An Ancient Artifact Contains Clues about Synagogues during the Second Temple Period

June 13 2017

Discovered in a 1st-century-CE synagogue on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, the Magdala stone is a rectangular block not much bigger than most microwave ovens. One side is engraved with a menorah—the earliest such depiction ever found in a synagogue—and other objects from the Temple; the opposite side is engraved with wheels in an apparent reference to the angelic beings described as surrounding the divine chariot in the book of Ezekiel. Engraved on the other two sides are gates, perhaps those of the Temple or the gates of heaven. Since archaeologists agree that both the synagogue and the stone predate the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, the artifact has special significance. Lawrence Schiffman presents his own interpretation:

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Read more at Ami Magazine

More about: Archaeology, History & Ideas, Judaism, Second Temple, Synagogue

Despite Reasons for Worry, Jews Shouldn’t Lose Faith in the American Promise

Sept. 24 2021

From synagogue shootings, to attacks on Jews on the streets, to the gathering strength and viciousness of anti-Zionism, especially in the corridors of political power, American Jewry has ample reason for concern about its safety and wellbeing. But, surveying both the present situation and the deep roots of what has made America a welcoming home to Jews with “no analogue in the 2,000 years after the destruction of the Temple,” Josef Joffe argues that the U.S. remains exceptional. The bad news, however, is still bad:

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Read more at Commentary

More about: American exceptionalism, American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Chuck Schumer