerusalem announced the reopening. This funeral site, closed since 2010, is the subject of complex political and religious claims.

The re-opening to visitors of this remarkable example of Jewish funerary architecture in Roman times has given rise to tension and great confusion.

France had decided to limit access initially to 15 visitors, with reservations needed, for two mornings per week hour by hour. They intended to ensure a peaceful operation,.but had hinted that the operation could be called into question depending on events. By now, about fifteen visitors will have discovered the vast staircase leading to a huge courtyard overlooking the mausoleum architrave carved in limestone. Inside, hypogeum rooms contain 31 tombs, closed by a rare example, still in place, of rolling stone.

“The graves are no longer accessible for security reasons » declared the French consulate.”

“Pay to pray”?

This is a holy place for Jews,” said one of the Orthodox Jews there, David Maimon, 40 years old. “Anywhere else in the world, when Jews or people of another religion want to go to pray in a holy place, they can do it.” “We should not have to pay to pray, all we want is to enter, pray 10 or 15 minutes, and leave”.

Ever since, Orthodox Jews have been asking France to access and pray in this place, creating tension with the French consulate. In the early 2000s, a concert was organized by the Palestinian Cultural Center, with the agreement of France. Joel Mergui, president of the Central Consistory Israelite of France, had then judged the episode “inadmissible in a holy place”.

The site, which has great significance to the Jewish people, “is further testimony to the deep and multigenerational connection of the Jewish people to its eternal capital Jerusalem,” Israel Katz said in a statement.

Now imagine that your name is Christian Jeaumont, that you live in Paris in what is called ”les beaux quartiers” not far from the cathedral of Notre-Dame. Still imagine that you are passionate about history and you are particularly interested in the history of France. You learn that not far from you, there is a royal tomb where famous people are buried who, two thousand years ago, marked the history of France. You decide to go there to visit the places. But to your amazement, the place is surrounded by a high wall and a barrier that prevents access. Above the monument floats the flag of the State of Israel.

On the portal an inscription: Tomb of Kings, State of Israel. You learn that the monument is closed to the public because of restoration/work since when? It’s been more than ten years. But closed to the public yes and no because it organizes from time to time music festivals; not for you …

Ah I forgot you are informed that the sarcophagi were extracted from the Tomb, dishonestly, we hid their belonging to the history of France in order to send them to an Israeli museumj. Intolerable, you would say to me; impossible fiction. I assure you, you are right! This situation exists, but do not worry Monsieur Jeaumont, not in Paris not in the Tomb of a King of France or a Duc de Bourgogne, but in Jerusalem. The monument is called the Tomb of Kings.

This is how Haim Berkovits opens his lectures on one of the places where the Jews prayed the most and which today is closed and under French rule. Mandated by the Consistory of France to deal with this sensitive subject with the French authorities and make the link with Israel, Haim Berkovits has been working on it for years. He even wrote a novel, inspired by all his research and adventures: “The Tomb of Kings” (Editions Persée). He explains the history of this place, its mysteries and the diplomatic struggles that are linked to it.

Philanthropists of the time of the 2nd Temple

The Tomb of Kings is located at the intersection of the Nablus Road (Derech Shechem) and Saladin Street (Rehov Saladin) in Jerusalem, 820 meters north of the walls of the Old City, near the Damascus Gate. It is close to the headquarters of the British Consulate, the Orient House and the tomb of Talmudic sage Simon the Righteous (Shimon Hatsaddik). For centuries, Jews prayed at this place, especially to ask for parnassa. Indeed, great philanthropists of the time of the 2nd Temple are buried there, persona who have marked our history, by their generosity. Starting with Queen Helen of Abadiana – Heleni Hamalka – who converted to Judaism and settled in Israel.

“The Gemara speaks a lot about Queen Helen,” says Haim Berkovits, “She offered the Beth Hamikdach a brooch that reflects the light so that the Esplanade is illuminated at sunset. She also gave food to the needy.”

The other great person buried there is Rabbi Akiva’s father-in-law, Kalba Savoua. He was famous for feeding all hungry people abundantly. Finally, there is also the burial of Nakdimon Ben Gurion, and “the Gemara tells us how this rich inhabitant of Jerusalem gave to drink to the pilgrims, even to commit his personal fortune”.

Besides the greatness of the figures who are buried there, the Tomb of the Kings is a splendid monument, which was one of the most important places to visit in Israel. Flavius Josephus is the first to speak about it, then many other intellectuals, archaeologists and researchers were interested in it, such as Chateaubriand, Herzl or Félicien Joseph de Saulcy. It is the visit of the latter which will mark a turning point in the history of the Tomb of Kings.

