Category Archives: WORLD

Due to heavy rain: Ritual Temple Baths now fully functional in 2000 years, for the first time.

Thanks to Heavy Rains: Ritual Baths for Temple now fully functional for first time in 2,000 years

Two thousand years ago, Jews from all over Israel attended the Holy Temple in Jerusalem three times a year to worship God, as the Bible commands

Three times a year—on the festival of Pesach, on the festival of Shavuot, and on the festival of Sukkot—all your males shall appear before Hashem your God in the place that He will choose. They shall not appear before Hashem empty-handed, Deuteronomy 16:16

In the course of their spiritual preparation for the encounter of holiness on the site of Temple, these pilgrims will immerse themselves in the mikvah.

An ancient mikvah, located just south of Jerusalem, that was used by these pilgrims has been renewed by the recent rainfall in Israel and is full enough to use, according to Assaf Brezis The Gush Etzion ATV Tour Manager

The ancient mikvah, located on the road known as Derech HaAvot (Patriarch’s Route), was rediscovered just 35 years ago.

While it’s still being run by the military and not fully restored, Brezis spoke excitedly about the Biblical significance of the mikvah and the area surrounding it. He knows it has the potential to captivate Bible-based Jews and Christian alike.

Ritual Bath in the Prat Spring, Judea

He knows because he’s witnessed visitors crying at the site, as they come to understand its Biblical significance. Brezis has a vision for building a tourist attraction near the mikvah, to reenact the scenes that took place there more than 2000 years ago.

Using speakers in each all-terrain vehicle, Brezis’ company takes visitors on tours, each lasting an hour or two, during which they are introduced to the history and Biblical significance of the mikvah and the surrounding area.

The ancient mikvah on Derech HaAvot, for example, has two entrances, separated by a wall in the center. This is different from most mikvahs, both ancient and modern, which are just a single pool.

Ancient mikvah with two entrances

Brezis told Breaking Israel News that there is a similar mikvah in what is today known as the Davidson Center in Jerusalem’s Old City. This type of construction is a clue that the mikvah was in heavy use by Jews on their way to Jerusalem.

When he gets visitors to imagine a time that the area around the mikvah was once “crowded with thousands of pilgrims together,” it often brings them to tears.

In addition to the ancient mikvah, the ATV tours bring people to other sites of Biblical significance nearby, such as Herodian (where King Herod is buried), Sde Boaz (Boaz’s field) where significant episodes from the Book of Ruth occurred, Roman milestones on roads to Jerusalem that were in use 4000 years ago and Mitzpor HaElef, a lookout more than 3000 feet above sea level.

The Talmud suggests that people who were coming to the Holy Temple could immerse themselves in a mikvah as soon as they felt the spiritual pull of Jerusalem. Brezis explained that it was common for pilgrims coming from the south to already sense Jerusalem at this location, making it a particularly well-known and heavily-used mikvah.

It is still possible today to see Jerusalem from the nearby Jewish community of Neve Daniel. Brezis connected this location to Avraham’s vision of Jerusalem on his journey to fulfill God’s command to sacrifice his son Yitzchak (Isaac). 

On the third day Avraham looked up and saw the place from afar. Genesis 22:4

Shannon Nuszen, the political activist in the area, told Breaking Israel News that the site also has contemporary political significance. “I take [people on] tours there because it’s significant to the political fight here.

Derech HaAvot runs right through Judea and is full of archaeological finds that prove this land has always been Jewish. Just steps from the mikvah is a wine press and an ancient Roman milestone.

“While you’re standing there, you can look up and see the community of Netiv HaAvot, located on the same road where 17 homes were destroyed in the legal battle where claims were made that the land may or may not belong to us.”

Since the mikvah hasn’t yet been fully restored, the rainwater-filled pools may only last a few weeks, during Israel’s rainy season. Nevertheless, Brezis concluded that “It’s amazing to see this place, even without the water.”

Sensational findings show ‘ mysterious buried treasure in old synagogue

The sensational find reveals ‘mysterious’ buried treasure in an old synagogue

A decaying box buried in a synagogue in Małopolska has revealed a treasure. 350 valuable pieces were found in a discovery that was proclaimed sensational by archaeologists at Wieliczka’s Old Synagogue.

