תקצירי מאמרים באנגלית לקתדרה גליון 154

Naama  Sukenik
Dyes in Eretz Israel in the Roman Period, in Light of the Textile Findings from the Judean Desert Caves
The study of dyes encompasses many issues which may broaden our knowledge in the study of early material culture in a variety of fields including, inter alia, the dyeing industry, technological ability, daily life, fashion, and trade. In this study, 180 samples were taken from fabrics found in a number of refuge caves in the Judean Desert. The samples were analyzed using the HPLC-DAD method in order to identify the origins of the dyes with which the textiles were dyed. The results of the study match the historical sources which indicate that most of the dyes were produced from readily available plants, which were less costly than dyes from difficult to obtain animal sources. It is apparent from the results of the study that most of the textiles were dyed using a limited number of plant dyes: Rubia tinctorum L., which produces red hues; Isatis tinctoria L. or Indigofera tinctoria L., which produce blue hues; and Reseda luteola L. which produces yellow hues. It was also found that the other hues were obtained by ‘double dyeing’. Three unique and prestigious textiles were found in Mura’abat Cave, which were dyed with dyes from animal sources – true purple and the scale insect – in order to obtain the purple hue.

Gideon Avni
Intensification and Abatement: Processes of Change in the Cities of Palestine during the Early Muslim Period

The Arab conquest of Palestine in the seventh century and the religious and cultural transition from Christian to Muslim rule have been widely debated in scholarship. The traditional approach, claiming a swift Arab conquest which triggered a rapid transition from Christianity to Islam, is being challenged by the plethora of archaeological findings from excavations in the major cities of Palestine and Jordan. These finds show that the Byzantine–Muslim transition was evidently a long and complicated process. It involved regional variability in the cities and countryside, diverse settlement patterns, and different types of populations. While some cities declined, others continued to flourish. This article presents the archaeological evidence from the major cities of Palestine and Jordan: Caesarea, Beth Shean, Tiberias, and Jarash that continued to exist and flourish after the Byzantine period; and Ramla, that was established on virgin soil in the early eighth century to become the capital of Early Muslim Palestine and a hub of commercial and industrial activities.
 The processes of continuity and change as reflected in the archaeological findings show an urban vitality of a different type when compared with that of the Roman and Byzantine periods. The process of Islamization was slower than previously believed, and the Christian and Jewish communities preserved their cultural and religious identities under Islamic rule. Changes in settlement pattern come about gradually during the Early Muslim period, while a dramatic change in the scope occurred only in late eleventh century.

Shraga Bar-on
‘A New God Who Would Put an End to the Agony of Humanity’: Reuben Rubin’s The Godseekers

Art has played a major role in the Hebrew renaissance from the late nineteenth century to the present. This article focuses on Reuben Rubin’s The Godseekers, a series of twelve wood carvings depicting various characters from the Bible to the artist’s day – prophets, commoners, secular Zionist lovers, Hassidic Jews, and Arabs –  all of whom partake in a ‘God seeking’ disposition of faith. Defining ‘God seeking’ as both a quest for god’s moral intervention in the world  and as a quest for the very existence of God, this article carefully analyzes Reuben’s work highlighting the unique character of plastic art in manifesting complicated states of faith. It concludes by arguing that the artist conceived of ‘God seeking’ as a cross-identity state of faith which is dominant in Jewish tradition from the earliest periods to the Zionist enterprise.

Yechiel Limor and Yair Safran
Hagalil – The First ‘Election Newspaper’ in Eretz Israel

