January 28: Nahman Avigad in the Old City

Israeli archaeologist Nahman Avigad, who excavated the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem and discovered remnants of the Jewish revolt against Rome that was crushed by Titus, as described in the work of Josephus, died at 86 on this date in 1992. Avigad also worked on excavating Masada as well as the caves […]

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January 2: The Empress Eudocia in Jerusalem

Aelia Eudocia, a pagan Greek aristocrat who converted to Christianity in 421 when she married the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II, was declared ‘Augusta’ by her husband on this date in 423, a title that elevated her power in the royal court. In 438, Eudocia Augusta journeyed to Jerusalem, where she would ultimately live the final […]

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The Khanike Rebellion, Before and After

by Yankl Stillman IT ALL STARTED over 2,300 years ago. Alexander of Macedonia (aka Alexander the Great) conquered an empire that stretched from the Aegean Sea to the Indus River. It might have been even bigger had he not died in Babylonia in 323 BCE, at the age of 32. When you have an empire […]

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Jewish History for Teens

Four Millenia of Great Diversity — In 300+ Pages by Gerald Sorin From the Spring, 2015 issue of Jewish Currents Reviewed in this Essay: The Veterans of History: A Young Person’s History of the Jews, by Mitchell Silver. Center for Jewish Culture and Social Justice, 2014, 334 pages. MITCHELL SILVER IS A CONSUMMATE STORYTELLER, and […]

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March 14: The Mishkan

Construction of the Mishkan, a portable tabernacle or tent to house “God’s presence,” was completed in the Sinai wilderness on this date in 1312 BCE, according to Biblical reckoning (as figured by the Lubavitcher khasidim). The design, according to the Torah, had been issued in lengthy detail to Moses on Mount Sinai, and the construction […]

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June 23: Vespasian and Yohanan ben Zakai

The Roman General Vespasian, who ruled Rome from 69 to 79 CE and subjugated Judea during the Jewish uprising in 66, died on this date in 79. It was Vespasian who, while besieging Jerusalem, gave permission to Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakai, who had been smuggled out of the city in a coffin, to establish a […]

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May 7: Two Centuries After Bar Kokhba

Constantius Gallus Caesar, a cousin of Emperor Constantinius II, arrived to take charge of Antioch, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire (Syria-Palestine), on this date in 351 CE. A Jewish revolt broke out within days, prompted by the Romans’ favoritism towards Christianity (Antioch was the center of early Christianity and was given as the […]

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The Bible as (Not!) History

by Bennett Muraskin PEOPLE OFTEN CLAIM that the history of the Jews dates back 4,000 years. Actually, it is closer to 3,000 years, but that’s still a long time, in human terms. Certainly, few non-fundamentalists take the Adam and Eve or Noah stories literally, but many people do insist, on no firmer historical basis, that […]

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