-------------- -------[ B''H

Monday, October 29, 2007

Haveil Havalim #138 is up!

Soccer Dad - Haveil Havalim 138

Soccer Dad is behind this weeks edition of Haveil Havalim #138 and he has kicked a goal, it's a huge edition with some great posts.

Well done to Soccer Dad for such a worthy edition.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Haveil Havalim #137:

If I forget you, O Jerusalem

Yaaqoov from EsserAgaroth is behind the wrap up of Haveil Havalim #137 and he has done a wonderful job, it is a very large edition with some very relevant reading.

Well done to Yaaqov for such a worthy edition.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Jewish School wins landmark court battle

In Test of Religious Protections, Court Sides With Jewish School in New York

In a decision watched closely by religious rights groups and municipal officials, a federal court has ruled in favor of an Orthodox Jewish religious school that fought for five years with the village of Mamaroneck, N.Y., over its right to construct a new school building.

The case was seen as an important test of a 2000 federal law known as the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which extends broad protections to religious groups that claim their exercise of faith is “substantially burdened” by government land-use regulations. The law also extends similar protections to prison inmates.

In its ruling yesterday, the three-judge federal panel said the Zoning Board of Appeals of the affluent Westchester County village exhibited “an arbitrary blindness to the facts” in 2002 when it denied an application by the Orthodox school, the Westchester Day School,[Map] to build a new, 20-room school building.

Religious groups have embraced the Religious Land Use law as a bulwark against what they see as the meddling of government bureaucracies, while opponents see it as giving too much power to religious groups in deciding how the local landscape evolves.

While various court decisions since 2001 have come down on different sides of that balance of power, yesterday’s decision in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit was viewed as a clear victory for the religious side.

“This will shift the balance of power between houses of worship and bureaucrats who until now have wielded unreviewable authority,” said Derek Gaubatz, a lawyer who submitted a brief in support of the Orthodox school on behalf of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a Washington religious rights group. “This gives a real boost to the cause of religious liberty.”

The United States Justice Department and several other religious organizations also filed briefs in support of the school’s suit, and in defense of the 2000 law.

Kevin Plunkett, the lawyer representing the village of Mamaroneck, said village officials had not decided yet whether to appeal to the Supreme Court.

“Of course, we are disappointed,” he said, “but it’s been apparent from the start that the constitutional issues raised by this case are issues that need to be resolved in the U.S. Supreme Court. In our view, this continues to be a serious First Amendment issue needing resolution.”

The new structure in Mamaroneck was to be the fifth building on a 25-acre campus where 450 students attend both religious and academic classes in preschool through eighth grade. School administrators said they had outgrown their space and would lose enrollment unless they could expand.

Residents in the area complained that the new building would add to already-congested traffic. The Zoning Board of Appeals cited the neighbors’ concerns, and what the board said was inadequate space for parking, as reasons for denying the application. Neither community members nor zoning board members could be reached for comment yesterday.

The school filed the suit in Federal District Court in 2002, citing the law. Its lawyers contended that the zoning board’s denial of the building application “substantially burdened” the practice of Orthodox Jewish faith because the new building was in its entirety a religious enterprise intended to teach the tenets of Orthodox Judaism, though both academic and religious classes would take place there.

The village’s lawyers cited several grounds, including the 10th Amendment’s protection of the rights of state and local government. But mainly they argued that the law violated the First Amendment’s prohibition against government infringement or advancement of religion. The lower court ruled in favor of the school, and the village appealed.

Joel Haims, the lawyer representing the Westchester Day School pro bono throughout the five years of the case, said that for school officials the decision meant “vindication, but mainly a good outcome for the school and the kids.”

The court yesterday ordered the village zoning board to issue a permit for the new building. But Mr. Haims said there were still several layers of local review to undergo before construction began. “There is the planning board next, and then the building department has to review the plans, I think,” he said.

But Mr. Haims said he hoped the court decision would make those stages of the review process easier than the first one has been.

Mr Bagel: Joel Haims, the lawyer representing the Westchester Day School should be congratulated for his dedication and altruism. One hopes the battle is near over, but it seems there may be more issues yet, with the schools building plan.

Westchester Day School: Mission Statement


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Kosher Roll Out

The Popular Subway chain is trying to sandwich in some new growth to its 21,000 locations. The Newest kosher Subway has opened in Los Angeles.

Despite the ingredients being more expensive along with the 'Subs' they're already proving popular with the locals.

