Who’s Buried in the Prophetess Hulda’s Tomb?

March 27 2015

A tomb on the Mount of Olives has long been venerated by Jews as the resting place of the biblical prophetess Hulda. Christians and Muslims, however, worship there for their own reasons, as Miriam Feinberg Vamosh writes (free registration required):

King Josiah, the Israelite leader from 641 to 609 BCE, aspired to purge the land of idol worship, after his own grandfather Manasseh had permitted idolatrous worship in the Temple. Josiah ordered the Temple renovated for proper worship of the one God, during which a scroll—ancient even then—with Deuteronomic texts was found.

The star prophet of the time, Jeremiah, was apparently out of town. But Hulda, wife of Shallum, one of the king’s courtiers (and, the sages suggest, Jeremiah’s cousin), was available for interpretation. She warned Josiah that, indeed, the punishments [for idolatry] listed by the book would apply, though only after Josiah’s time, because he was righteous. Her warning led the Jews to renew their covenant with Yahweh.

Hulda’s tomb may have been located within Jerusalem at one point and later removed. . . . [B]y the Middle Ages, Jewish pilgrims write that they had visited Hulda’s tomb at the top of Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives. . . . But to Christians, this very same tomb is occupied by St. Pelagia, a 5th-century actress and singer from Antioch known for her beauty who, at the behest of her bishop, St. Nonnus, left her old life behind, disguised herself as a man, and came to Jerusalem where she lived alone in a monastic cell and died in 457 CE. . . .

Moving onto Muslim tradition, this is the tomb of Sit Raba’a al-Aduwiyyeh. She was born a slave in Basra, Iraq, in the year 714. According to the story, when her master saw a golden halo surrounding her as she prayed, he decided to free her.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Haaretz

More about: Book of Kings, Christianity, Islam, Jeremiah, Jerusalem, Religion & Holidays

Why the Leader of Hamas Went to Russia

Sept. 30 2022

Earlier this month, the Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh and several of his colleagues visited Moscow, where they met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian officials. According to Arabic-language media, Haniyeh came seeking “new ideas” about how to wage war against the Jewish state. The terrorist group has had good relations with the Kremlin for several years, and even maintains an office in Moscow. John Hardie and Ivana Stradner comment on the timing of the visit:

For Moscow, the visit likely reflects a continuation of its efforts to leverage the Palestinians and other issues to pressure Israel over its stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia and Israel built friendly relations in the decades following the Soviet Union’s dissolution. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Jerusalem condemned the war, but made sure to tread carefully in order to preserve working ties with Moscow, lest Russian military forces in Syria disrupt Israel’s strategically important air operations there.

Nevertheless, bilateral tensions spiked in April after Yair Lapid, then serving as Israel’s foreign minister, joined the chorus of voices worldwide accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Jerusalem later provided Kyiv with some non-lethal military aid and a field hospital. In response, Moscow hardened its rhetoric about Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian issue isn’t the only way that Russia has sought to pressure Israel. Moscow is also threatening, on seemingly spurious grounds, to shutter the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency.

Moscow likely has little appetite for outright conflict with Israel, particularly when the bulk of Russia’s military is floundering in Ukraine. But there are plenty of other ways that Russia, which maintains an active intelligence presence in the Jewish state, could damage Israel’s interests. As Moscow cozies up with Hamas, Iran, and other enemies of Israel, Jerusalem—and its American allies—would do well to keep a watchful eye.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Russia