Thursday, August 20, 2009

Living with our history

A Guest Post by Rafi G

You learn some Jewish history, you learn some Jewish texts - Tana"ch, Mishnayos, Gemara, etc. and then you just trip over pieces of our history. Wherever you walk - you are walking where king David walked, fought and ruled, where Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov walked, where the kings of Israel lead and rebelled. Where the tannoim and amoraim (those who made it to Eretz Yisrael at least, along with those of the Yerushalmi) sat and learned.

Israel is where our history is completely around us at all times.

Here is the latest example of this. Mitch Pilcer has a set of "zimmerim" - or summer bungalows -near his home in Tzipori. We stayed there a number of years ago when we went up north. It is a beatiful place, and Tzipori is a beautiful village in a beautiful location, along with the history of Tzipori being the center of the Mishnaic era.

Well, Mitch Pilcer was digging behind his house in order to begin building some more bungalows. Sure enough, he stumbles upon a grave. After digging some more, it turns out he has found the 1800 year old grave of Rav Yehoshua Ben Levi, of the Talmudic era.

OK, there is a debate which one exactly it might be, and the antiquities authority is fighting about it and all that, but just the fact that he stumbled upon this - in his backyard - is absolutely amazing. Israel is the place where we live with our history.

Search for more information about ancient graves found in peoples backyards at

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