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.

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Read more at Times of Israel

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

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