Mr Bagel: I so wish that Sydney had a Kosher Subway! I've heard of Kosher Mcdonalds in Israel but Subway food is just so much healthier.


Sunday, September 30, 2007

Rabbi Avraham Shapira dies

Ex Israeli Chief Rabbi Dies

JERUSALEM (AP) — A spiritual leader of Israel's religious Zionist movement, Rabbi Avraham Shapira, has died after a long illness in Jerusalem. He was 94.

Shapira, a chief rabbi in Israel for ten years beginning in 1983, died Thursday after being hospitalized earlier in the week due to deteriorating health. Thousands of his followers had prayed for his well-being in recent days at the Western Wall, the holiest Jewish site in Jerusalem's Old City.

The rabbi of the movement that forms the backbone of Israel's settlement enterprise was most known in Israel for his call on observant soldiers in 2005 to disobey orders to dismantle 21 Jewish settlements during Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip that year.

Many Orthodox Jews oppose any withdrawal from the West Bank or Gaza, considering them part of their God-given Land of Israel. Shapira's call helped foster widespread fervent opposition to the pullout and fears of clashes between settlers with their backers and the security forces.

The "disengagement" from Gaza and four settlements in the northern West Bank was completed with no great violence or casualties in September 2005.

"Before the disengagement he was among those who gave the settlers the feeling that it would not go through, that it wouldn't happen if there was a struggle, that there would be some divine intervention," Yossi Beilin of the dovish Meretz Party told the Yediot Ahronot newspaper. "What he did created a very serious crisis for an entire generation."

Shapira also opposed the first Israeli-Palestinian peace accords in 1993, saying Jewish law forbade Israel from transferring holy land to the Palestinians.

He was a top adjudicator on the Torah and a leader of his movement's Mercaz Harav religious seminary in Jerusalem.

"Rabbi Avraham Shapira was beholden to the Torah," Hanan Porat, a former lawmaker from the movement's National Religious Party, told Israel Radio. "For him there was no separation between questions on the Sabbath ... and questions on society, morality and the Land of Israel of course."

He was to be buried in Jerusalem later Friday. Mourners at the funeral were told not to cry, since expressions of sorrow are forbidden during the seven days of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot.

AP: Ex Israeli Chief Rabbi Dies


Jewish History: Rhodes: A decimated Jewish community

from JPost
After 2 Millenia a community is destroyed

Rhodes is the most easterly of all the Greek islands and is situated only a few kilometers from the Anatolian coast of Turkey. It is believed that Jews arrived on this island when they left Judea in 300 BCE and settled in the Mediterranean basin. The first mention of Jews on Rhodes was made by a Roman historian at the end of the first century CE. A reliable document, written by a Spanish Jew who visited the island in the 12th century, found more than 500 Jews there, while in Jerusalem he found only 200.

The Crusaders were driven out of the Holy Land in 1291 with their defeat at Acre, and found refuge in Cyprus. In 1306 they landed in Rhodes, taking three years to conquer the town, which was then ruled by these Knights Hospitalers. The year 1480 saw a large-scale attack by the Ottoman Sultan Muhammad II with the aim of conquering Rhodes from the Crusaders. The Jewish quarter of this walled city, known as the Juderia, is situated near the harbor from which the Turks bombarded with cannons. They breached the wall and entered the town through the Juderia, destroying most of the buildings in the process. However, they did not succeed in conquering the island and they returned to Anatolia.

The Crusaders saw this as a miracle and built a church in the destroyed Juderia and also in appreciation for the support of the Jews, they reconstructed the Great Synagogue, which had been destroyed by the Turks.

Italian rabbi Ovadia Yare de Bertinoro visited Rhodes in 1487 and wrote about how intelligent, polite and kind the Jewish community was, and he was especially impressed by the embroidery work of the women.

After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, some of them arrived in Rhodes. Unfortunately, in 1502, the same grand master of the Knights Hospitalers who had rebuilt the Great Synagogue 20 years earlier decreed that those Jews who did not convert to Christianity had 40 days in which to leave the island. Property that was not sold would be confiscated and those who did not convert or leave would be sold as slaves. The majority of the Jews left and found refuge in Salonika and Genoa.

