Four Decades after Its Discovery, a Talmudic-Era Jewish Amulet Comes to Light

Since talmudic times, Jews have used amulets to guard themselves from spiritual and physical harm, and even in the 18th century it was commonplace for rabbis to give lay people amulets with supposed kabbalistic powers. Forty years ago, a resident of the Galilean village of Arbel discovered an amulet from the 6th century CE, which her heirs recently turned over to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). Rossella Tercatin writes:

Shaped like a triangle, the pendant on one side features the figure of a horse rider whose head is surrounded with a halo. The rider is depicted in the act of throwing a sphere at a female figure on the ground, surrounded by an inscription in Greek reading: “The One God Who Conquers Evil.”

Under the horse, the Greek letters I A W O appear, the equivalent of the Hebrew [four-letter] divine name. The opposite side of the object presents an eye pierced by arrows and surrounded by dangerous animals—two lions, a snake, a scorpion and a bird—as well as another Greek inscription reading “One God.”

In spite of the use of non-Jewish symbolism, the fact that the object was found in Arbel, which was a Jewish settlement in the Byzantine period, suggests that the object actually belonged to a Jew.

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: ancient Judaism, Archaeology, Talmud

 

As Vladimir Putin Sidles Up to the Mullahs, the Threat to the U.S. and Israel Grows

On Tuesday, Russia launched an Iranian surveillance satellite into space, which the Islamic Republic will undoubtedly use to increase the precision of its military operations against its enemies. The launch is one of many indications that the longstanding alliance between Moscow and Tehran has been growing stronger and deeper since the Kremlin’s escalation in Ukraine in February. Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, and Katherine Lawlor write:

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raisi have spoken at least four times since the invasion began—more than either individual has engaged most other world leaders. Putin visited Tehran in July 2022, marking his first foreign travel outside the territory of the former Soviet Union since the war began. These interactions reflect a deepening and potentially more balanced relationship wherein Russia is no longer the dominant party. This partnership will likely challenge U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe.

Tehran has traditionally sought to purchase military technologies from Moscow rather than the inverse. The Kremlin fielding Iranian drones in Ukraine will showcase these platforms to other potential international buyers, further benefitting Iran. Furthermore, Russia has previously tried to limit Iranian influence in Syria but is now enabling its expansion.

Deepening Russo-Iranian ties will almost certainly threaten U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe. Iranian material support to Russia may help the Kremlin achieve some of its military objectives in Ukraine and eastern Europe. Russian support of Iran’s nascent military space program and air force could improve Iranian targeting and increase the threat it poses to the U.S. and its partners in the Middle East. Growing Iranian control and influence in Syria will enable the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [to use its forces in that country] to threaten U.S. military bases in the Middle East and our regional partners, such as Israel and Turkey, more effectively. Finally, Moscow and Tehran will likely leverage their deepening economic ties to mitigate U.S. sanctions.

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Critical Threats

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, U.S. Security, Vladimir Putin