New Findings Suggest That a Group of Ancient Israelites Used Marijuana in Religious Rituals

Israeli archaeologists recently detected residue of cannabis on items discovered at what appears to be a First Temple-era religious site not far from the Dead Sea. Israel Hayom reports:

In a research paper, the authors say the discovery from an 8th-century BCE shrine at Tel Arad offers the first proof for “the use of mind-altering substances as part of cultic rituals in Judah.” . . . Archaeological excavations at Tel Arad, located around 35 miles south of Jerusalem, in the 1960s discovered a stronghold belonging to the ancient kingdom of Judah, and at its core a small shrine bearing striking similarities to the biblical Temple in Jerusalem.

But for decades, attempts to determine the composition of black deposits found on two limestone altars from the shrine’s inner sanctum—now located at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem—were inconclusive. Chemical analysis of the samples conducted at Israel’s Hebrew University and Technion Institute found that one altar contained the psychoactive compounds found in marijuana, and the other had traces of frankincense—one of the ingredients mentioned in the Bible for the incense sacrifice in the ancient Jewish Temples.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Ancient Israel, ancient Judaism, Archaeology, Drugs

 

Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security