Discovering a Biblical People

March 23 2022

At the end of this month, Yeshiva University’s Museum at the Center for Israel Studies will be unveiling an exhibit on the Samaritans, marking “the first time that important Samaritan artifacts preserved in museums and libraries worldwide—including paintings, manuscripts, priceless books, photography, ritual objects, and archaeological discoveries from Greece, Italy, and Israel—have been compiled.” JNS reports:

The Samaritans have been around for thousands of years, tracing their lineage to the “lost” northern tribes of Israel and living alongside Jews, Christians, and Muslims for centuries.

Yet this ancient group remains a mystery, which . . . an international team of scholars, historians, artists and Yeshiva University students have spent the last six years unraveling.

Central to the project is a documentary by the cultural historian and author Moshe Alafi called The Samaritans: A Biblical People, which will get its first public viewing at the launch event. A cookbook, called Samaritan Cookbook: A Culinary Odyssey from the Ancient Israelites to the Modern Mediterranean—the first-ever cookbook of Samaritan cuisine in English—will also be featured, along with a pop-up art exhibition created specifically for this project by the New York-based non-profit Jewish Art Salon.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Archaeology, Samaritans

 

Condemning Terrorism in Jerusalem—and Efforts to Stop It

Jan. 30 2023

On Friday night, a Palestinian opened fire at a group of Israelis standing outside a Jerusalem synagogue, killing seven and wounding several others. The day before, the IDF had been drawn into a gunfight in the West Bank city of Jenin while trying to arrest members of a terrorist cell. Of the nine Palestinians killed in the raid, only one appears to have been a noncombatant. Lahav Harkov compares the responses to the two events, beginning with the more recent:

President Joe Biden called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to denounce the attack, offer his condolences, and express his commitment to Israel’s security. Other leaders released supportive statements as well. Governments across Europe condemned the attack. Turkey’s foreign ministry did the same, as did Israel’s Abraham Accords partners the UAE and Bahrain. Even Saudi Arabia released a statement against the killing of civilians in Jerusalem.

It feels wrong to criticize those statements. . . . But the condemnations should be full-throated, not spoken out of one side of the mouth while the other is wishy-washy about what it takes to stave off terrorism. These very same leaders and ministries were tsk-tsking at Israel for doing just that only a day before the attacks in Jerusalem.

The context didn’t seem to matter to some countries that are friendly to Israel. It didn’t matter that Israel was trying to stop jihadists from attacking civilians; it didn’t matter that IDF soldiers were attacked on the way.

It’s very easy for some to be sad when Jews are murdered. Yet, at the same time, so many of them are uncomfortable with Jews asserting themselves, protecting themselves, arming themselves against the bloodthirsty horde that would hand out bonbons to celebrate their deaths. It’s a reminder of how important it is that we do just that, and how essential the state of Israel is.

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Read more at Lahav’s Newsletter

More about: Jerusalem, Palestinian terror