How a Talmudic Anecdote and an Archaeological Discovery Helped Shape Public-Safety Measures on Israeli Beaches

The tale of the Oven of Akhnai—one of the best known talmudic stories and the subject of last week’s Mosaic podcast—describes the ancient rabbis arguing with God, and winning. To the geo-archaeologist Beverly Goodman, certain details in this story support physical evidence she has gathered that the Roman port of Caesarea, on Israel’s Mediterranean coast, was destroyed by a tsunami in the 2nd-century CE. Thanks to her research, a government committee chaired by Avi Shapira has put into place plans to mitigate the dangers if a tsunami were to occur again. Goodman, Shapira, and the historian Henry Abramson explain the discovery in an interview by Peter Gwinn. (Audio, 25 minutes. Transcript available at the link below.)

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Read more at National Geographic

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Israeli society, Science, Talmud

With Its Threats against Israel, the EU Undermines International Law

The office of the European Union’s president, along with several member states, have made clear that they will consider taking punitive actions against Jerusalem should it go through with plans to extend its sovereignty over parts of the West Bank. In the assessment of EU diplomats, Israel has no legitimate claims to land outside the 1949 armistice lines—the so-called “1967 lines”—and any attempt to act as if it does violates the Fourth Geneva Convention. But, to David Wurmser, this entire argument is based on a poor reading of the law:

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Read more at National Review

More about: European Union, International Law, West Bank