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Emet m'Tsiyon

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Turk Evliya Chelebi Describes Ancient Jewish Remains in the Safed Area

Safed is in an area of many shrines, especially tombs of ancient Jewish and Israelite personalities, which Chelebi described in his account of his journey [1648-1650].
For example:
It was in this cave that Ya`qub [Jacob] wept for 40 years over the loss of Yusuf [Joseph] . . .
Yet the cave under the citadel [of Safed] is called the Grotto of Qetur`. . . The entrance to the cave is closed. Yet they [the buried] are visited. Their visitors are mostly Jews, who come thither very often. They do this because it is written in their chronicles. . . [p26]
The Children of Israel fled from the plague and hid themselves in those caves (near Safed). [p28]
He also mentions Nablus, built by the Flavian emperors [72 CE], Titus and Vespasian, after defeating the Jews in the first revolt. They built it near the ruins of ancient Sh'khem and called the new city Nea Polis [new city in Greek], which the Arabs pronounced Nablus. Here Chelebi writes of Nablus:
the town is Samaritan. . . the Children of Israel built it [p47]
Samaritans still live in Nablus, although it is not likely that they were the majority in Chelebi's time. They consider themselves descendants of Israel, although not Jews. However, under Muslim rule, the Samaritans were under the authority of the Jewish community leaders.
Near Nablus is:
"the shrine of Esau, son of Isaac. . . It is no marvel that the Jews visit this shrine, because it is mentioned in their Chronicles. They also visit that one of the children of Isaac. [p51]
The tomb of Samuel the Prophet believed to be on the highest mountain near Jerusalem, at a village now called Nebi Samwil:
Shimwel contains the shrine of Shimwel. . . It is a place for pilgrimage for all and sundry"[p54 and note]
Mujir al-Din, a Muslim judge in Jerusalem of the 15th century, mentions Shimwel and says that the Jews call it Ramah. The waqfs of the village are controlled by the Alami family of Jerusalem. The Alami family are still a notable family among the Arabs in the Jerusalem area. This tells us that back in the 17th century they already controlled estates and the income from estates through their control of the Muslim waqf [plural-awqaf], the body that controls property supposedly belonging to the Muslims collectively and inalienable. In fact, the waqf feeds most those who control it.

Jerusalem drew Muslims from various places. Living on the Temple Mount were:
dervishes from India [Hind], Sind, Balkh, Persia, and Kurds, Tatars, Moghuls and Turks [p89]
He describes the Valley of Ben-Hinnom in Jerusalem:
The Valley of Hell [Gai Ben-Hinnom, גיא בן חינום , in Arabic Jahanammu] . . . contains all the tombs of the Jews. . . those irreligious people [p92]
[Evliya Celebi (Tshelebi), Travels in Palestine (Jerusalem: Ariel 1980)]
Actually, the Qidron Valley below the Mount of Olives has many many old Jewish graves, especially on the eastern slope, and a few notable ancient Jewish tombs in the valley, such as the Tombs of the B'ney Hezir, the so-called Yad Absalom, etc. The Qidron Valley joins the Valley of Hinnom [or of Ben Hinnom] near the Shilo'ah [Silwan] pool.

Here an educated Muslim traces the history of the Land of Israel back to Israel, the Jews. He does not subscribe to the big lie of a "Palestinian people" so beloved of 21st century Nazi-sympathizers and Judeophobes.
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Coming: more on BBC and Holocaust, the Assyrians in Iraq, etc.


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