In 1522 the Ottomans again attacked Rhodes and this time forced the knights to surrender. Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent asked the Jews who had been forced to convert in 1502 to return to their faith. The "converted" Jews were joined by hundreds of other Jews who had been brought to the island as slaves by the knights. The sultan offered tax privileges to Jews who came to settle in Rhodes, and many arrived from Constantinople and Salonika, most of whom were of Spanish origin. Over the years, Sephardic customs were adopted as was the Ladino language, which was used until 1944, replacing Greek which had been used by the Jewish community.

The Ottoman occupation lasted nearly 400 years. They banned Greeks from living in the old walled city, while allowing the Jews to remain in their Juderia. The Jews enjoyed a certain amount of autonomy and administered their own court of justice and educational system. There were unpleasant times, such as in 1840 when the community was accused of ritual murder of a girl.

At the end of the 19th century, the Jews of Rhodes started leaving on account of their economic situation. A few families were well off, but the vast majority were poor, with no prospect of improving their financial situation. Some went to America, where they settled mainly in Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle and Atlanta. Others went to Buenos Aires and to Africa, to the southern Belgian Congo around Elizabethville, while others went to Southern Rhodesia where they settled around Salisbury. In Africa, many of them opened general stores near the mines and in the smaller villages.

Typically, the husband would leave Rhodes first, and when he'd accumulated sufficient funds, his wife and children would join him. This migration continued until the outbreak of the World War II.

When the Belgian Congo became independent in 1960, the Jews, along with the other Europeans, fled, with many of them moving south, to Cape Town which suddenly found itself with a French-speaking Sephardic community which is still very active. Guerrilla warfare and eventual black rule in Rhodesia in the 1970s and '80s resulted in the emigration of this community, a number of whom settled in Israel. At one stage there were about 400 Rhodian families in Salisbury.

Downward spiral
The Turkish-Italian war of 1912 resulted in the Italian occupation of Rhodes, which was legalized by the Treaty of Lausanne. The Jewish population at this time was about 4,500 and suffered no particular hardships. In 1936 the governor was replaced by the authoritarian fascist Count de Vecci. He abolished the Orthodox, Muslim and Jewish family courts. The Jewish cemetery had been just outside the wall of the city for centuries. He ordered that it be moved a few kilometers away and that 100 of the old tombstones were needed for building his palace. The supposed reason was that he wanted the area for public gardens, which were never laid out. Those who could afford to moved the graves to the new cemetery, while in many cases just the tombstones were transferred. After that, he closed the rabbinic college and forced Jewish shops to remain open on Saturdays and holy days and then banned kosher slaughtering.

The governor also decreed that all Jews who had obtained Italian citizenship after 1919 had to leave Rhodes within six months. Many of them were from Turkey and could not go back there. Most of them were poor and could not afford the fare to leave the island. With the financial help of Rhodians living abroad, 500 were put on a ship going to Haifa while another 300 were put on a ship to Tangier, from where they went to the Belgian Congo, Southern Rhodesia and the US. As it turned out, these were the fortunate ones.

When Italy surrendered in September 1943, there were already German soldiers on Rhodes and they took control. Some of the young Jewish men fled in rowboats to the nearby Turkish coast. The Jewish community at that time consisted mainly of women, children and the elderly, as most of the young people had left for economic reasons or because of the racial laws.

At the time, the Royal Air Force was bombing the port of Rhodes, and the Juderia, being adjacent to the port, suffered much damage. In February 1944 eight Jews were killed in an air raid, and on the first day of Pessah another 26 were killed. Many Jews sought shelter in the neighboring villages.

On July 19, 1944, all Jewish males older than 16 were ordered to report for work. This was only a ruse to force the women and children to join them the following day, and to bring all their valuables with them, which were of course taken by the Germans. The consul-general of Turkey, Selahattin Ülkümen, intervened and saved 40 people, including families where only one person had a Turkish identity document. He was later honored at Yad Vashem.

They were kept in a basement without food until July 23, when the 1,600 men, women and children were marched to the harbor and forced onto three old cargo boats. This was the last day of the existence of the community that had lived in Rhodes for more than two millennia. The boats departed on an eight-day journey to Piraeus, where the Jews were briefly interned at the Haidari camp near Athens. They were then put into railway cars and sent on a 13-day journey under terrible conditions to Auschwitz. Many of them had died on the sea journey, in Athens and on the train. About 1,200 were gassed on arrival at Auschwitz.

Only about 120 women and 30 men were left alive at the end of the war. They did not return to Rhodes, but joined their families in Africa and America or made their way to Palestine, while some remained in Europe. Some of the others, who had avoided deportation, tried to rebuild the community but were not successful.

