Tag Archives: Jerusalem

Never An End


Never An End (Randyjw; January 4, 2017)


Maybe you were to think me off-course

In my determined direction askew of due North

And eyes casted east toward your terraced gardens

hidden from cursory discovery and invasion


Yet so well obscured that you have necessarily become

reserved for the hardiest seekers in whose truths lay your compass’s sanctum

no cartographer can plot where these points diverge

the four swords revolve at the doors to our Gan


I have never forgotten you and there will never be an end

you are forever in my heart, Jerusalem and Eden


Comments Off on Never An End

Filed under Poetry

Tiles of the Temple Found


As a child and throughout the all-important developmental years of my youth, I was fortunate to be raised by hard-working parents who struggled to afford me the privileges of providing cultural opportunities to enrich my growth.


I attended day camp and summer camp, and had occasional treats of museum or aquarium visits, the Nutcracker suite ballet (back when it was the real, visiting Russian Moscow ballet, to whom nobody has ever held a candle to, to this day), and ice shows. There were piano-, ice-skating and tennis lessons (skiing I had to pay for myself).


These are important things, which I think that many of today’s families just don’t bother undertaking with their children. I spent many after-school days at my friend’s house, and she was also a fixture at ours, accompanying my mother and I to an occasional outing. My favorites usually involved trips to the museum. I particularly took a shine to the polished gemstones for purchase for between $1.00-to-$3.00 in the museum’s gift shop, as did my friend, and I had a small collection of a few good rocks: micah, pyrite, and others.


I was also really enraptured of the Egyptian artifact collections, as well as the heiroglyphic and ancient writing systems of the ancient Middle Eastern cultures, spending some time in youthful pursuit, which is to say, not so seriously, unfortunately, in trying to learn some of these systems. Odd how it was that when my friend and I concocted our own secret alphabet code, we happened to have used some of the same symbols formulated by the ancients of old. I believe there must be some type of universal symbol usage, or perhaps more narrowly Middle Eastern, that perpetuates in ancient memories of the mind. I bet that if today’s coded kids’ alphabets were studied, they’d find the same symbols still in effect (add this to my Crazy Theory subset: #2, if I remember to do so).


I never extrapolated my love in my youth for the Egyptian archaeological finds early enough to realize that it could be a field of study for me, applied to Israeli/Jewish culture. Most study of archaeology in its beginnings were conducted mostly under the auspices of societies/Foundations/schools studying Egyptian, Assyrian and Hittite culture. Jews were excluded from among such groups due to anti-Semitism, and via the fact that they weren’t allowed entrance in such a capacity to those other Middle Eastern countries, anyways. Israel was still being referred to by the old designation of “Palestine”, in any case, as well.


In really recent times, though, I was briefly able to realize this great honor in studying Israeli archaeology via the Israeli Ministry of Tourism acceptance of me into its program of licensure to be a tour guide. In a participating academic program I enrolled in (I was unable to complete the full course of certification, due to personal circumstances I let get in the way), my course studies took me on field trips accessible only to archaeologists behind locked gates and other areas way beyond that which even the scope of a tourist trip could reveal. It was incredible.


One day I was watching t.v. with my mother about Israel and its sites, and there was one of my classmates, described as an expert, leading a televised tour of a particular ancient site, and I excitedly pointed him out to my mother.


Israel’s top archaeologists were my classroom and field guide teachers. One spoke of his Yemeni wife and related tales of his visit with the Princess of Bhutan, as he led us up mountains and past old water drainage systems cut into the hillsides. Another, whom I really related to and admired immensely, is one of Israel’s leading archaeologists. Dr. Gabriel Barkay is the archaeologist whose excavations uncovered the oldest found Biblical text, incised in proto-Hebraic script onto two silver scrolls: that of the Aharonic Blessing (one of my favorites) of Numbers 6:24-26 and the other of Deuteronomy 7:9, dating to approximately the 7th Century BCE, according to information I found at the Israel Tour Guide / Israel Tours blogsite of Shmuel Browns (read his article, below).


Prior to the beginning of my educational training, I participated briefly in a project known as the Temple Mount Sifting Project, where dirt which had been removed during illegal Arab construction and excavation on the Temple Mount was being sifted and combed through for any archaeological artifacts it might yield. While I did not find anything….


Stone tiles matching the new Roman foot measurement of 29.6 cm used by Herod such as at his other palaces, like Masada, Jericho, and Herodion, of flooring installed in the inlaid opus sectile, or “cut work” style, unknown in Israel prior to Herod’s time, have since been found of imported marble and stone from Rome, Asia Minor, Tunisia and Egypt.


King Herod was responsible for many great building projects throughout Israel under vasselage of the Roman Empire. The tiles dating to this time confirm the Jewish Temple having been built then (37-4 BCE, according to the information found at Breaking Israel News), and there. Other contemporaneous sources during Temple period times comes from the historian Flavius Josephus, in his First Century book, “The Jewish Wars”, who writes of the courtyard of the Jewish Temple being paved with multicolored stone, as well as Talmudic literature speaking of colors of green, blue and white. More than 100 of the 600 tiles found date to this period.


The timing couldn’t have been a better counterpoint to 9-11 this year (as well as BDS, EU labeling, UNESCO declaration of the Temple Mount being solely holy to our sworn enemies, etc…).


G-d sure does have a great sense of humor, doesn’t He?


See the archaeological evidence at Breaking Israel News (scroll through entire article to see the different geometrical patterns posited in reconstruction and refurbishment, about halfway down the page) at: http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/75233/first-time-ever-undeniable-evidence-jewish-temple-discovered-photos/


Berkowitz, Adam Eliyahu. “For First Time Ever, Archaeological Evidence Proves Jewish Temple Stood On Temple Mount [PHOTOS]”. Breaking Israel News.com; September 6, 2016: http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/75233/first-time-ever-undeniable-evidence-jewish-temple-discovered-photos/


Browns, Shmuel. “Ketef Hinnom Silver Amulets”. Israel Tour Guide / Israel Tours; March 16, 2011: https://israel-tourguide.info/2011/0316/ketef-hinnom-silver-amulet/


Comments Off on Tiles of the Temple Found

Filed under Explore, Israel

Beyond the Wall


Beyond the Wall (Randyjw; June 30, 2016)


The most beautiful song of all

Is here in the city, beyond your wall


Comments Off on Beyond the Wall

Filed under Poetry

Jewish Temple Mount Heritage Claim


"The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest (perhaps from pre-historic times). Its identity with the site of Solomon's Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to the universal belief, on which "David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings". - A Brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif; Supreme Moslem Council, Jerusalem, 1924.

“The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest (perhaps from pre-historic) times. Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to the universal belief, on which “David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings”. – A Brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif; Supreme Moslem Council, Jerusalem, 1924.




Comments Off on Jewish Temple Mount Heritage Claim

Filed under Israel

Major Israeli Medical Breakthrough

In my email “inbox” today, I discovered great news delivered in a promotional piece sent by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency for Hadassah.org — Israel has accomplished yet another medical breakthrough in science, discovering a new treatment where 87% of participants in a clinical trial between June 2011 and October 2014 at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem improved respiratory or motor functioning in their bodies from the ravages of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS; also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) or a lessening of the progression of the disease.

This is an incredible achievement in terms of the highly successful rate of impact these results have had upon these patients. Patients’ own bone marrow stem cells were used in an Israeli/U.S. biotech company-developed infusion directly injected into the spinal cord fluid (tested against intramuscular injection) in order to induce neurotrophic factors to extend the survival of motor neurons. Both the stem cell protocol and the injection site are world firsts for these methodologies and discoveries.

It’s unfortunate that these advances came too late to help individuals, such as my cousin, who lost his life to this disease. It’s even more unfortunate that worldwide divestment and sanctions on Israel would deprive the rest of the world of such life-saving measures contributed to humanity by the people of Israel.

