"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.
An Urgent Call From Gershon Salomon, Chairman of the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement to All the Nations and to Everyone in the World:
The pressures on Israel at this time that are coming from the East and the West indicate that the endtime war of the nations against the G‑d and people of Israel, which was prophesied by the prophets of Israel to be the ultimate judgment upon the nations, is behind the door.
The complete redemption of Israel, the rebuilding of the Temple, and the coming of Messiah Ben David are the next stages in G‑d's endtime plans with Israel and the entire world.
Sixty-two years after the re-establishment of the State of Israel by the G‑d of Israel to be His endtime eternal kingdom, and after seven wars with Arab-Islamic nations who were backed by many nations worldwide that came to destroy Israel again and again, Israel is again facing pressure from every side with step-by-step preparations of the enemies of the G‑d and people of Israel to destroy the State of Israel through an apocalyptic war with nuclear weapons that were never used in the past. These nations refused to learn through their own previous experiences when the G‑d of Israel defeated them again and again and showed them that He is determined to rebuild His Holy Kingdom Israel in the Promised Land that He gave only to His people Israel.
The feeling of gloom and doom regarding Israel's present danger is hardly justified by a long view of Jewish history.
Recall the appalling condition of the Jewish people after the destruction of the Second Temple. Or ponder the horrendous loss of Jewish life resulting from the Christian Crusades and, more recently, from the Nazi Holocaust. Surely there was more reason for pessimism then than now, when Israel is not stateless and has a formidable military establishment, a sophisticated scientific-technological infrastructure, and a surprisingly expanding economy.
In fact, Israel's condition in the 1948-49 War of Independence was more precarious than now. True, Israel's government under David Ben-Gurion was more passionately Zionistic than the present one. True, the patriotic zeal and the extraordinary fighting spirit of the Jews of his generation compensated for lack of military hardware. But as Operation Cast Lead indicates, the courage or fortitude of Israelis today is quite formidable despite the shortcomings of Israel's ruling elites.
The holy cornerstone for the Third Temple will be transported by the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement as they march on Jerusalem Day, 27 Iyar 5769 (May 21, 2009). It will be driven from Ammunition Hill to the Jaffa Gate, along the western walls of the Old City to the downtown streets of Jerusalem. There it will be presented to the people of Israel and to the entire world for the first time since the destruction of the Holy Temple in 70 CE.
Since 1967, Jerusalem Day has become one of the most important holidays in Israel. This public holiday commemorates the liberation of the Temple Mount, the biblical city of Jerusalem, the City of David and the biblically significant areas of Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. All of this happened in the Six Day War of 1967. It was then that God returned the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to His People Israel so that they would immediately rebuild His Holy Temple in order to renew biblical worship there.
Humanism is the worst disease that has ever plagued mankind. If left untreated, it becomes malignant, ultimately killing the host. At the same time it spreads to others throughout the community, eventually destroying whole nations. It's like a silent cancer. Since the fall of Adam, humanism has caused the degeneration of the spirit of mankind. Any trace of courage or righteousness has been erased, for the most part, from all of mankind.
While I do believe that courage and righteousness still exist, it can only be seen within a small part of mankind. Unfortunately, the majority of the people in this world have succumbed to the sickness of humanism and don't even know it, they think all is well. They have become acclimated to the human decay that is happening all around, the decay known as humanism.
The road forward for the Jewish people is meant to be long, circuitous, and torturous. The road for the people of this country is especially convoluted and confusing. It is a road beset by many pitfalls and many precipitous drops. Yet it is a road that must be taken, as the history of the Jewish people in particular and that of mankind in general, continue forward towards their destiny. At times in the midst of that journey, the Jewish people seem to lose direction and purpose as they wander into pastures and hills that were not meant for them. Yet that too is part of the exile and is also part of the wilderness that must be travelled.
Moshe Kempinski, who lives in Jerusalem.]
The power of a simple verse can be so sweet.
In parshat Bechukotai (Leviticus 26:3-27:34), God begins describing a set of conditional promises with the statement "If ye walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, and do them;" (Leviticus 26:3), and ends the list of very physical and earthly promises with the following dramatic words "And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be My people." (Leviticus 26:12).
Rav Yitzchak Aranma, the author of Akeidat Yitzchak, asks a poignant question. "Adherents of religion who believe in Divine reward and punishment (for those who please or anger God, respectively), assail the Torah's silence concerning the spiritual remuneration that constitutes the chief aim of the Torah, which holds up transitory, material rewards, as the goal of those obedient to its laws."