In 1948, the island of Rhodes was returned to Greece and the Rhodes municipality renamed a square in what had been the heart of the Jewish Quarter "Square of the Jewish Martyrs." Some Jews came to settle in Rhodes from the Greek mainland, but they were too few in numbers. One family did remain and looked after the only surviving synagogue, the Kahal Kadosh Shalom. The building was completed in 1577 and has been renovated a few times, but without major changes. The bima is in the center of the synagogue and faces the ark, which is in two sections, on either side of a large door. Next to the entrance is a plaque with the family names of those murdered in the Holocaust.

The synagogue and the adjoining museum are open for tourists in the summer months. Rene Shaltiel, whose parents were born in Rhodes, comes to the island every summer from Cape Town to help. Samuel Modiano, who spent his 13th birthday in Auschwitz, also comes every summer from his home in Rome. He takes groups of Italian gentile children to Auschwitz every year. Another Auschwitz survivor, Stella Levi, now resident in New York, also spends her summers in Rhodes, guiding visitors in the synagogue and museum. She has helped many Rhodes descendents to locate their families' homes and graves.

Services are held only on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, when a rabbi is brought from Israel. There are about 30 Jews living permanently on the island, but they do not practice Jewish customs.

The Menashe family
The story of the Menashe family is typical of many of the Jewish families in Rhodes.

Eliahu Menashe was born in 1895 and at 14 left for the US where he lived among the Rhodes community in Seattle, where he had a shoe-shine stand and a sandwich bar. He returned to Rhodes in 1924 to marry Rachel Menashe (not related), a marriage his parents had arranged, which was not uncommon. After the birth of his first son Isaac, he left for Que Que in rural Southern Rhodesia, where he worked for his brother who had a trading store.

In 1928 his wife and by this time a second son, Boaz, joined him in Que Que, where their daughter Lily was born. They then moved to Salisbury where Eliahu opened his own store. In 1938 the family went back to Rhodes for a six-month vacation, where they stayed with Rachel's parents, who were quite well off, and also with Eliahu's sister. Sadly, this was the last time they saw their family, as they all perished in the Holocaust.

They returned to Salisbury, where Lily married and moved to Johannesburg and later made aliya, while Boaz and Isaac married and remained in Salisbury. Boaz made aliya in 1978, while Isaac, a stalwart of the Jewish congregation, immigrated to Australia in 2004.

Article reprinted in full from JPost for historical purposes.
Thanks to the author David Zetler.

Rhodes: A decimated Jewish community


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Crocs all the rage on Yom Kippur

Could the color of your Crocs reveal more about yourself?

Crocs were the shoe of choice this Yom Kippur

Seems like Crocs were all the rage this Yom Kippur. With the prohibition on wearing leather shoes, the procession of sandshoes seems to have been come to a rather abrupt demise.

From all indications it would seem that Crocs known for their comfort were the shoe of choice.

I do wonder if the was any correlation between the plainer black Crocs seen at an orthodox shule and the explosion of bright colored Crocs seen in a more 'liberal' shule ? Could it be that some of the more liberal streams of Judaism were reflected in the choice of color of Croc chosen to be worn?

From this report by JTA it seems the trend may have been world wide:

Fast feet: Crocs rule on Yom Kippur,
but some fret they're too comfortable


Monday, September 24, 2007

Ancient Jewish gravestones found in Germany

A later Jewish gravestone from Mainz

Jewish gravestones from as early as the 12th century were found in southwest Germany.

Some 20 Jewish gravestones were found during excavations for planned housing construction next to the wall of the old Jewish cemetery in the community of Mainz. The stones are among the oldest ever found in the Rheinland-Pfalz region, experts said.

Construction plans have been halted pending a decision from the Berlin-based Orthodox Rabbinical Council. If the site is determined to be a graveyard and not just a repository for stones, it may affect building plans.

The president of the Jewish community, Stella Schindler-Siegreich, said an investigation of objects found at the site will be conducted to determine whether bodies had been buried there. An on-site meeting held recently included representatives of the Jewish community, the city, the rabbinical conference, landmarks preservationists and construction foreman.

Jewish studies expert Andreas Lehnardt of Mainz told a German news agency that the find was a "sensation" and some of the stones included the names of famous learned rabbis.

Mr Bagel: Mainz is a city on the Rhine, it had a large Jewish population that had worn the brunt of the first Crusade, and also suffered initially during the second crusade. There is a long history of Jewish presence in Mainz until the advent of the Nazis.

