Coins from the Great Jewish Revolts in Rome Found in Israel, at a Fitting Time of the Year

July 22 2021

Last Sunday was the fast of Tisha b’Av, which commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples—the latter of which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE following a Jewish uprising. This Saturday is the minor holiday of Tu b’Av, which celebrates rebuilding and recovery after a second revolt, led by Simon Bar Kokhba, from 132 to 136 CE. Recently, archaeologist found coins from both uprisings, reports the Times of Israel:

The first coin was discovered on the ground at the Khirbat Jib’it archaeological site, just south of the West Bank town of Duma. It dates back to the Great Revolt, the first Jewish–Roman War in Judea, according to researchers from Bar-Ilan University.

The Khirbat Jib’it coin was minted around 67-68 CE. . . . On one side it bears a vine leaf and the Hebrew inscription ḥerut Tsiyon (the freedom of Zion). The other side is decorated with an amphora and the inscription “Year Two.”

Just one kilometer north, a second coin was found in a cave on the Wadi Rashash cliffs, . . . minted around 134 or 135 CE; it bears a palm branch, possibly a lulav—one of the ritual plants used during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot—and a wreath surrounded by the inscription l’ḥerut Y’rushalayim (for the freedom of Jerusalem).

The other side of the Wadi Rashash coin is decorated with a musical instrument, likely a lyre, . . . as well as the inscription “Shimon,” the name of the rebel leader, Shimon Ben Kos’vah, better known as Bar Kokhba.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Judean Revolt, Simon bar Kokhba

Israel Is Courting Saudi Arabia by Confronting Iran

Most likely, it was the Israeli Air Force that attacked eastern Syria Monday night, apparently destroying a convoy carrying Iranian weapons. Yoav Limor comments:

Israel reportedly carried out 32 attacks in Syria in 2022, and since early 2023 it has already struck 25 times in the country—at the very least. . . . The Iranian-Israeli clash stands out in the wake of the dramatic events in the region, chiefly among them is the effort to strike a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and later on with various other Muslim-Sunni states. Iran is trying to torpedo this process and has even publicly warned Saudi Arabia not to “gamble on a losing horse” because Israel’s demise is near. Riyadh is unlikely to heed that demand, for its own reasons.

Despite the thaw in relations between the kingdom and the Islamic Republic—including the exchange of ambassadors—the Saudis remain very suspicious of the Iranians. A strategic manifestation of that is that Riyadh is trying to forge a defense pact with the U.S.; a tactical manifestation took place this week when Saudi soccer players refused to play a match in Iran because of a bust of the former Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Suleimani, [a master terrorist whose militias have wreaked havoc throughout the Middle East, including within Saudi borders].

Of course, Israel is trying to bring Saudi Arabia into its orbit and to create a strong common front against Iran. The attack in Syria is ostensibly unrelated to the normalization process and is meant to prevent the terrorists on Israel’s northern border from laying their hands on sophisticated arms, but it nevertheless serves as a clear reminder for Riyadh that it must not scale back its fight against the constant danger posed by Iran.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, Syria