The last several weeks have been fairly quiet in Israel, and for this we are immensely thankful. We would like to take this opportunity to share with you some good news coming out of Israel. Recently archaeologists have made several amazing discoveries that tangibly demonstrate the Jewish people’s ancient connection to the land of Israel. No one can say that the Jews have no claim on this land, because every time someone digs in Israel they find more evidence that their people have lived there for thousands of years.
One of the most significant recent finds was the discovery of an extremely rare synagogue from the Second Temple Era in the foothills of the Galilee. Only eight such synagogues have been found, and this is the first one found in what would have been a rural village at the time. This first century synagogue was uncovered only a few weeks ago, and provides an exciting glimpse of Jewish community life in the Galilee before the Romans destroyed the Second Temple.
In another part of the Galilee, at a different ancient Jewish synagogue, this summer archaeologists uncovered part of a beautiful mosaic floor depicting scenes from the Bible. Several biblical scenes had already been found at this site, but the two scenes found this summer are very rare. One of them shows Pharaoh’s soldiers being swallowed by giant fish in the Red Sea, and the other shows the pairs of animals loaded onto Noah’s Ark.
In Jerusalem, excavations of the city that existed 2,000 years ago have revealed a new neighborhood that may have been where the temple priests lived. This neighborhood was certainly wealthy, and archaeologists have found several rare items in these ancient houses – including a bathtub that has only been found in three other places in Israel. The artifacts found here paint a fascinating picture of how Jerusalem’s elite Jewish citizens lived thousands of years ago.
One of the most common arguments Israel’s detractors use against modern Israel is the claim that Jews are foreigners brought to Israel after the Holocaust. This is a false talking point used by Israel’s enemies, but archaeological evidence irrefutably demonstrates that Jews have lived continuously in Israel for over 3,500 years. This is their homeland, and the ground is filled with the proof.