The Jewish Community in Mainz is one of the oldest in Europe, its tradition long and venerable. Its beginnings reach back to the 10th century when Rabbis such as Gershom ben Jehuda (960 – 1028 or 1040) taught in Mainz. He founded a Talmud academy which was to become a widely renowned centre of Jewish scholarship and heritage. Scholars such as the arguably most famous of commentators on the Bible and the Talmud, Shlomo bar Isaak, known as Rashi, (1040-1105), studied and taught in Mainz. It was due to their work that MAGENZA, the Hebrew name for Mainz, became a synonymous with Jewish learning and academic life.

Except for brief disruptions, Jewish families have lived in Mainz for at least one thousand years. Their history, both splendid and painful, has been documented extensively.

On the History of the Jewish Community of Mainz
Before November 1938, the Jewish Community in Mainz had two august places of worship: the Moorish-style synagogue built in 1879 and the classicist-style synagogue built in 1912. Additionally, there was a “Stibl”, a smaller place of worship for immigrants from Eastern Jewish communities, located at Margaretengasse. The first synagogue had been erected on the basis of plans provided by the still omnipresent master builder of Mainz, Eduard Kreyßig. It was located on Flachsmarkstrasse, and served as the place of worship for the orthodox members of the community. The second synagogue was an impressive, domed structure erected on Hindenburgstrasse; this was the place of worship of the liberal members of the community. The services were accompanied by organ music.

None of the earlier existing synagogues in Mainz survived the Shoah.

Donate to the rebuilding of a Synagogue in Mainz

More about the Jewish history of Mainz (Magendza):
The Magic Land of Magenza, Jewish Life and Times in Medieval Mainz
The Jewish Community of Mainz [in German]
Foundation Magenza

JPost: Ancient Jewish gravestones found in Germany
JTA: Ancient gravestones found in Germany

Foundation Magenza


Sunday, September 23, 2007

The 22nd Kosher Cooking Carnival is up!

The 22nd edition of the Kosher Cooking Carnival is up at Me-ander.
Muse is the original founder of the Kosher Cooking carnival and she does a wonderful job every time it comes her time to host this carnival.

If you haven't had a go at hosting the Kosher Cooking Carnival then maybe its time you stepped up to the 'plate'?
Contact Muse, she will be quite happy to provide guidance if its you first go.


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Israel the Land of Milk and Honey

Close-up of one of the ancient beehives found at Tel Rehov in Israel

Excavations reveal first beehives in ancient Near East

Archaeological proof of the Biblical description of Israel really as 'the land of milk and honey' (or at least the latter) has been uncovered by researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Institute of Archaeology.

Amihai Mazar, Eleazar L. Sukenik Professor of Archaeology at the Hebrew University, revealed that the first apiary (beehive colony) dating from the Biblical period has been found in excavations he directed this summer at Tel Rehov in Israel's Beth Shean Valley. This is the earliest apiary to be revealed to date in an archaeological excavation anywhere in the ancient Near East, said Prof. Mazar. It dates from the 10th to early 9th centuries B.C.E.

Tel Rehov is believed to have been one of the most important cities of Israel during the Israelite monarchy. The beehives there were found in the center of a built-up area there that has been excavated since 1997 by Dr. Nava Panitz-Cohen of the Hebrew University. Three rows of beehives were found in the apiary, containing more than 30 hives. It is estimated, however, based on excavations to date, that in all the total area would have contained some 100 beehives.

Each row contained at least three tiers of hives, each of which is a cylinder composed of unbaked clay and dry straw, around 80 centimeters long and 40 centimeters in diameter. One end of the cylinder was closed and had a small hole in it, which allowed for the entry and exit of the bees. The opposite end was covered with a clay lid that could be removed when the beekeeper extracted the honeycombs. Experienced beekeepers and scholars who visited the site estimated that as much as half a ton of honey could be culled each year from these hives.

Prof. Mazar emphasizes the uniqueness of this latest find by pointing out that actual beehives have never been discovered at any site in the ancient Near East. While fired ceramic vessels that served as beehives are known in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, none were found in situ, and beekeeping on an industrial level such as the apiary at Tel Rehov is hitherto unknown in the archaeological record. Pictorial depictions of apiaries are known from Pharaonic Egypt, showing extraction of honey from stacked cylinders which are very similar to those found at Tel Rehov.