The archaeologists were digging a small test hole by a wall inside the synagogue when they noticed a fragment of a decayed wooden box, inside which were a collection of metal objects that had been tightly packed together, often one inside another.

Dr. Michał Wojenka from the Institute of Archaeology of the Jagiellonian University, who was supervising the dig, commented that if the test hole had been dug just a little further away, the treasure would have remained hidden.

The treasure in the 80 cm high, 70 cm wide and 130 cm long crate includes a silver cup, five candlesticks, the parts for four or five brass chandeliers, two probably silver-plated candlesticks and two large brown vessels with decorative handles and Hebrew inscriptions, as well as cap badges of infantry officers of the Austro-Hungarian army.

The objects probably come from the 19th century. The wooden planks that formed the box were preserved only in fragments, but the objects filling it tightly were in good condition.

The treasure in the 80 cm high, 70 cm wide and 130 cm long crate includes a silver cup, five candlesticks, the parts for four or five brass chandeliers, and two large brown vessels with decorative handles and Hebrew inscriptions.

“We tried to methodically expose subsequent layers of earth in order to reveal the top of the box. After completing documentation work, we started exploring the box and taking out more objects from it,” says Dr. Wojenka.

Two of the silver or silver-plated items are the ornamental finials of the rods on which the Torah scroll is wound.

The box also contained a silver badge from a cloth Torah covering with a representation of stone tablets. A silver chain is attached to it with a pointer used for reading the Torah.

The discovery brings with it more questions than answers. A big clue as to the time when the treasure chest was buried comes from the 18 officers’ cap badges, which feature the initials of Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz Joseph, which places the treasure chest in the late 19th or earlier 20th century.

The presence of military cap badges with synagogue ornaments is strange though. 

Dr. Wojenka suggests that army caps could have been used to line the crate as all the metal badges were found at the bottom and the moist conditions would have rotted the cloth of the hats away.

The next mystery is who buried the treasure. The Austro-Hungarian cap badges are a heavy indication that the synagogue fittings were not buried during World War Two.

It is known that in 1914, the town was occupied by the Russian army after the Austro-Hungarians withdrew having lost fighting for Kraków.

Officers’ cap badges feature the initials of Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz Joseph.

The work at the Old Synagogue in Wieliczka is being carried out by experts from the Institute of Archaeology of the Jagiellonian University. The temple dates back to the second half of the 18th century and is located in the former Jewish district of the town.

During World War II, the building was devastated by the Nazis. After 1945 is was used as a warehouse and the building served this function until the beginning of the 21st century.

The Jewish community in Wieliczka dates back to the 14th century when Jews were granted rights to use the salt mine in the town. By 1921, there were 1,700 Jews living in Wieliczka.

On September 7, 1939, the town was occupied by the Germans. During the summer of 1942 Jews from the rest of the county were concentrated in Wieliczka.

The Jewish community was annihilated on August 27, 1942, when 8,000 Jews from Wieliczka and the surrounding area were deported to the Belżec death camp, 500 were sent to the Stalowa-Wola forced-labour camp, and 200 were sent to the Płaszów concentration camp.

Haunting chalkboard drawings, frozen in time for 100 years, discovered in Oklahoma school

Haunting chalkboard drawings, frozen in time for 100 years, discovered in Oklahoma school

Sherry Read Math teacher Classroom is a total mess. The students are gone for the summer, and light fixtures dangle from the ceiling.

There is a dust layer on the floor. The worker’s rackets down the corridor during the refurbishment of the school, which dates back to the 1890s. They’re working in what has become an archaeological site.

Another discovery was made earlier this month by a construction crew from Oklahoma City School.

They found old chalkboards with class lessons that were written almost a century ago, and chalk drawings still in remarkably good condition. So Read doesn’t mind the mess. In fact, she’s amazed.

“It’s like touching history, like being a part of what was going on during the day,” she says. “It’s just remarkable and mysterious, trying to figure out what some of this was.”

The “multiplication wheel” was found behind a wall at Emerson High School.

