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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Seventh Candle: Unearthing the Past


 

Clay Seal, circa 1st century B.C.E. -70 B.C. (AP photo/ Oded Balilty)

 Jerusalem is a work in progress- and that becomes readily apparent in the field of archaeology where new discoveries expand the store of wealth about this location and what we know of our joint history. It was announced this week that a clay seal has been discovered in the ongoing digs adjacent to the site of the ancient Temple. The seal bears two words in Aramaic meaning "pure for God."  Archaeologists believe that it was used to approve the purity of objects used for ritual purposes and is a rare artifact linking to this time period.  

While this find apparently relates to the period of the Second Temple, which was destroyed by the Romans,  and not connected directly to the holiday of Chanukah,  it is a discovery which may reveal to us the kind of seal that could have been used during the time of the First Temple to mark the purity of the oil used in Temple rituals,  the basis for the story of the requirement of a cruse of pure oil bearing a seal of purity.

Pretty cool Chanukah present.

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