The theft of sarcophagi

In 1851, the archaeologist Félicien Joseph de Saulcy went to the Tomb of the Kings for the first time. He claimed that Kings David and Solomon are buried there, before recognizing his mistake, a few years later. In 1863 he returned there and began digging. Israel being under Ottoman rule at that time he obtained official permission from the Sultan to conduct his excavations.

Chaim Berkovits tells us: “After several days of excavations, a worker makes a discovery. He spots a place where the rock has been replaced by mortar. With pickaxes, the mortar is removed thus giving access to a secret chamber where rests a royal sarcophagus for nearly 1800 years. Unfortunately no precaution was taken at the opening of the sarcophagus, and barely open, the skeleton that was there fell into dust. All that remained was the inscription in Hebrew letters engraved on the sarcophagus. The archaeological enterprise quickly takes the form of a drama: the tomb is desecrated and looted, it is stripped of its sarcophagi “.

The Jews who live in Jerusalem protest to the Pasha, but when he goes to de Saulcy, the archaeologist takes care to conceal the inscription in Hebrew. The Pasha gives in to the archaeologist. It is only thanks to the intervention of notable Jews such as Moshe Montefiore and André Cremieux that the excavations will be stopped.

But it is already too late, de Saulcy has shipped the sarcophagi on a boat to the Louvre Museum in Paris.

“It’s a blow for the Jewish community in Jerusalem. Helpless, the great rabbis of Jerusalem at the time went to the Jewish community of France, to its leaders, including the chief Rabbi of France, Lazar Izidor. Warned of the situation by the Yishuv Hayehoudi (Jews in the Old City), he seeks a solution. He then finds a philanthropist who decides to buy the Tomb of kings and thus preserve it from any profanation: Mrs Berthe Amélie Bertrand “.

The Tomb saved?

Berthe Amélie Bertrand, born Lévi, becomes an orphan. losing her father at the age of one year. Her mother, Noémie, on the advice of her maid, converted her to Catholicism, in order to preserve her from anti-Semitism. It will be the frustration of her life, “describes Haïm Berkovits. She marries an archaeologist, Alexandre Bertrand.

After meeting Rabbi Lazar Isidor, she decides to buy the Tomb of the Kings. The law in force does not give him the opportunity to make the transaction directly, it gives the money to the French Consul to treat the case in its place. “The Consul will then make a mistake and not register the property in the name of Amelie Bertrand. The Tomb of Kings is entrusted to the responsibility of Hekdesh, the institution responsible for Jewish monuments. It is then thought that Amelie Bertrand saved the Tomb of Kings. But nobody knows then that the bones of Queen Helen are in the cellars of the Louvre.”

After the death of Amélie Bertrand, her cousin Henri Pereire, will offer the Tomb to France. Perhaps he thought so to protect it from destruction forever?” wondered Haim Berkovits,”France had committed to preserve it “.

A diplomatic and legal battle

But France does not keep its commitments. “France has never declared that this place was that of Jewish burials. When in 1967, the part of Jerusalem where the Tomb is located was recovered by Israel, one could visit the place giving some shekalim to the guard. But in 2000 with the 2nd Intifada, France decided to close the public access, “officially because of work”. This did not prevent them from organizing concerts of Arabic music! Several symposia were held at the Louvre, during which no Israeli official was invited and where they denied the fact that these are Jewish graves.

The Hekdesh has begun talks with the Consulate of France to obtain hours for visits to this place where the Jews prayed for years and secondly, the final return of the looted sarcophagi. A complaint was brought before the Rabbinical Court but France does not recognize its authority, and did not appear.

Today it is in France that the Hekdesh will file a complaint, represented by Master Gilles-William Goldnadel. The demands are clear: to recover sovereignty over the Tomb of Kings, the bones of Queen Heleni and the sarcophagi. The Hekdesh also asks, at the very least, for the management of the place. “Today, France is ready to reopen the site, provided that Israel recognizes that it belongs to France.”

Haim Berkovits continues: “This is not a problem of religion, but of respect for our heritage. The donation was made to France on a legal basis that is quite questionable. And even if we accept this act, France has not respected its commitments.”

Haim Berkovits wants to be optimistic about the chances of reaching an agreement. France and Israel are democracies, and legal decisions are respected. “We took a very respected lawyer, to push for negotiation. Even if the French flag remains on the spot, it is fundamental that it is the Jews who manage this place. We must write this new page of history and make known this place of the highest importance that belongs to our history.”

