Baron Rothschild’s Favorite Book about Solomon’s Temple

Feb. 26 2020

On September 21, 1898, Baron Edmund de Rothschild gave a book titled Le Temple de Jerusalem et la Maison de Bois-Liban (“The Temple of Jerusalem and the House of Lebanon Wood”) to the agricultural community of Rosh Pinah, one of the original Zionist settlements in the Land of Israel. He also gave a copy to Zikhron Ya’akov, a farming community whose establishment he had helped to fund. Only a handful of copies of the book are still extant today, one of which is in the Louvre and another in the Rothschild family’s vault. Amit Naor explains how the book captured the baron’s interest:

The book was written by two French scholars: Charles Chipiez and Georges Perrot. Chipiez was an architect and architectural historian and Perrot an archaeologist. They wrote a number of books together [on] the history of the ancient world: Assyria, Persia, Egypt, Rome, Greece, and of course Judea and its surroundings. Most of their findings regarding the Jewish Temple—which they saw as an architectural milestone in the history of the world—were published in [this book].

Rothschild, who took a special interest in Jerusalem and the Temple, discovered the book when it was put on display at an exhibition in Paris, and immediately purchased a number of copies which made their way to the farming colonies in the Land of Israel which were so dear to him.

The highlight of the book is its appendix—large, magnificent illustrations of the Temple and the “House of Lebanon Wood,” [i.e., cedar], built by King Solomon, according to the first book of Kings. In the first chapter, Chipiez and Perrot describe the history of the Temple, the structures that surrounded it, and the local topography. In the second chapter, they explain which sources were used to reproduce the appearance of the Temple. The third chapter describes the Temple itself according to verses found in the book of Ezekiel, and the fourth and final chapter describes what the authors believed to be the palace of the kings of ancient Judea. The authors also included sketches of architectural elements such as pillars, domes, and capitals.

Baron Rothschild had a special and understandable interest in Jerusalem and the Temple [that] stemmed from his traditional Jewish education, as well as from the growing interest in the scientific study of the Bible during the late 19th century. Other evidence suggests that the Baron sought to build a “hall” on the ruins of the Temple and even obtained plans from architects to integrate modern and ancient elements in the construction of a grand new building. The Ottoman sultan refused, for obvious reasons, to authorize the ambitious project.

The book can be viewed in digital form, complete with its lavish illustrated plates, here.

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Read more at The Librarians

More about: First Temple, History of Zionism, Rothschilds

Don’t Let Iran Go Nuclear

Sept. 29 2022

In an interview on Sunday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the Biden administration remains committed to nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic, even as it pursues its brutal crackdown on the protests that have swept the country. Robert Satloff argues not only that it is foolish to pursue the renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal, but also that the White House’s current approach is failing on its own terms:

[The] nuclear threat is much worse today than it was when President Biden took office. Oddly, Washington hasn’t really done much about it. On the diplomatic front, the administration has sweetened its offer to entice Iran into a new nuclear deal. While it quite rightly held firm on Iran’s demand to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from an official list of “foreign terrorist organizations,” Washington has given ground on many other items.

On the nuclear side of the agreement, the United States has purportedly agreed to allow Iran to keep, in storage, thousands of advanced centrifuges it has made contrary to the terms of the original deal. . . . And on economic matters, the new deal purportedly gives Iran immediate access to a certain amount of blocked assets, before it even exports most of its massive stockpile of enriched uranium for safekeeping in a third country. . . . Even with these added incentives, Iran is still holding out on an agreement. Indeed, according to the most recent reports, Tehran has actually hardened its position.

Regardless of the exact reason why, the menacing reality is that Iran’s nuclear program is galloping ahead—and the United States is doing very little about it. . . . The result has been a stunning passivity in U.S. policy toward the Iran nuclear issue.

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy