In Israel, peeling back the layers of history is a never-ending pursuit. Findings from thousands of years ago are preserved. Sitting at the crossroads of the ancient world, Israel is an archaeologist’s dream. Peeling back the layers of history here is a never-ending pursuit.
Excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority with local and international experts are constantly turning up new clues to ancient civilizations. The most visited and well known, because of the wailing wall (the Kotel in Hebrew) the remains of the Temple Mount is The Old City of Jerusalem, where I live and Study Torah daily
Archaeological digs and conservation projects reveal the history of this capital city established by King David more than 3,000 years ago.
The most visited place in Israel, Jerusalem has been continuously inhabited for some 5,000 years. The most famed archaeological heritage sites are in the Old City area and shed light on life during the First Temple period (1000-586 BCE), Second Temple period (516 BCE to 70 CE), Byzantine Muslim period (4th to 11th centuries CE) and Crusader period (1095 to 1291 CE).
Recently, cutting-edge micro-archaeology tools were used to correctly date the construction of Wilson’s Arch, which supported one of the main pathways to the Second Temple.
The Western Wall (Kotel) is a 70-meter (230-foot) section of one of the huge retaining walls of Herod the Great’s expanded Second Temple compound, built around 20 BCE and destroyed by the Romans around 70 CE. It is revered as a place of worship for its proximity to the Temple Mount.
The tunnels behind the wall are still revealing amazing treasures and mysteries.
Davidson Archaeological Park and Museum houses many artifacts including city walls from the First Temple period and the original street from the Second Temple period, as well as models and multimedia presentations.
The City of David, the original “Old City” just outside the present walls. Excavations include a hidden spring where biblical kings were coronated, the flowing waters of Hezekiah’s Tunnel from the eighth century BCE, and a recently unearthed half-mile pilgrimage road leading to the Temple Mount – complete with burned coins and clothing.
I am the child of a Holocaust Mother whose entire family was murdered in the Shoah. For years I didn’t understand what I could do personally to make a difference about their deaths. The Kaliver Rebbe,
Menachem Mendel Taub (\Hebrew: מנחם מנדל טאוב) (1923–2019) taught me that since I was alive and they were dead I could say Kaddish every day for them in synagogue. That of course it was so painful not to go to synagogue for 20 days for me (the time in Israel it was prohibited to go to any minyons, including outside minyons)
In addition, Living in Israel, in Jerusalem near the old city that I write about above, makes a statement to the world that the Jews survived and will always survive.
The Penny Drops
Shirah and Shmuel Shuster had just finished tucking their kids into bed one evening when they heard sobbing coming from three-year-old Moishie’s room. Rushing to his side, they found him crying hysterically. He had accidentally swallowed a penny and was sure he was going to die. No amount of talking could change his mind.
Desperate to calm him, Shmuel palmed a penny that he happened to have in his pocket and pretended to pull it from Moishie’s ear. Moishie was delighted. In a flash, he snatched it from his father’s hand, swallowed it and demanded cheerfully, “Abba, do it again!”