UK minister visits Western Wall

UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid, a Muslim, visited the Western Wall (Kotel) during his latest visit to Israel. It comes 19 years after the last British government minister visited Jerusalem and the Western Wall. (N.B. Boris Johnson visited the Kotel in 2016 when Mayor of London.)

Biblical mosaics in ancient Galilee synagogue

Biblical mosaics recently uncovered at a 1,600-year-old synagogue in the Galilean town of Huqoq include the earliest known artistic rendering of the little-known Exodus story of Elim, and a partially preserved depiction of the Book of Daniel’s grotesque four beasts.

Jerusalem rebuilt

Israel’s capital is seeing huge numbers of building projects. They include the Jerusalem Gateway business park, a new wing of Shaare Tzedek hospital, the new National Library, the Jerusalem cable car and new court buildings in Jaffa Road.  Things are definitely “looking up”.

Eighth century BCE watch tower uncovered

150 soldiers and officers of the IDF Paratroopers brigade have excavated a 2,700-year-old watchtower near Ashkelon, that was standing when the Jewish King Hezekiah ruled Judea. Archaeologists believe the tower was used to transmit messages via beacons.

Genesis Prize winner donates prize money (and more)

At the Genesis Prize award ceremony in Jerusalem, New England Patriots owner, businessman and philanthropist Robert Kraft pledged $20 million, including his Genesis Prize money, towards combating online anti-Semitism, specifically among 18-35-year-olds.

See the Real Israel

Details of Honest Reporting’s 2019 Israel mission (Dec 18 - 26) to give non-Israelis the opportunity to discover the Israel that the media doesn’t report. 

At the Kotel, water from the air

I reported previously on Israel’s WaterGen and its technology to produce water from the moisture in the air. Visitors to Jerusalem’s Kotel (Western Wall) can now access a WaterGen machine at the Kotel plaza to produce pure cold drinking water.

New / old Hebrew words

The Academy of the Hebrew Language has published a list of 1,400 new words and phrases it recently approved. One unusual example, requested by environmentalists, is the waste product from extracting oil from olives. The new word is “mohal” and has its origins in Talmudic texts.

Biblical fortress discovered

Marine archaeologists have found a 2,200-year-old maritime fortress off the coast at Tel Dor, south of Haifa. The site, mentioned in biblical texts, was built by a Hellenistic ruler during the period of the Hasmoneans. The fortress in underwater due to the sea level rising over the centuries.

Celebrating Jerusalem Day

Tens of thousands of flag-waving Israelis marched through Jerusalem to mark the unification of Jerusalem’s eastern and western sectors in the 1967 Six Day War. See Jacob Richman’s photos – click on the first link and then on the arrows. And worth watching the Six-Day-War video.