Archaeologists Uncover a 2,000-Year-Old Jerusalem Marketplace

As documented in the Talmud and Hebrew Bible, the festivals of Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot—in the spring, summer, and fall, respectively—were pilgrimage holidays, when Jews throughout the Land of Israel, and even from the Diaspora, would visit the Temple and offer sacrifices. Jonathan Laden describes the recent discovery of remains of a market where these pilgrims might have made purchases on their way into Jerusalem:

Archaeologists have found rare 2,000-year-old measurement tools that indicate a major town square. [These include the] top of a table used to measure liquids. In the vicinity dozens of stone weights were also discovered.

The age of the artifacts and their location, along the path of the Pilgrimage Road from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple Mount, in the oldest part of Jerusalem known as the City of David, suggest that this was a main city square and market used by pilgrims . . . on their way to the Second Temple. . . . The pool’s usage 2,000 years ago is unclear; it might have provided cooking and drinking water to pilgrims, and may also have been used for ritual bathing prior to going to the Temple.

The agoranomos, the officer tasked with supervising measurements and weights for the conducting of trade in the city of Jerusalem, would have used both the stone weights and the measuring table as a standard to help traders calibrate their measurements. Weights were used to verify dry goods, and the measurement table for liquids. [This] is one of only three discovered from the time of the Second Temple.

Read more at Bible History Daily

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Jerusalem, Jewish holidays, Second Temple

How to Save the Universities

To Peter Berkowitz, the rot in American institutions of higher learning exposed by Tuesday’s hearings resembles a disease that in its early stages was easy to cure but difficult to diagnose, and now is so advanced that it is easy to diagnose but difficult to cure. Recent analyses of these problems have now at last made it to the pages of the New York Times but are, he writes, “tardy by several decades,” and their suggested remedies woefully inadequate:

They fail to identify the chief problem. They ignore the principal obstacles to reform. They propose reforms that provide the equivalent of band-aids for gaping wounds and shattered limbs. And they overlook the mainstream media’s complicity in largely ignoring, downplaying, or dismissing repeated warnings extending back a quarter century and more—largely, but not exclusively, from conservatives—that our universities undermine the public interest by attacking free speech, eviscerating due process, and hollowing out and politicizing the curriculum.

The remedy, Berkowitz argues, would be turning universities into places that cultivate, encourage, and teach freedom of thought and speech. But doing so seems unlikely:

Having undermined respect for others and the art of listening by presiding over—or silently acquiescing in—the curtailment of dissenting speech for more than a generation, the current crop of administrators and professors seems ill-suited to fashion and implement free-speech training. Moreover, free speech is best learned not by didactic lectures and seminars but by practicing it in the reasoned consideration of competing ideas with those capable of challenging one’s assumptions and arguments. But where are the professors who can lead such conversations? Which faculty members remain capable of understanding their side of the argument because they understand the other side?

Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Freedom of Speech, Israel on campus