Table of Content:
From Jehuda Halevi’s Songs To Zion: From The Poems of Charles Reznikoff 1918-1975, Seamus Cooney, ed. (Boston: David R Godine Publisher, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by The Estate of Charles Reznikoff. Reprinted by permission of the publisher
The Most Calamitous Jewish Day: The 9th Day Of Av (Aug. 10, 2019) Guide For The Perplexed: Yoram Ettinger, The Ettinger Report, Aug. 6, 2019
The Truth about Jerusalem’s City of David – The Lies about Silwan: Nadav Shragai, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, July 10, 2019
Don’t Entrust Jerusalem to the Muslims or the Jews (or the French): Douglas Feith, Mosaic, July 29, 2019
From Jehuda Halevi’s Songs To Zion: From The Poems of Charles Reznikoff 1918-1975
Seamus Cooney, ed.
(Boston: David R Godine Publisher, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by The Estate of Charles Reznikoff. Reprinted by permission of the publisher
FROM JEHUDA HALEVI’S SONGS TO ZION*
My heart in the East
and I at the farthest West:
how can I taste what I eat or find it sweet
is in the cords of Edom and I
bound by the Arab?
Beside the dust of Zion
all the good of Spain is light;
and a light thing to leave it.
And if it is now only a land of howling beasts and owls
was it not so
when given to our fathers—
all of it only a heritage of thorns and thistles?
But they walked in it—
His name in their hearts, sustenance!—
as in a park among flowers.
In the midst of the sea
when the hills of it slide and sink
and the wind
lifts the water like sheaves—
now a heap of sheaves and then a floor for the threshing—
and sail and planks shake
and the hands of the sailors are rags,
and no place for flight but the sea,
and the ship is hidden in waves
like a theft in the thief’s hand,
suddenly the sea is smooth
and the stars shine on the water.
Wisdom and knowledge—except to swim—
have neither fame nor favor here;
a prisoner of hope, he gave his spirit to the winds,
and is owned by the sea;
between him and death—a board.
Zion, do you ask if the captives are at peace—
the few that are left?
I cry out like the jackals when I think of their grief;
but, dreaming of the end of their captivity,
I am like a harp for your songs.
[To read more poems, click the following LINK – Ed.]
Remembrance breeds deliverance, while forgetfulness feeds oblivion. According to a legend, Napoleon walking one night in the streets of Paris, heard lamentations emanating from a synagogue. When told that the wailing commemorated the 9th Day of Av – the 586 BCE destruction of the First Jewish Temple in Jerusalem – he proclaimed: “People who solemnize ancient history are destined for a glorious future!” The verb “to remember” (זכור) appears almost 200 times in the Old Testament, including the Ten Commandments. Judaism obligates parents to transfer tradition/memories to their offspring.
The most calamitous events in Jewish history occurred on the 9th Day of Av and are commemorated annually, in order to minimize future calamities:
*Barring entrance to the Promised Land to all Jews who left Egypt during the Exodus – other than Joshua & Caleb – and dooming them to die in the desert by prolonging the Exodus for 40 years. This calamity was triggered by the mistrust of the divine promise to inherit the Land of Israel; the slandering of the Land of Israel; and the preference for immediate convenience and conventional “wisdom” over faith and long-term reality and vision.
*The destruction of Jerusalem and the First Temple by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (586 BCE), which resulted in the massacre of 100,000 Jews and a massive national exile. This devastation was the result of the failed institution of the Jewish monarchy (as forewarned by Gideon the Judge and Samuel the Prophet), the post-King Solomon violent rupture of the Jewish Kingdom into the kingdoms of Judea and Israel (Samaria), paganism, incest, and the corruption of Jewish Kings and Priests.
*The destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple by the Roman Emperor, Titus (70 CE) – which occurred as a result of severe intra-Jewish divisiveness, unjustified-hatred, physical fighting and moral decay (e.g., the mistreatment of widows and orphans) and paganism – triggered the massacre of one million Jews and another massive national exile. The Roman aim was to erase Judaism and the Jewish people from human memory. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
On July 1, 2019, a photo of the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, and U.S. envoy, Jason Greenblatt, striking a thin and symbolic wall with a sledgehammer – a wall built to separate two parts of the ancient Pilgrimage Road – became the headline of the whole event.
This is one of the most sensational archaeological discoveries to be made in Jerusalem since Israel’s establishment. On this road, which was remarkably preserved under the ashes of the Roman destruction, many thousands of Jews – according to the historical descriptions – walked in Second Temple times after a ritual bath in the Shiloah Pool about 700 meters from the Temple Mount.
Over the past five years, Israeli archaeologists have uncovered 350 meters of this road including numerous artifacts that bring back to life the last battle in Jerusalem, about 2,000 years ago, between the Jewish rebels and the Romans.
Friedman attended the dedication ceremony not only to express recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the City of David area, but also to admire a magnificent archaeological endeavor of the Israel Antiquities Authority, replete with discoveries and finds. Although this enterprise was dedicated by Israel on June 30, it began more than a hundred years ago at a site excavated by non-Israeli archaeologists, at a time when the State of Israel did not exist, and Jerusalem was under Muslim rule.
Archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority, closely supervised by safety engineers (in line with the world’s strictest standards), have been searching for or excavating the Pilgrimage Road – mistakenly known as the Herodian Road – only since the beginning of the 2000s. But they and the Antiquities Authority are not the first to look for this road or excavate it. They were preceded in the period of Jordanian rule by the British archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon, who uncovered the more northern parts of the Pilgrimage Road and also warned that the City of David should be excavated hastily before the Jordanians paved a road there – which is indeed what they eventually did. Kenyon was preceded by an archaeological research delegation during the period of the British Mandate. And this delegation was preceded at the end of the nineteenth century, in the time of Ottoman rule, by the archaeologists Jones Bliss and Archibald Dickie.
Before discussing the many discoveries from the new excavation, we first need to disprove the allegation that it endangers the homes of the residents of the Arab neighborhood of Silwan. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
In his essay in Mosaic on diplomacy, law, and Jerusalem, the estimable Michel Gurfinkiel asks, “What is international law?” and comments, “It’s easy enough to doubt, if not to mock, the idea that there is such a thing.” It sure is. The last century of U.S. policy on Jerusalem is a tale of cynicism and sanctimony that makes one wonder whether U.S. officials ever take international law seriously.
The Holy City commanded little international attention in the 700 or so years after Muslims defeated the Christian Crusaders. That changed, however, in December 1917, when British forces captured Jerusalem from the Ottomans in World War I. The city and its holy places became a diplomatic issue. British officials spoke passionately of their duty to keep the city and its holy sites under Christian—and specifically British—control.
Handing it all back to the Muslims was out of the question for the men who led the British Empire. Even those who were pro-Zionist, such as Prime Minister David Lloyd George, couldn’t quite imagine Jews in charge of the city, with authority over the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Garden of Gethsemane. Nor was Lloyd George receptive to claims of interest in Jerusalem by the French, whom he scorned as “atheistic” or, in any event, Roman Catholic.
For the 30 years after World War I, Britain administered Palestine. Its officials established Jerusalem, naturally, as the seat of government there. Mostly Protestants, they quarreled with Vatican representatives and Eastern Orthodox Church clerics over various municipal matters, but one thing they all agreed on was that the city could not be entrusted to Muslims or Jews.
That was the origin of the idea that, when Palestine is eventually partitioned between the Jews and the Arabs, Jerusalem should be internationalized. Partition of Palestine became an urgent matter in 1947 when war-weary Britain chose to relinquish the territory, asking the United Nations to decide its fate. The UN created a committee, which recommended a plan with four elements. (1) Part of Palestine would become a Jewish state. (2) Part would become an Arab state. (3) The two states would form an economic union. (4) Jerusalem and its environs would become a zone outside both new states, a “corpus separatum” under international control; that is, the world’s Christian powers could retain influence over the city.
On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly endorsed this plan. The United States voted in favor. Palestine’s Jewish leadership agreed to accept it, but the leaders of the Arabs in Palestine and the neighboring states did not, and launched a war to prevent Palestine’s partition.
None of the plan’s four elements survived the bloody fighting. The Jewish-majority state of Israel came into being, but not with Arab consent. Its postwar boundaries—the armistice lines that lasted from 1949 till 1967—were not those of the partition plan. The Arab state in Palestine never came into being. (Egypt and Jordan promptly seized the land intended for it.) The economic union never came into being. And Jerusalem never became an internationalized corpus separatum. Israel took over the city’s western part, and Jordan the eastern part, including the walled Old City.
Though the 1948-9 war had killed the plan, U.S. officials insisted that its corpus-separatum provisions precluded recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This became U.S. policy, but it wasn’t true.
On Topic Links:
Has Eilat Mazar Discovered Archaeological Evidence of Isaiah the Prophet?: Brad Macdonald, The Trumpet, Feb. 21, 2018 –– King Hezekiah was concerned, but not distraught. The Assyrian army, notorious for its brutality, was cutting a path through Judah.
The Real Apartheid in Hebron: Boomerang Fighting for Israel, Aug. 8, 2019, YouTube.
Lenny Ben David, Twitter, Aug. 8, 2019 –“The 9th day of Hebrew month Av is a day of calamitous tragedies in Jewish history. #TishaBav. One of my fav pictures, taken 99 y.a. Library of Congress captioned it “Jewish beggar reading at the Wailing Wall.” I believe it was taken on Tisha B’Av. He’s reading Lamentations.”
Democrats’ Debate Cowardice, Hypocrisy, and Nuttiness: Victor Davis Hanson, National Post, Aug. 6, 2019 — Half of the Democratic 20-person primary field in the debates appeared unhappy, shrill, and self-righteous, and determined that no candidate should out-left any other.
Today’s French-language Weekly Briefing is titled:
CIJR wishes all our friends and supporters Shabbat Shalom!