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Emet m'Tsiyon

Saturday, October 15, 2005


NeoPhytos [Neophitos] continues his account of the repercussions in Israel of the Greek revolt of 1821. The local Muslims showed themselves loyal to the empire when it came to keeping the dhimmis in their place. The local Arab Muslims joined --arms in hand-- in suppressing the dhimmis at the Sultan's command. They were also interested in loot that they might take from the dhimmis. The notables were not especially those who went in for physical looting. They were able to extort money from the dhimmis in rather genteel ways. As a matter of fact, the Muslim notables were quite avid to extort money from dhimmis even in "normal times" [that is, normal in the terms of the Ottoman Empire or of most Muslim states, for that matter]. We shall demonstrate their habitual extortion and shakedown of Jews in Jerusalem in the pre-Crusades period and in the late 18th century. Here we continue with NeoPhytos' story of the travails of the Jerusalem Greek Orthodox after the outbreak of the Greek revolt.
On the 29th of the same month [June 1821] fatal and destructive orders came from the Sultan. He commanded that all the Moslems should be called upon to garrison the cities, and more especially he gave orders that if traitors were found, they should execute them at their own discretion. These orders were quickly rumored about the city, but with quite a different interpretation. Mob leaders and dishonest people, desiring only to seize the property of the Christians, declared that orders had come from the Sultan to massacre all the Greeks (Romei). They held council and began to divide the spoils amongst themselves. One declared that he wished to kill so and so, another that he wished to have the wife of so and so, or his daughter or his son. Regarding the treasures of the Holy Sepulchre, they spent a long time discussing to whom they should go. [Extracts from the Annals of Palestine, 1821-1841 (Jerusalem: Ariel Pubs., 1979); p 14]
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Everyone knows how many of the Judeophobes of academia, sometimes called the "higher antisemites," are eager to disprove the Bible, to portray it as lacking any historical credibility, to deny ancient Jewish history, etc.

They have suffered another defeat on this front, although they might not want to admit it. It has been recently announced that a stamped seal [hotam] with the name of a Biblical personality has been found in diggings around the City of David. This area is the original Jerusalem where David and Solomon were kings. However, it is just south of the southern wall of the Old City, that is, outside the Old City of today. Researchers found a stamped seal imprinted with the name Yehukal ben Shelemiyah יהוכל בן שלמיה [in the old Hebrew script, of course]. This very name with the very same Hebrew spelling is found in the book of Jeremiah 37:3. The same person is mentioned a second time in the book of Jeremiah, although with his name spelled Yukal יוכל [Jer 38:1]. In English, his name is given as Jehucal son of Shelemiah or Jucal son of Shelemiah. He was an official of King Zedekiah, just the kind of person who would have a seal stamp. Aren't the Biblical Minimalists embarassed when the name of a Biblical personality turns up in concrete form in an archeological dig? Maybe when the facts contradict their politically and hate-motivated claims, they just get angry rather than acknowledge that the theory may be wrong.

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More on repercussions in Israel of the Greek revolt
More to come on the Arch of Titus and Roman coins celebrating victory over Judea


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