In 1927, the weekly newspaper Hagalil was published in Haifa for four months. Although this was seemingly a local newspaper with limited circulation and an extremely short life span, it provides an interesting newspaper case study for at least three reasons. First, Hagalil was not only one of the pioneering newspapers in Palestine (Eretz Israel) but was also a pioneering local newspaper; second, it was the first ‘election newspaper’ published during the British Mandate period and it was intended to advance political goals; third, although the background and the reasons for its appearance were political in principle, Hagalil signaled a phenomenon which intensified in the following decades: a sense of alienation by residents of the periphery from those of the center and the need for them to develop their own alternative media.
 To all appearances, there was nothing innovative in the publication of a political or partisan newspaper in Eretz Israel. The first newspapers published during the second half of the nineteenth century had already been identified with various sectors in the Old Yishuv, and by 1927 political party newspapers already existed as part of the mass media landscape in the country. The innovation was that Hagalil, whose aim was political, was published and funded by a private individual who wished to advance his own political aspirations. In that sense, it served as a kind of benchmark for later newspapers which were funded by well-to-do private individuals and with the intention of advancing political and ideological goals.

Gershon Nerel 
From American Mission to Israeli Messianic Assembly: Theology and Deed in Jerusalem’s Street of the Prophets

The article examines the complex relationship between American Evangelical missionaries of the Christian & Missionary Alliance and their local Jewish ‘target audience’ which took place within two brother compounds on 55 and 56 Street of the Prophets in Jerusalem during the twentieth century. The Mission’s activities among the Jews were carried out in the House of Seekers after Truth located at number 56 down the road eastward. This place became the congregational home of an Israeli Messianic Assembly, comprised of Jewish believers in Jesus. Both the local Jews/Israelis and the expatriate Americans shared a common belief in the Messiahship and the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth, based on similar theological views and on mundane interests. Furthermore, the article reveals the internal struggles inside the Assembly regarding the issue of shaping its self-identity vis-à-vis the doctrinal heritage of the Protestant Mission. For example, the discussion evolved around issues such as biblical interpretation and liturgical and hymnological expressions, alongside topics of nationality and cultural tradition. Although the transfer of ownership of the property on 56 Prophets Street from the Mission to the Israeli Messianic Assembly resulted in full legal separation between the two compounds, the close theological affinity between the two entities on 55 and 56 Street of the Prophets in Jerusalem remained intact.

Doron Bar
The Debate over the Designation of Holy Places and Historical Sites in the State of Israel, 1948–1967

The article deals with the issue of Jewish holy places that served after 1948 as both pilgrimage destinations and historical and archaeological sites. During the first two decades after the establishment of the State of Israel, continuous debates took place between archaeologists and various religious officials about the designation of these places. The article begins with the historical background of this phenomenon during the Late Ottoman and Mandate periods, when conflicts evolved around archeological digs conducted in Jewish sacred sites. The central part of the article is devoted to the tense relationships between the Ministry of Religion and the Department of Antiquities. It deals with the clashes relating to King David’s Tomb and the Tombs of the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. During the 1950s the Tomb of Rabbi Judah Hanasi was revealed in Beth She‘arim and both sides were divided about the question whether it should be developed as a holy site.

Jonathan Ben-Dov
Halakhah and the Qumran Scrolls

This is an expanded review article of a recent book by Cana Werman and Aharon Shemesh on Qumran exegesis and halakhah. Parts of this book are available in Shemesh’s recently published Halakha in the Making: The Development of Jewish Law from Qumran to the Rabbis, Berkeley and Los Angeles 2009, as well as in numerous articles by Werman.
 The article comments widely on various themes arising from the book, which surveys the main genres of Qumran halakhah and analyzes the authorities for halakhic ruling, whether based on the Torah or external to it. Special emphasis is given to the various ways in which scriptural verses serve an anchor for halakhot. The second half of the book offers a ‘Qumranic Mishnah’ with a systematic discussion of halakhah according to themes: Family and Sex, Tythes, Laws of the Community and its members, followed by a long monograph by Werman on Festival Laws. The arguments in the book are thoroughly linked with early rabbinic halakhot, based on the best available recent methodology in the study of these sources.
 The review article focuses on the festival laws, and in addition offers digressions on the following themes: halakhah and ideology; the legal status of the community’s organizational laws; the attitude of various legists towards popular practices which penetrated the official practice. The article concludes with a methodological reflection on the validity of the comparison between Qumran and rabbinic materials, with at least 200 years separating them.

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