France must therefore restore the Tomb of Kings to the descendants pf  “Pereire”

In 1864, the Pereire brothers, famous Jewish bankers of the Second Empire, began pushing to buy the site on the recommendations of Félicien de Saulcy.The Pereire family – Amelie is their cousin – finally bought the site in 1878

“To preserve it for the study and veneration of the faithful children of Israel”.

The title of property is established in the name of Salvator Patrimonio, consul of France in Jerusalem from 1873 to 1881. The site is given to France in 1886. Due to the Ottoman legislation which did not recongnize the legal entity, the site was not not given to France, but directly to the French Consul in Jerusalem.

The concern of the Pereire brothers was to preserve this site in order to destine it for the Jewish community. It is for this reason that they offered it to France, to be sure that France would keep it open, exclusively for the Jewish community.

France must give back the Tombs of Kings to Israel.

Source: Arutz Sheva

  • Adapted by Abraham Chicheportiche from the article by Guitel Ben Ishay – Courtesy of Le P’tit Hebdo

Angela Merkel shakes AGAIN during official ceremony

Concerns for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s health grow once more as she was filmed struggling to keep her composure and visibly shaking during an official ceremony for the second time this month.

The incident happened during the formal appointing of the new justice minister in Berlin’s Bellevue Palace on Thursday morning. The chancellor began shaking while standing next to German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who was delivering a speech. The shaking stopped and resumed several times.

”Shake to the left, shake it to the right, come on baby you know what I like. Shake it real funky, shake it real low, shake it till you can’t shake it no more!”

France reseals Jerusalem historic site after opening marred by dispute

France reopened a revered but long-closed archaeological site in the heart of Jerusalem on Thursday, but a dispute over access immediately disrupted its reopening and France said it would shutter the site again.

France, the owner of the site known as the Tomb of the Kings, reopened it to visits after having kept it closed since 2010.

But concerns that it would become more of a religious pilgrimage site than an archaeological one immediately reemerged.

Around 15 people who had pre-registered online as required were allowed to visit, but a group of more than a dozen ultra-Orthodox Jews who consider the site holy pressed to enter and pray there despite not having followed procedures.

They were prevented from entering since French officials had limited visits to 15 people at once during set times due to the sensitivity of the site. Online registration was required, but many ultra-Orthodox Jews do not use the internet for religious reasons.

The first group of visitors was initially blocked inside and eventually exited through a second gate, accompanied by police.

France’s Jerusalem consulate said in a statement that due to the scuffle the site would be closed to the public until further notice.

“We deplore the violent incidents that took place today at the entrance of the site, during which agents of the consulate general of France in Jerusalem were assaulted,” it said in a French-language statement.

“We hope that the climate necessary for the organization of small group visits, according to the procedures defined by the consulate general in Jerusalem, can be established as soon as possible,” it said.

“In the meantime, we regret to have to suspend the planned visits.”

The incident highlighted concerns over the site and may bring into question whether it will remain open to the public.

France’s Jerusalem consulate had said in advance that the reopening would take place under prearranged rules.

The 2,000-year-old archaeological gem, located in East Jerusalem north of the Old City, had been closed since 2010 due to renovations costing around a million euros ($1.1 million).

It is a remarkable example of a Roman-era tomb, with stone shelves that once held sarcophagi, and is considered among the largest in the region.

Its unique status, Jewish veneration of the burial site and its location in the disputed eastern part of the city added to complications in reopening it.

There has been a challenge at Israel’s rabbinical court — which rules on matters related to Jewish law and holy sites — over access to the tomb and France’s ownership.

Before reopening the site, France sought guarantees from Israel it would not face legal challenges as well as commitments on how visits would be managed.

Header: An Israeli policeman prevents ultra-Orthodox Jewish men from entering the Tomb of the Kings site owned and administered by the French Consulate of Jerusalem because they did not pre-register their visit through the internet which they do not use for religious reasons, in East Jerusalem on June 27 2019. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)

US: The richest person in at least 7 states is Jewish

Forbes magazine on Wednesday published a list of the richest person in each of the 50 states.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, 31, is the richest person in California with a net worth of $71 billion. Real estate developer Ted Lerner, 93, and his family are the richest in Maryland with a net worth of $5.1 billion.

Quicken Loans founder and owner Dan Gilbert, 57, who owns the Cleveland Cavaliers, is the richest person in Michigan with a net worth of $6.8 billion. Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, 85, who also owns the Las Vegas Review-Journal daily newspaper, is the richest person in Nevada with a net worth of $37.5 billion.