The biggest mystery is an old multiplication wheel. It’s a circle with factors on the inside and other numbers on the outside. No one can figure it out.

But there’s no mystery about when the lessons were written. It was 1917, right after Thanksgiving. There is a turkey and pilgrim theme in every room.

One picture shows a little girl feeding a turkey. She’s in a pink and white knee-length dress and stockings; bright yellow curls frame her face. The picture is intricate, so detailed it must have been drawn by a teacher’s hand.

Haunting chalkboard drawings, frozen in time for 100 years, discovered in Oklahoma school
An untouched chalkboard from 1917 was found behind a classroom wall at Emerson High School in Oklahoma City.

There’s also music and civics lessons, and rules for keeping clean. A vocabulary list highlights words like “blunder” and “choke” written in smooth cursive. Even the word “whoa” is listed because many people got around on horse and buggy back then.

Also on the board, a list of student names frozen in time.

“We’re not sure if that meant they were good students for the day, or they accomplished that,” Read says. “Or were their names up there because they were bad for the day?”

These snapshots are fragile. A simple, misplaced elbow can wipe them away. So school officials are now trying to figure out the best way to preserve these illuminating bits of the past.

Jeff Briley of the Oklahoma Historical Society says it’s important to secure the rooms by protecting chalkboards with acrylic glass and then controlling the temperature and light.

“They’re meant to be fleeting,” he says. “Chalk on a blackboard is not meant as a permanent media at all.”

He said everyone wants to preserve the blackboards, but they’re too fragile to move. So the old lessons may become part of the modern classrooms.

“If you make it secure, you make it to where there are no physical problems, you give it a stable environment, well then you’ll be good perhaps for another 100 years,” Briley says. Sherry Read says she gets a nice vibe from the chalkboards. She thinks the teachers of 1917 left the lessons for a reason.

“You would have cleaned off your board so you could be ready the next day to come back and teach,” she says. “So I think they left them on there on purpose to send a message to us, to say, ‘This is what was going on in our time.'”

Blackboard drawings are the fruit flies of art. They have short lifespans. That’s why the folks at Emerson High are scrambling. They want to preserve these snapshots from a century ago for future generations of Oklahoma students.

Prehistoric humans ate bone marrow like canned soup 400,000 years ago

Prehistoric humans ate bone marrow like canned soup 400,000 years ago

A new study has found that prehistoric humans have preserved bone marrow in their caves for up to nine weeks as a soup pot.

Researchers previously thought that Paleolithic people lived a hand-to-mouth existence but this research shows they were sophisticated enough to preserve meat using bones like we use modern-day cans. 

The research shows this took place in Qesem cave in what is now Tel Aviv between 420,000 and 200,000 years ago. According to the study published in Science Advances, it is the earliest evidence of delayed food consumption in the world.

The earliest evidence of delayed food consumption

Professor Ran Barkai of the university in Tel Aviv, who was involved in research, said, “The bones were used as ‘ cans ‘ that preserved the bone marrow for a long time until it was time to take off the dry skin, shatter the bone and eat the marrow.

“Bone marrow constitutes a significant source of nutrition and as such was long featured in the prehistoric diet.

“Until now, evidence has pointed to the immediate consumption of marrow following the procurement and removal of soft tissues. In our paper, we present evidence of storage and delayed consumption of bone marrow at Qesem Cave.”

Inhabitants of the cave brought in selected body parts of hunted animal carcasses. 

“The most common prey was fallow deer, and limbs and skulls were brought to the cave while the rest of the carcass was stripped of meat and fat at the hunting scene and left there,” said Professor Jordi Rosell from the Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution (IPHES).

Researchers found deer leg bones had specific chopping marks on them which do not look like marks left from stripping fresh skin.

They believe the bones were left covered in the skin to help preserve them until they needed the meat. 

Scientists have also found people regularly used fire, cooked and roasted meat in Qesem Cave. 

“We assume that all this was because elephants, previously a major source of food for humans, were no longer available, so the prehistoric humans in our region had to develop and invent new ways of living,” said Professor Barkai. 

“This kind of behavior allowed humans to evolve and enter into a far more sophisticated kind of socio-economic existence.”

The cave was discovered 15 years ago during the construction of a road to Tel Aviv. 

