יום שני ט"ז בתמוז תשפ"ד 22/07/2024
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  • The Mission Continues

    As in the past so it remains today - we were and still are under the selfsame commitment to adhere to the directions of the Gedolei Yisrael, who stand guard against breaches of purity threatening our camp. When we were required to ask – we asked. When we were instructed to depart – we left. The moment we are summoned back to raise the flag, every other consideration is pushed to the side and we answer: We are ready!

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בראי היום

  • Harav Yisrael Friedman zy”a, the Rebbe of Husyatin

    מוטי, ויקיפדיה העברית

    The ancestral chain of Harav Yisrael Friedman, the founder of the Husyatin chassidic court, originates with the holy Baal Shem Tov. The Husyatin chassidus has its roots in Galicia and eventually came to Tel Aviv, during the turbulent years between the two World Wars.

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Place

  • Maccabi'im Gravesite

    In honour of Chanukah, we will discuss a fascinating, ongoing investigation attempting to establish the place of burial of Mattisyahu Kohen Gadol and his family.

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In News

Historical Discovery: The Hashmonaim Also Ruled in the Negev

On the eve of Chanukah, fascinating new details have come to light about the Hashmonai kingdom that ruled not only in Jerusalem, but also in Gaza and in the Negev.

Avi Moshe 10/12/2009 14:43
An archeological, historically significant discovery has been made, on the eve of Chanukah. The Hashmonaim ruled not only in Jerusalem and Yehuda, but also in the Negev.

Researchers with the Israel Antiquities Authority have been studying artifacts discovered in the sites excavated by Dr. Rudolph Cohen along "Derech Habesamim" ("Incense Road") in the Negev. It was along this road that the Nabataeans transported valuable merchandise, such as myrrh and frankincense to the Mediterranean Sea and Egypt. One of the sites excavated was the ruins of "Ma'agura", which is located 3.4 kilometers west of Sde Boqer, on a ridge top. The site is situated at a strategic point that overlooks Nachal Bsor, along the "Incense Road".

According to Dr. Tali Erickson-Gini of the Israel Antiquities Authority, who is the scientific editor of the excavation, “We are talking about a revolutionary discovery that will redraw the maps of the region which describe that era and greatly increase the territory governed by the Hashmonaim into the heart of the Negev Highlands as we know it. This is an important discovery from an archaeological and historical standpoint. Despite the evidence of the historian Josephus, according to which King Alexander  conquered the southern coast of the Land of Israel and the harbor in Gaza (which was of paramount importance to the Nabataeans) and even further south, no clear archaeological proof of this has been found in the field. And it was because of this lack of proof that historians were inclined to dismiss the possibility that the Hashmonaim did indeed control the Negev”.

According to Dr. Erickson-Gini, it is now clear that the Hashmonaim occupied a fortress on the Nabataeans' main trade route until the year 66 BCE, and were thus able to prevent the movement of enemies along the route between Halutza and the Northern Sinai desert. This strategic act cut off the trade route between Petra and the ports and in fact commerce in the region received a fatal blow that halted trade through the Negev for several decades.

The discovery also reinforces the claim that another Nabataean site – Nitzana, where a large casche of coins of Alexander Yanai were discovered, was ruled by him. “Another interesting fact”, says Dr. Tali Erickson-Gini of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “is that the army that Alexander Yanai engaged was for the most part a mercenary force that was composed of non-Jewish soldiers. We were able to confirm this based on the imported vessels that were found alongside the Jewish vessels there, and from the wine that was brought there from abroad."