Former three-term New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, 77, the co-founder and majority owner of the financial information and media company Bloomberg LP, is the richest person in New York with a net worth of $58.3 billion.

Leslie Wexner, 81, the founder and CEO of L Brands, which includes Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, is the richest person in Ohio with a net worth of $4.7 billion. Anita Zucker, CEO of InterTech Group, a private, family-owned chemicals manufacturer founded by her late husband, Jerry Zucker, is the richest person in South Carolina with a net worth of $1.8 billion.

Jerusalem’s Tomb of the Kings to reopen for 1st time since 2010

The Tomb of the Kings, a 2,000-year-old archaeological gem in the heart of Jerusalem owned by France, is to reopen to the public for the first time since 2010, the French consulate said Wednesday.

The elaborate Roman-era tomb with stone shelves that once held sarcophagi, considered among the largest in the region, will be opened on Thursday, and the following Tuesday and Thursday mornings, the consulate’s website said.

Visits will be limited to 15 people in 45-minute stretches, the ticket order page said, noting the need for “proper dress” at the Tomb of the Kings, which is a funeral site.

The graves themselves will remain closed to the public for conservation and safety reasons.

The vast site, located in east Jerusalem some 700 meters (yards) north of the Old City, is hidden behind a wall with a metal gate marked by a French flag.

It has been closed since 2010 due to renovations costing around a million euros ($1.1 million).

A spokeswoman for the French Consulate General said that in opening the site, France was implementing a decision and a commitment “made a long time ago”.

Jews consider the tomb a holy burial site of ancient ancestors and demand the right to pray there.

Excavations of the site began in the 1860s, with Felicien de Saulcy of France taking on the project in 1863 and seeking to confirm it was the tomb of biblical figures King David and Solomon, giving rise to the site’s name.

That theory has been ruled out, but the name has endured.

Several sarcophagi were found inside and are now in the Louvre museum in Paris, including one with an Aramaic inscription.

According to the most commonly accepted theory, it refers to Queen Helena of Adiabene, in today’s Iraqi Kurdistan, and she may have built the tomb for her dynasty.

After de Saulcy’s excavation, the tomb was purchased by the Pereire brothers, a Jewish banking family in Paris that would later hand the property over to France.

Israel and France had negotiated the site’s status and reopening, but a French consulate spokeswoman declined to give details.

“We are reopening in accordance with the rules we set for ourselves,” she told AFP.

Israel’s foreign minister welcomed France’s decision to open the tomb.

“(I) invite the public to visit the site, which has great significance to the Jewish people, and is further testimony to the deep and multigenerational connection of the Jewish people to its eternal capital Jerusalem,” Israel Katz said in a statement.

On 15th May 2019, Hekdesh, a Jewish organization (L’Association Hekdesh du Tombeau des Rois), hired Gilles-William Goldnadel, a French lawyer, and took the French government to court, hoping to prove that the site was purchased by a Berthe Amélie Bertrand, a woman involved in philanthropy. Goldnadel also contemplates the possibility of initiating a court case aiming to reclaim the sarcophagus of queen Helena of Adiabene, which is presently housed by the Louvre Museum.

From the house there is a 9 meter wide staircase (23 steps) that was originally paved and leads to a forecourt. The rain water is collected in baths, which are carved in the steps, and carried via a channel system to the water wells. At the bottom of the stairs there is a stone wall to the left with a gate. This gate leads to a courtyard that was cut from the rock at the same date. The dimensions of this courtyard are roughly 27 meters long from north to south and 25 meters wide from west to east.

The entrance to the tombs is via this courtyard. The tombs are entered via a rock-cut arch (facade) in the western side. The 28-meter facade was crowned with three pyramids, which no longer exist, and decorated with reliefs of grapes, plexus leaves, acorns and fruit, reflecting the Greek architectural style. The architrave was originally supported by two pillars, fragments of which were found in the excavations.

The tombs are arranged on two levels around a central chamber, with four rooms upstairs and three rooms downstairs. The central chamber itself is entered from the courtyard via an antechamber that goes down into a dimly lit maze of chambers. The access from the antechamber to the exterior courtyard could be sealed closed by rolling a round stone across it, and the stone still remains in-situ. In the first century C.E., a “secret mechanism” operated by water pressure moved the stone. Probably a small amount of water pressure activated a system of weights to open the tomb. Two of the eight burial chambers have arcosolia, resting places made of a bench with an arch over it. Some of the arcosolia have triangular niches where oil lamps were placed to give light during the burial process.