Row of ancient beehives found at Tel Rehov in Israel

Cylindrical clay beehives placed in horizontal rows, similar to those found at Tel Rehov, are well-known in numerous contemporary traditional cultures in Arab villages in Israel, as well as throughout the Mediterranean. The various products of beehives are put to diverse use: the honey is, of course, a delicacy, but is also known for its medicinal and cultic value. Beeswax was also utilized in the metal and leather industries, as well as for writing material when coated on wooden tablets.

The term 'honey' appears 55 times in the Bible, 16 of which as part of the image of Israel as 'the land of milk and honey'. It is commonly believed that the term refers to honey produced from fruits such as dates and figs. Bees' honey, on the other hand, is mentioned explicitly only twice, both related to wild bees. The first instance is how Samson culled bees' honey from inside the corpse of the lion in the Soreq Valley (Judges 14: 8-9). The second case is the story of Jonathan, King Saul's son, who dipped his hand into a honeycomb during the battle of Mikhmash (Samuel I 14:27).
While the Bible tells us nothing about beekeeping in Israel at that time, the discovery of the apiary at Tel Rehov indicates that beekeeping and the extraction of bees' honey and honeycomb was a highly developed industry as early as the First Temple period. Thus, it is possible that the term 'honey' in the Bible indeed pertains to bees' honey.

Cultic objects were also found in the apiary, including a four-horned altar adorned with figures of naked fertility goddesses, as well as an elaborately painted chalice. This could be evidence of deviant cultic practices by the ancient Israelites related to the production of honey and beeswax.

Study of the beehives found at Tel Rehov is being conducted with the participation of various researchers. Dr. Guy Bloch of the Silberman Institute of Life Sciences of the Hebrew University is studying the biological aspects of the finds; he already discovered parts of bees' bodies in the remains of honeycomb extracted from inside the hives. Dr. Dvori Namdar of the Weizmann Institute of Science succeeded in identifying beeswax molecules from the walls of the beehives, and Prof. Mina Evron from Haifa University is analyzing the pollen remains in the hives.

Dating of the beehives was done by measuring the decaying of the 14C isotope in organic materials, using grains of wheat found next to the beehives. This grain was dated at the laboratory of Groningen University in Holland to the period between the mid-10th century B.C.E. until the early 9th century B.C.E. This is the time period attributed to the reign of King Solomon and the first kings of the northern Kingdom of Israel following the division of the monarchy. The city of Rehov is indeed mentioned in an Egyptian inscription dating to the time of the Pharaoh Shoshenq I (Biblical Shishak), whom the Bible notes as the contemporary of King Solomon and who invaded Israel following that monarch's death.

A particularly fascinating find at the site is an inscription on a ceramic storage jar found near the beehives that reads 'To nmsh'. This name was also found inscribed on another storage jar from a slightly later occupation level at Tel Rehov, dated to the time of the Omride Dynasty in the 9th century BCE. Moreover, this same name was found on a contemporary jar from nearby Tel Amal, situated in the Gan HaShelosha National Park (Sachne).

The name 'Nimshi' is known in the Bible as the name of the father and in several verses the grandfather of Israelite King Jehu, the founder of the dynasty that usurped power from the Omrides (II Kings: 9-12). It is possible that the discovery of three inscriptions bearing this name in the same region and dating to the same period indicates that Jehu's family originated from the Beth Shean Valley and possibly even from the large city located at Tel Rehov. The large apiary discovered at the site might have belonged to this illustrious local clan.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Picture credits:
Hebrew University photos by Amihai Mazar


Monday, September 3, 2007

Haveil Havalim #132: The Plain Wrap edition

Rafi from Life in Israel is behind the wrap up of Haveil Havalim #132 and although it might be plain wrapped on the outside you can be assured it is chock full of Kosher goodies on the inside.

It's a great edition of Haveil Havalim, and I promise thats got nothing to do with Rafi G being an expert with really sharp knives! (err promise, is that alright Rafi??)

If you haven't already checked it out, here it is!


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Looking out! There's 21 Flying Frogs

If you haven't checked out the Kosher Cooking Carnival
at Juggling Frogs then you should go take a leap!

It looks like a Kosher goumet's dream come true.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Museum’s tablet lends new weight to Biblical truth

Similar Babylonian Cuneiform tablet from same year 595BCE

Cuneiform tablet dating from 595 BCE proves accuracy of Torah

The British Museum yesterday hailed a discovery within a modest clay tablet in its collection as a breakthrough for biblical archaeology – dramatic proof of the accuracy of the old testament. [sic]

The cuneiform inscription in a tablet dating from 595BC has been deciphered for the first time – revealing a reference to an official at the court of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, that proves the historical existence of a figure mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah.