A 2010 study into the traces caused controversy in the archaeology world as it questioned the theory of Homo sapiens originating in Africa, but the archaeologists were unable to draw a concrete conclusion from the evidence.

Vandals destroy 3,000-year-old rock carvings in Northern Greece

Vandals destroy 3,000-year-old rock carvings in Northern Greece

Three outrageous acts of vandalism in the first week of January the stupid vandals are accused of lacking education knowledge of history on ancient monuments in Greece England and Wales.

The Athens-Macedonia News Agency (ANA-MPA) notes on Greece’s High Definition, telling how archaeologists and historians in Greece are assessing the level of destruction caused on several 3,000-year-old rock carvings on the Pangaion Hills near Kavala in northern Greece.

In 1966 the ancient art was discovered by Nikolaos Moutsopoulos, a professor at Aristotle University, the ancient art was not yet listed for preservation, and therefore they were vulnerable, if not to vandalism, to the elements, but unfortunately the former got there first.

The rock carvings at Pangaion Hills before the vandalism.

Some of the ancient rock carvings are thought to have been executed in the prehistoric era by the Hedones, a Thracian tribe that lived in the region in ancient times, and the site was added to until the Middle Ages.

The gang of yet unknown vandals defaced several carvings, including human figures doing day-to-day things, animals and plants, using a wire brush. While the archaeologists have not specified how many individual carvings were destroyed, or how many remain intact, they are calling for the immediate protection of the surviving works of ancient art.

Theodoros Lymberakis, a local lawyer and historian, told the ANA-MPA that the rock carvings are a part of “our rich and significant cultural heritage” and inform us about how people lived 3,000 years ago. Angered, the historian added: “culture is not just the Acropolis and other famous monuments, it is also these drawings,” and he insists they need to be safeguarded now.

Another shot of the vandalism to the ancient rock carvings at Pangaion Hills.

Attempting to draw a criminal profile of the criminals, Mr. Lymberakismay thinks the artworks might have been destroyed by gold prospectors trying to confuse their competition, as many people believe ancient settlers made the carvings to identify gold deposits on what he calls ore-rich hills.

According to the lawyer, it is sad that these petroglyphs are being destroyed by “unscrupulous and ignorant people at the altar of what is usually non-existent treasure” and that the perpetrators lack “education, knowledge, and understanding of history.”

Also, this week another person or group suffering from lowered levels of education, knowledge, and understanding of history painted “aliens” on the ancient stones at Mulfra Quoit, a megalithic tomb, near the town of Penzance in southwest England.

A Coast to Coast article says that the Cornish Ancient Sites Protection Network posted a photo of the vandalism on their  Facebook group writing “one wonders at the mentality of people who will disrespect an ancient site in this way!”

The vandalism caused the ancient Mulfra Quoit tomb shown with alien graffiti.

It is believed that the stereotypically alien figures painted on the rock at Mulfra Quoit were inspired by the fringe theory that the ancient structures were built by extraterrestrials, or by humans honoring visiting aliens in prehistory.

Because indigenous people couldn’t have done it themselves? Right? And while the gray painted “aliens” can be removed with little effort, because it is a protected location cleaning work will have to be done by government-approved professionals, which takes time and costs money.

The Greek treasure hunters and the ancient alienists in England come in second and third this week, for the trophy of ‘Biggest Prat 2020, So far…’ must go to the vandals reported by the BBC after they caused “appalling damage” to a Bronze Age burial mound dating back 3,000-4,000 years, sometime between Christmas Day and 6 January.

Wentwood represents the largest section of ancient woodland in Wales and several Bronze Age burial mounds encrust its ridges, and the Gwent Police Rural Crime Team said the destruction was caused by off-road vehicles repeatedly driving over the ancient mound.

The vandalism of the Bronze Age burial mound, which was churned up with tire tracks shown in Wales, UK.

Site manager Rob Davies said this type of vandalism has been “an ongoing problem with damage to this and similar features within Wentwood” and the police tweeted: “investigating appalling damage caused to a Bronze Age burial mound by off-road vehicles. Immediate intervention measures being introduced to prevent further damage.”