The two most common types of tombs in the first century CE are found in this tomb complex. Shaft tombs were long narrow shafts in which the deceased were placed and closed with a stone slab which probably had the name of the occupant inscribed on it. Channels in the center of the shafts were probably carved to drain the water that seeped through the rock.

The tombs are now empty, but previously housed a number of sarcophagi; they were excavated by a French archaeological mission headed by Louis Felicien de Saulcy, who took them back to France. They are exhibited at the Louvre.

Although no kings were buried here, one of the sarcophagi bears two Aramaic inscriptions identifying the corpse within as that of Queen Sadah (Tzada Malchata, צדה מלכתה); this is thought to refer to Helena, the Queen of Adiabene. The decorative architecture of the tomb complex is Seleucid, which would fit with this identification.

Header: Tombs of the Kings, 1842

Haredi woman judge saves flight passenger

The first American haredi judge, Rachel (Ruchi) Freier, used her medical skills and took care of a passenger in distress during a Lufthansa flight from Budapest to Frankfurt.

The newspaper Israel Hayom reported that Freier received a letter of thanks following the incident from Lufthansa Airlines Spokeswomen Ana Becker and Sarah Schindler.

The two said the plane’s crew praised the judge for her activities. “They told us how you administered medical treatment to a passenger,” they noted.

“We wanted to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You very much helped the sick traveler, and we were very happy that you were on the flight. As a token of our appreciation, we will give you a flight voucher of 150 Euro; it will be a privilege to host you again on board our company’s aircraft in the future.”

Before she began her judicial career, Freier, who is considered accepted by the haredi community in her neighborhood, founded a medical rescue organization called Ezrat Nashim.She decided to establish an independent organization for women after she was disallowed to volunteer in a haredi rescue organization in which only men are members.

Hasids and other ultra-Orthodox groups together make up only 6 percent of America’s estimated 5.3 million adult Jews, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center study.

Dating to 18th-century Eastern Europe, Hasidism combines stringent adherence to Jewish law and a joyful belief in mysticism. Followers often speak Yiddish, wear traditional dress including beards and sidelocks for men and wigs for married women, and separate men and women in contexts ranging from buses to classrooms.

Header: Rachel Freier in her Borough Park law office with, from left to right, nephew Shmuel Freier, husband David Freier and son Mayer Freier. (Andrew Katz/JTA)

Le cri de ralliement du caméléon fugitive

La préoccupation relativement récente du caméléon pour le féminisme tient en grande partie à une espèce de déception, sinon de dégoût et d’inimitié, à l’égard d’une certaine forme de vie politique.

Ces dernières années, ayant beaucoup désiré la constitution de petites communautés amicales en sécession d’avec le mode de vie capitaliste et urbain indexé sur le travail comme centre, il a approché, par incursions et avec enthousiasme, les constellations politiques où des tentatives ont lieu en ce sens.

Google’s efforts to influence 2020 election against Trump

Monday’s expose includes an undercover video of Jen Genai, Google’s head of ‘Responsible Innovation’, outlining the measures already being taken to fight the US president in the upcoming 2020 election. The video was later blocked on YouTube.

Google interferes with search results, censors conservative views and even directly manipulates facts in the name of ‘fairness’, according to internal video and documents a whistle-blower has turned over to Project Veritas.

The internet giant has a near-monopoly on web searches globally and owns the most popular video sharing site, YouTube. The alarming information provided to the conservative transparency activists shows the company’s executives putting their thumb on the scale in an effort to “prevent the next Trump situation,” as one of them put it.

”We all got screwed over in 2016, again it wasn’t just us, it was, the people got screwed over, the news media got screwed over, like, everybody got screwed over so we’re rapidly been like, what happened there and how do we prevent it from happening again.”

The company is currently at work “training our algorithms” in a way that might have prevented Trump’s electoral victory in 2016, Jen Genai added, without specifying what the effect might be in 2020.

One of the documents provided to Veritas by a Google insider shows the way the company manipulates information in favor of liberal perspectives. The document details what it calls “algorithmic unfairness,” meaning that when something factually true is considered unfair (sexist, racist, etc.), it “may be desirable to consider how we might help society reach a more fair and equitable state via product intervention.”

Trump’s $50-billion Middle East plan is a win-win for Israel

The so-called “opportunity of the century,” is entitled to create a million jobs in the West Bank and Gaza, while doubling Palestine’s GDP in 10 years. It would be achieved through donors, mainly the Gulf States, pouring $50 billion into the West Bank and Gaza as well as into Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon where several million Palestinian “refugees“ are staying. Continue reading “Trump’s $50-billion Middle East plan is a win-win for Israel”