This is rare evidence in a nonbiblical source of a real person, other than kings, featured in the Bible.

The tablet names a Babylonian officer called Nebo-Sarsekim, who according to Jeremiah xxxix was present in 587BC when Nebuchadnezzar “marched against Jerusalem with his whole army and laid siege to it”.

The cuneiform inscription records how Nebo-Sarsekim lavished a gift of gold on the Temple of Esangila in the fabled city of Babylon, where, at least in folk tradition, Nebuchadnezzar is credited with building the Hanging Gardens, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. British Museum staff are excited by the discovery. Irving Finkel, assistant keeper in the Department of the Middle East, said: “A mundane commercial transaction takes its place as a primary witness to one of the turning points in Old Testament history. This is a tablet that deserves to be famous.”

The discovery was made by Michael Jursa, associate professor at the University of Vienna, on a routine research trip to the museum. “It’s very exciting and very surprising,” he said. “Finding something like this tablet, where we see a person mentioned in the Bible making an everyday payment to the temple in Babylon and quoting the exact date, is quite extraordinary.”

Since 1991, Dr Jursa has been visiting the museum to study a collection of more than 100,000 inscribed tablets – the world’s largest holdings. Although they are examined by international scholars daily, reading and piecing together fragments is painstaking work and more than half are yet to be published.

Cuneiform is the oldest known form of writing. During its 3,000-year history it was used to write about 15 languages including Babylonian, Assyrian, Hittite and Urartian. A wedged instrument – usually a cut reed – was used to press the signs into clay. This gave the writing system its name, “cuneiform”, or wedge-shaped.

There are only a small number of scholars worldwide who can read cuneiform script. One of them is Dr Jursa, who told The Times yesterday that the British Museum tablet was so well preserved that it took him just a couple of minutes to decipher.

This one – which is 2.13 inches (5.5cm) wide – was acquired by the British Museum in 1920. Dr Jursa said: “But no one realised the connection. They didn’t really read it.”

It was unearthed from the ancient city of Sippar, where there was a huge sun temple, just over a mile from modern-day Baghdad. It was part of a large temple archive excavated for the British Museum in the 1870s.

Dr Jursa, who made the discovery while conducting research into officials at the Babylonian court, said that the tablet recorded Nebo-Sarsekim’s gift of gold to the temple – a gift so large that it would be comparable in value today to the cost of a large townhouse.

On hearing of the discovery yesterday, Geza Vermes, the eminent emeritus professor of Jewish studies at the University of Oxford, said that such a discovery revealed that “the Biblical story is not altogether invented”. He added: “This will be interesting for religious people as much as historians.”


Times online: Museum’s tablet lends new weight to Biblical truth


Sunday, July 15, 2007

IDF rabbis ban Israeli radio on Shabbat

Israeli Radio Banned on Shabbat

Listening to Israeli radio stations will be forbidden for religious combat soldiers serving on Navy ships during Shabbat and religious holidays.

According to an instruction publicized Friday in an IDF Rabbinate pamphlet, since a Jew must not benefit from another Jew's Shabbat desecration, religious soldiers who wish to remain alert during Shabbat will be able to turn the radio on before Shabbat commences but only if they tune in to non-Jewish stations.

The new pamphlet is set to be distributed to new naval officers and soldiers participating in naval courses.

The new rules will not apply to secular soldiers who will be able to listen to any station they choose, an IDF source said.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Kosher Cooking Carnival: 18 and all grown Up!

"It's hard to believe that this is the 18th edition of the Kosher Cooking Carnival, the monthly blog carnival dedicated to all aspects of Kosher Food. Next month's carnival will be hosted by the Baleboosteh, and I'm looking for a host for July's edition."

It is a huge edition just before Shavuot, and has recipes for all Kosher taste buds!

The 18th Kosher Cooking Carnival is a feast of assorted recipes!

The Kosher Cooking Carnival comes out monthly and guest-hosts are welcome.

Here's the list of the previous KCC's:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 ,15 ,16, 17

You can check out what's new and old on Blog Carnival, and you can also add the automatically updated KCC "widget" and/or listing to your own blog.

