The Real Jerusalem Madness

The real Jerusalem Madness isn’t when folk get to the ‘Holy Land’ and start having weird visions and the like.  The real madness is perpetrated by the government of that odd little place where, believe it or not, women can be arrested for wearing a prayer shawl or blowing a shofar.

Police detained four members of the Women of the Wall organization on Sunday morning for wearing tallitot (prayer shawls) at the Western Wall plaza.  According to a 2001 law, it is illegal for women to perform religious practices traditionally done by men in Orthodox Jewish practice at the Western Wall, such as reading from a Torah scroll, wearing tefillin or a tallit, or blowing a shofar.

Israel is a democracy?  By what definition?

Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz expressed shock and deep sorrow over the behavior of Women of the Wall members, saying that “many worshipers who came to pray Sunday morning instead bore witness to a fanatical political struggle which undermines the sanctity of the Wall.”

Wait, what?  Women praying and reading from the Torah is an act of desecration?  And they’re the fanatics???  What insanity.  With many thanks to Joe Zias for pointing the story out.

Herod Didn’t Finish That Wall After All- Again

I’m not sure why the IMF is just coming up with this today.  It was reported three months ago (see the links below).  Evidently it’s tourist season so this is a tourism ploy.

The IMF reports

New archeological excavations show conclusively that the Roman client king’s massive construction project continued after his death.

So there’s something else ‘tradition’ holds which archaeology disproves.

Textbooks for archeologists –– and tour guides in Israel –– long held to the notion that King Herod, a Roman client king who lived from 74 BCE to 4 CE in the Holy Land, saw his colossal building project in and around the Temple Mount in Jerusalem through to the end.  Coins, pottery and oil lamps discovered in a Jewish ritual bath underneath the Western Wall recently, report archeologists from Israel, date the completion of the Western Wall surrounding the Second Temple to a later time, maybe even 50 CE. They are sure that the coins found under the wall were struck after Herod had already died. Archeologists Professor Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa and Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority led the work.

Poor Herod.  He probably didn’t do much of anything at all.

When did the ‘Western Wall’ Become Sacred to Jews? 1520

“Jews did not worship at the Wailing Wall at any time until the Balfour Declaration of 1917, according to a report on the “study” posted by the PA Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information D. Mutawakkil Taha. Writing on the official PA website, he added that the report quotes the “Jewish Encyclopedia, published in 1917” that “the Western Wall became part of the Jewish religious tradition around the year 1520, as a result of Jewish immigration from Spain, after the Ottoman conquest the year 1517… This was not part of the wall of the so-called Jewish Temple.”

Unsurprisingly, INN’s report of the essay is as sneering as it is derisive. And Antonio gets it right when he laconically observes Ma gli odiati palestinesi questo non lo possono dire.