Information in the article above, discovered initially via a Hadassah promotional advertisement broadcast via email through Jewish Telegraphic Agency, January 26, 2016, was further sourced at its original site:

http://archneur.jamanetwork.com/OnlineFirst.aspx (then scroll to the article):

Journal of American Medical Association/JAMA Neurology, January 11, 2016. Original Investigation. Safety and Clinical Effects of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Secreting Neurotrophic Factor Transplantation in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Results of Phase 1/2 and 2a Clinical Trials. Panayiota Petrou, MD; Yael Gothelf, PhD; Zohar Argov, MD; Mark Gotkine, MD; Yossef S. Levy, PhD; Ibrahim Kassis, PhD; Adi Vaknin-Dembinsky, MD; Tamir Ben-Hur, MD; Daniel Offen, PhD; Oded Abramsky, MD; Eldad Melamed, MD; Dimitrios Karussis, MD, PhD.

Information for the rest of the article below was sourced via Wikipedia.org:


Hadassah was formed in 1912 by Henrietta Szold and is a volunteer women’s organization founded to train nurses for Israel, in what was still called “Palestine” during the Turkish Ottoman Empire, and to improve the public health of all Israel’s citizens.

Hadassah treated wounded people of both sides, Jews and Arabs, during the Arab riots of 1920. It joined forces in 1926 in partnering with the Jewish National Fund (an organization created in 1901 dealing with development  and infrastructure of Israel’s land). Hadassah’s business model involves funding and development to create structures and projects, which are run successfully until they are turned over to Israel’s government and municipalities. Many of these have been funded by American Hebrew school students and other financers.

In 1933, the Berlin branch of Youth Aliyah from Hadassah began to resettle Jewish children to Palestine, to get them out of Germany, which was beginning to turn against the Jews.

Construction on the Hadassah site at Mount Scopus in Jerusalem is begun in 1934 and reaches completion in 1936, praised by Britain in its 1937 Peel Commission report for providing services to all communities, including Arab.

Their fundraising efforts during World War Two included raising $200 million dollars worth of U.S. government defense bonds.

Beginning on April 13th, 1948 and lasting for hours, seventy-eight Jews in their convoy to get supplies to Hadassah in Jerusalem were ambushed by Arabs and massacred. Armored vehicles had been necessary due to violent and continual attacks by the Arabs upon the Jews. Mount Scopus, and with it Hadassah hospital and Hebrew University, are overrun and are lost to the Arabs until 1967, when Israel liberated the areas from Arab occupation.

In 1959, Hadassah extends aid to developing nations by training doctors from Africa and Asia in cooperation with the World Health Organization, and later included South African doctors.

In 1986, Israel is one of only five centers capable of performing test-tube conception.

In 1988, Hadassah helped plan, construct and open a hospital in Kinshasha, Zaire.

In response to the release of Soviet Jewry (not formerly allowed to leave the Soviet Union), for which Hadassah had advocated and organized marches, Hadassah begins to retrain the Russian immigrants.

They also help replace 100,000 Jewish National Fund (JNF) trees destroyed by arson, provide recreational facilities in Galilee, and provide over 400 eye surgeries to the blind in Kenya in 1990. They help develop programs helping the 14,500 Ethiopian immigrants who arrived in one day to Israel in “Operation Solomon”.

In 1996, they collected and delivered over 100 tons of supplies to war-torn Bosnia’s people. Medical equipment and eight tons of medical supplies are provided by Hadassah to Kosovan refugees in 1998. In 2004, Hadassah raises funds to help victims of Hurricane Charley in Florida.

Some doctors of the team in this ALS study helped improve the functioning of a lab rat with Parkinson’s disease in 2004. They led groundbreaking studies in 2008 for patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Their Jerusalem Hospitals were nominated in 2005 for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Hadassah does work on every continent in the world except Antarctica.

Comments Off on Major Israeli Medical Breakthrough

Filed under Uncategorized