Yes, another monumental KCC done, Don't forget Baleboosteh is doing the next KCC If you would like a submission in the next month's edition of the Kosher Cooking Carnival, please write to baleboosteh and She will include you in next month's edition.

If you'd like to host the KCC, please let Muse know. And of course, send your Kosher food links and any you find to shilohmuseATyahooDOTcom or via blog carnival, since this carnival is primarily based on submitted contributions, not searches.
Don't forget to remind your readers to visit and try out the recipes. Pass and publicize the link!

Bagelblogger Always Fresh!
Technorati: * * * * * * * * * * * BagelBlogger * Kosher recipes * Shavuot Recipes * Shavuot Cooking * Shavout and Kosher * Shavout and Food


Friday, May 18, 2007

Mr Bagel's Judaism 101 Home Page

Welcome to Mr Bagel's Judaism 101 page. This page has been set up to provide a base for people considering conversion or people who are Bt's to see the videos which are available to help them in the path towards Judaism.

There is a wealth of information on the Web for People needing guidance, in their Jewish Studies. This page is specifically designed to help potential Jews by Choice [Converts] and those returning to their Jewish Roots.
If there is anything you think this page needs, please feel free to contact Mr Bagel

Mr Bagel's Judaism 101 Video Links
ThanksMr Bagel's 'Judaism 101'
Mr Bagel's Judaism 101 is a collection of videos to help prospective converts and Bal Teshuvah {returnees] in their progession to understanding the broad aspects of Judaism

Mr Bagel would like to acknowledge the great deal of work and effort that Rabbi Jonathon Ginsburg has done in producing the videos which appear in the 'Mr Bagel's Judaism 101' collection
You can find out more about Rabbi Ginsburg's work here:
Jonathon Ginsburg


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Kosher Cooking Carnival 17 is Up!
Baleboosteh's kitchen is a mess!

The wonderful and amazing Baleboosteh has been burning the midnight oil, (thankfully nothing else) and has just posted what looks like a rather polished edition of the Kosher Cooking Carnival.

It is a huge edition and has recipes for all Kosher taste buds!

The 17th Kosher Cooking Carnival is a feast of assorted recipes!

The Kosher Cooking Carnival comes out monthly and guest-hosts are welcome.

Here's the list of the previous KCC's:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 ,15 ,16, 17

You can check out what's new and old on Blog Carnival, and you can also add the automatically updated KCC "widget" and/or listing to your own blog.

Yes, another monumental KCC done, If you would like a submission in the next month's edition of the Kosher Cooking Carnival, please write to Muse and She will include you in next month's edition.

If you'd like to host the KCC, please let Muse know. And of course, send your Kosher food links and any you find to shilohmuseATyahooDOTcom or via blog carnival, since this carnival is primarily based on submitted contributions, not searches.
Don't forget to remind your readers to visit and try out the recipes. Pass and publicize the link!

Bagelblogger Always Fresh!
Technorati: * * * * * * * * * * * BagelBlogger * Passover recipes * Pesach Recipes * Pesach Cooking * Pesach and Kosher * Passover and Food


Friday, April 20, 2007

This is the new home of Mr Bagels Jewish resources

Welcome to Mr Bagels Jlinks page:

It is currently under development.

If your looking for Mr Bagel or Bagelbloggers home page click here:


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Send an Email
Mr Bagel's JLink Hotline

Mr Bagels Judaism Links

Chabad Jewish Texts

Tanach with Rashi

English translation of the entire Tanach with Rashi's commentary.

Megillah & Commentary

Twelve reasons Esther invited Haman to her wine party... The source and meaning of the appellation "Jew"... The cosmic significance of King Achashverosh's sleepless night...

Ethics of the Fathers

Pirkei Avos / Ethics of the Fathers contains timeless wisdom. It is a collection of ethics, honesty, and advice. But at its very beginning it tells us that even this part of Jewish life came from Sinai. All of that is part of Judaism.

Parshah Studies

For the Jew, "living with the times" always meant looking to the weekly Torah reading for guidance and inspiration. Our comprehensive Parshah section includes translations, summaries, readings and essays for each week of the year

Maimonides' Mishneh Torah

The Mishneh Torah is the Maimonides' (the "Rambam" -- Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah.

Chassidic Texts

Works that probe the essence of life and reveal the soul of Judaism, from classic Chassidic discourses to essays, anthologies and aphorisms


Prayers for various occasions: Grace after meals, blessings, prayers to be recited at the gravesite of the righteous and more

Mr Bagels Chabad Links