26 February 2017 - 30 Shevat 5777 - ל' שבט ה' אלפים תשע"ז
Arts & Culture
Earliest reference to Jerusalem documented E-mail

A rare and important find has been exposed in an enforcement operation initiated by the Israel Antiquities Authority Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery.

A document written on papyrus and dating to the time of the First Temple (seventh century BCE) in which the name of the city of Jerusalem is clearly indicated. This is the earliest extra-biblical source to mention Jerusalem in Hebrew writing.

Two lines of ancient Hebrew script were preserved on the document that is made of papyrus (paper produced from the pith of the papyrus plant [Cyperus papyrus]). A paleographic examination of the letters and a C14 analysis determined that the artifact should be dated to the seventh century BCE – to the end of the First Temple period. Most of the letters are clearly legible, and the proposed reading of the text appears as follows:

This is a rare and original shipping document from the time of the First Temple, indicating the payment of taxes or transfer of goods to storehouses in Jerusalem, the capital city of the kingdom at this time.

The document specifies the status of the sender of the shipment (the king’s maidservant), the name of the settlement from which the shipment was dispatched (Na’arat), the contents of the vessels (wine), their number or amount (jars) and their destination (Jerusalem). Na’artah, which is mentioned in the text, is the same Na’arat that is referred to in the description of the border between Ephraim and Benjamin in Joshua 16:7: “And it went down from Janohah to Ataroth, and to Na’arat, and came to Jericho, and went out at Jordan”.

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Experts study Indian Jewish genes E-mail

Shedding more light on the origin of Kochi’s Jewish population, a study conducted by experts in the US and Israel has found that the Jews from Kochi had dual ancestries, both Indian and Jewish.

Previous studies had found that they had only Indian ancestry. The study, titled “Genetic History of Cochin Jews from India”, was conducted by 10 experts from Cornell University, Tel Aviv University and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

Dr Yedael Waldman, from Tel Aviv University’s depart ment of molecular microbiology and biotechnology, led the study. The study analysed the genetic history and structure of 21 Jews from Kochi using genome-wide data. At present, only five Jews reside in Kochi; the rest have migrated to Israel. The DNA was collected in Israel several years ago and was genotyped in US. The data analysis process took two years.

The analysis showed that the Jewish gene flow into this community took place approximately 470,730 years ago, with contributions from Yemenite, Sephardi (Jews whose ancestors lived in Spain and Portugal) and Middle-Eastern Jews.

Waldman said that in 1492, Jews living in Spain were forced to either convert to Christianity or leave the country. Many chose to leave Spain and joined various Jewish populations. A small group of them reached Kochi and joined the local community.

“The IBD analysis (which measures how many genomic segments, which reflect a recent common ancestor, are shared between individuals) also showed that Cochin Jews share significantly more DNA segments with Indian population. Among the Indian populations, the Gounder, Malla, Kshatriya and Brahmin communities showed the highest IBD sharing with Cochin Jews.”

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Tali Rubinstein brings Israel’s music to Manila E-mail

Tali Rubinstein, an internationally acclaimed recorder player, singer and composer from Israel, connected her music to the future generation of musicians in Manila as part of the Israel Embassy’s recent cultural programme.

Rubenstein, who specialises in contemporary, original and jazz music, held masterclasses at the New Era University, Philippine Women’s University, University of Sto. Tomas and University of the Philippines Diliman from 8 to 12 November. She also performed with the Manila Symphony Orchestra on 10 November at the Ayala Museum in Makati City. Her performance and masterclasses were part of her Fall 2016 Tour, which also took her to Denmark, Germany, Spain and Taiwan.

Digging into classical music,jazz,pop and R&B music, Tali has been defying the boundaries of the ancient baroque instrument.

Fuelled by her passion for jazz and contemporary music, Tali received a full scholarship and became the first-ever recorder player to study at the Berklee College of Music, Boston. She has represented Berklee at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., and upon graduation she received the W.S. Kenney award for outstanding achievement.

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