Jerusalem’s Gigantic Ancient Pools Are a Remnant of Temple Pilgrimages

Archaeologists have, over the years, discovered a number of very large ancient reservoirs in Israel’s capital. According to a new study, these were built for the benefit of pilgrims who needed water for drinking, and for ritual immersion, when they came to the Temple to celebrate holidays. Yori Yalon writes:

Next to the Temple Mount is a massive cistern named the Pool of Israel, which is over 360 feet long, 111 feet wide, and over 78 feet deep. Between the houses of the Christian Quarter lies the Pool of Hezekiah. . . .

“While residents of Jerusalem had private wells under their homes and the ruling authorities had aqueducts, another solution was needed for the masses of pilgrims,” . . . [says] David Gurevich, an archaeologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who specializes in the city during the Second Temple period. “These large complexes are the elephant in the room that researchers have [heretofore] ignored. Even though some of the pools were excavated and researchers suggested the use of individual pools, they ignored the larger picture [of why] these facilities are here. It turns out there has never been another city on the Mediterranean coast with such a large number of similar pools of water.”

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Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: ancient Judaism, Archaeology, History & Ideas, Jerusalem, Jewish holidays

 

Hamas’s Tactics of Attrition and Extortion Are Paying Off

Feb. 21 2020

In January, the Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh visited Iran after promising the Egyptian government that he would not. Cairo responded by cutting exports of cooking gas and tires to the Gaza Strip. Facing a possible domestic crisis, the terrorist group recently resumed sending balloon-borne explosives into Israel, and allowed other jihadists to fire rockets. The move succeeded, despite retaliatory strikes by the IDF, writes Elior Levy:

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Read more at Ynet

More about: Egypt, Gaza Strip, Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, Israeli Security