It's getting that time of the year when many people give donations in the name of others as gifts. Other people are beginning to look for places to give money to help others as well as to help ease their tax burden. Unfortunately, many people generally only look at the cause involved and don't bother to look beyond that at the information provided by the organization itself as to how the money is spent and how that relates to others in the same subject area. It's hard to tell these days as there are many organizations — especially ones involved with Israel and the Jewish people. It seems a new organization is started every time something happens in or to Israel and/or the Jewish people. Whether that is good or bad is a subject for another discussion. What I want to talk about here is one organization is particular.
I recently received information from an organization called Ministry Watch regarding the funding and financing of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ). Their report is quite illuminating:
In summer excavations at the foot of the Temple Mount, Hebrew University of Jerusalem archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar made a stunning discovery: two bundles of treasure containing thirty-six gold coins, gold and silver jewelry, and a gold medallion with the Temple menorah etched into it. Also etched into the 10 centimeter [3.9 inch] medallion are a shofar and a Torah scroll.
A third-generation archaeologist working at the Hebrew University's Institute of Archaeology, Dr. Mazar directs excavations on the City of David's summit and at the Temple Mount's southern wall. Calling the find "a breathtaking, once-in-a-lifetime discovery," Dr. Mazar said: "We have been making significant finds from the First Temple Period in this area, a much earlier time in Jerusalem's history, so discovering a golden seven-branched Menorah from the seventh century ce at the foot of the Temple Mount was a complete surprise."
In the ancient Hebrew words that are used to described distance and direction are also used to describe time. The Hebrew word for east is qedem and literally means "the direction of the rising sun".
We use north as our major orientation such as in maps which are always oriented to the north. While we use the north as our major direction the Hebrews used the east and all directions are oriented to this direction.
Archaeologists have uncovered what they believe may be King David's Palace in the Judean lowlands. Royal storerooms were also revealed in the joint archaeological excavation of the Hebrew University and the Israel Antiquities Authority at Khirbet Qeiyafa. These are the two largest buildings known to have existed in the tenth century bce in the Kingdom of Judah.
Two royal public buildings, the likes of which have not previously been found in the Kingdom of Judah of the tenth century bce, were uncovered this past year by researchers of the Hebrew University and the Israel Antiquities Authority at Khirbet Qeiyafa — a fortified city in Judah dating to the time of King David and identified with the biblical city of Sha'arayim (Joshua 15.36; 1 Sam 17.52; 1 Chronicles 4.31), meaning "two gates" in Hebrew.
Recently a small cistern belonging to a building was exposed in an archaeological excavation the Israel Antiquities Authority is conducting near the Western Wall, in the vicinity of Robinson's Arch in the Jerusalem Archaeological Park. Inside the cistern were three intact cooking pots and a small ceramic oil lamp that date to the time of the Great Revolt (66-70 ce).
The vessels were discovered inside the drainage channel that was exposed in its entirety from the Shiloah Pool in the City of David to the beginning of Robinson's Arch.
A mysterious First Temple-era archaeological find under a Palestinian [sic] orchard near Bethlehem is increasingly gaining attention — despite attempts to keep it quiet.
In February, a tour guide leading a group through an underground tunnel in the rural West Bank [sic], not far from Jerusalem, was surprised to stumble upon the remains of a unique carved pillar.
The pillar matched monumental construction from the 9th or 8th centuries bce — the time of the First Temple in Jerusalem. That signaled the presence of an important and previously unknown structure from that period.
"And Pharaoh called to Moses, saying: Go and worship the L‑rd. Only your sheep and cattle will remain — your children will also go with you. And Moses said: You will also give us offerings and sacrifices for the L‑rd our G-d, and our flocks will go with us..." (Exodus 10.24-26)
The ninth plague — darkness — has struck Egypt with a vengeance and Pharaoh breaks. Step by step he has retreated and after the eighth plague — locusts — he was prepared to allow the Jews to leave except for their children. Now he surrenders almost entirely as he agrees that all the Jews can leave. He only asks one thing, one compromise, one small victory for himself: that the Jewish cattle remain behind.
A rare well dating to the Neolithic period was uncovered in recent excavations the Israel Antiquities Authority carried out at Enot Nisanit, along the western fringes of the Jezreel Valley prior to enlarging Ha-Yogev Junction (Highway 66) by the National Roads Company. Archaeologists estimate the well was built approximately 8,500 years ago.
During the excavations the skeletal remains of a woman approximately 19 years of age and a man older than her were uncovered deep inside the well. What were two 8,500 year old human skeletons doing at the bottom of the well? Was this an accident or perhaps murder? As of now the answer to this question remains a mystery.
For almost two thousand years the Land of Israel waited for the return of her Israelite sons and daughters to the Promised Land. Buried safely beneath the ground, the G-d of Israel protected the exciting biblical past of His people Israel — to be rediscovered by His Israeli children precisely during this prophetic redemptive end-time era so that they can restore the historical biblical chain and reconnect it with the link that was cut by the enemies of Israel when they destroyed the Kingdom of Israel nearly two millennium ago.
The intention of the G-d of Israel — through this godly plan which is happening now during the prophetic time of redemption that Israel is currently experiencing — is for the ancient links to be connected to the new links that the G-d and People of Israel are presently constructing in the Land of Israel. Every day yet another biblical archaeological find is discovered throughout the Land of Israel. The most exciting discoveries are the archaeological biblical finds that are connected to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and specifically to the sacred temple worship performed by the Hebrew priests inside the Holy Temple, in addition to the biblical artifacts being found in the City of David that lies just south of the Holy Temple Mount.
[The following is an important message reposted from the Temple Mount Sifting Project Web site to scholars around the world.]
As part of our research in preparing to publish the finds of the Temple Mount Sifting Project, one of our great challenges is identifying and dating special artifacts since they have been found out-of-context. With our acquaintance with the material culture of Jerusalem and of the land of Israel throughout its generations, we manage to identify and date most of the finds, but many others are only partially identified or remain a total enigma. Since our current research is dealing with archaeological finds from the Temple Mount — these finds being the only material from the Temple Mount that is accessible for archaeological study — we concluded that, in order to increase our ability to identify them, we should enlist the help of the world wide community of scholars via the Internet. Therefore, we have established a Web site in which we will upload from time to time images of artifacts about which we need more information.