Monday, July 6, 2009
Quarry for Second Temple Exposed in Excavation
Constantly we dig and uncover significant finds about Israel's past as a Jewish Nation, we have a Torah which shows we are a Jewish Nation, we have evidence confirming our presence in the land for thousands of years--yet, we still have to apologize to the arabs and the other nations for existing, for wanting to live in our land, for daring to reclaim what is rightfully ours?
Here, again, proof of what our sages write, of what is in the historical record already--we prove something almost daily--but this does not bring back the Temple to our hands.
The only thing that will bring our Temple back into our hands is to take it back into our hands. No one has a right to claim the Temple but us. It is ours, it has always been ours. There were no Moslems when the Temple was built, there were no arabs on top of our Holiest site praying with their rear-ends toward the Holy of Holies.
For G-d's Sake! What is going on in the world that bullies and brutes take what is ours and we do nothing?
As Tisha B'Av is upon us, as we move toward our saddest day, why do we not demand our own Holy Site? I am not just fasting for the destruction of the Temple, I am fasting for the continuous, daily, pain of seeing Jews praying to a Western Wall while arabs walk freely where no person should tread.
I fast with the hope that Hashm will bring down their abomination upon their own heads. I fast with the hope that Israel will find its BZ and take what is ours forever. I fast with the hope that we can re-establish the Temple in my time and I can stop burning my Challah every week and, instead, give it to the Kohen.
Why are we keeping ourselves in this state? The Temple is the Holiest place on earth, why are we not going to war to keep it? Why are we allowing the son of an arab who sits in the White House to tell us what is ours? We know what is ours!
Everyone knows what is ours--that's why they want to have it for themselves.
Monday, July 6, 2009
A Large Stone Quarry used to build Temple walls Exposed in Excavations
Monday July 6, 2009
A Large Stone Quarry from the End of the Second Temple Period was Exposed in
Excavations the Israel Antiquities Authority is Conducting on Shmuel HaNavi
Street in Jerusalem
Dr. Ofer Sion, the excavation director, estimates, "The stones that were
quarried here were used by Herod to build the walls of the Temple".
An ancient quarry, c. 1 dunam in area and dating to the end of the Second
Temple period (c. 2,030 years old), was uncovered in excavations being
conducted on Shmuel HaNavi Street in Jerusalem, under the direction of Dr.
Ofer Sion and Yehuda Rapuano of the Israel Antiquities Authority, prior to
the construction of residential buildings.
Dr. Ofer Sion, the excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities
Authority, believes, "The immense size of the stones (maximum dimensions:
length 3 m, width 2 m, height 2 m) indicates it was highly likely that the
large stones that were quarried at the site were destined for use in the
construction of Herod's magnificent projects in Jerusalem, including the
Temple walls. It seems that a vast number of workers labored in the quarry
where various size stones were produced: first they quarried small stones
and when the bedrock surface was made level they hewed the large stones. The
stones were quarried by creating wide detachment channels that were marked
by means of a chisel which weighed c. 2.5 kilograms. After the channels were
formed the stones were severed from the bedrock using hammers and chisels".
"We know from historical sources that in order to build the Temple and other
projects which Herod constructed, such as his palace, hundreds of thousands
of various size stones were required - most of them weighing between two and
five tons each", said Dr. Sion. "The dimensions of the stones that were
produced in the quarry that was revealed are suitable for the Temple walls.
The large section that was exposed is actually a small part of an enormous
series of quarries that was spread across the entire slope - from the
Musrara Quarter to the Sanhedria Quarter. The massive quarrying effort, on
the order of hundreds of thousands of stones, lowered the topography of
Jerusalem in the vicinity of the Old City. Today, with the exposure of this
quarry, the intensity of the building projects as described in the
historical sources can be proven: Flavius Josephus wrote that before Herod
built the Temple he prepared the infrastructure for it: the quarrying of the
Temple's stones lasted eight whole years. The Temple itself was built in a
relatively short period of time of two years. With the exposure of the
quarries in Sanhedria and Ramat Shlomo, it is clear that Herod began
quarrying closest to the Temple and worked away from it: first he exploited
the stone on the nearby ridges and subsequently he moved on to quarry in
more distant regions".
According to Dr. Sion, "In those days the world of hi-tech focused on
quarrying, removing and transporting stones. Historical sources record that
Herod trained more than 10,000 people to be involved in this work: they
prepared suitable transportation routes and then moved the huge stones in a
variety of ways - on rolling wooden fixtures that were drawn by camels, in
pieces on carriages, etc.
Among the artifacts that were discovered in the excavation on Shmuel HaNaiv
Street were metal plates (referred to in the Talmud as 'cheeks') that were
used as fulcrums to severe the stones from the bedrock, and coins and
pottery sherds that date to the end of the Second Temple period (the first