May 20, 2010

Are the bones of Jews or Pagans?

Shmuel Pappenheim expressed in the name of the Eida and those opposing the exhumation and removal of the bones in Ashkelon a "tainoh" that raises important questions in the reliability of the opinions expressed by the archeaologists. he asked how can it possibly be that every time bones are found, wherever they are - Jaffa, Mamilla, Ashkelon, Jerusalem, Tzippori and anywhere else - the archeaologists always claim that the bones are of non-Jews? Where are all the Jews that lived in Eretz Yisrael throughout history buried?

On the other hand, not dealing with the bones of other locations but sticking to Ashkelon, the Eida has yet to produce any shred of even circumstantial evidence that these bones are of Jews. Not only that, but news reports, including the haredi media, have been saying that the re-burial of the bones have been delayed because nobody can agree where to bury them - no chevra kadisha has been willing to bury them in a Jewish cemetery because they are very likely non-Jewish remains.

Add to this that according to Ladaat, a pagan temple was just uncovered during the excavations and removal of the bones, and the likelihood that the archaeologists are telling the truth in this situation, even if they do not in other incidents (I am not saying they don't, but even if you want to say they lie because they have an agenda and have no "neemanus"), seems to be definite.


  1. The answer is not so complicated. After the Bar-Kochba Revolt very few Jews were living outside of the Galilee and Golan. The majority of the excavations are most likely from the late Roman and Byzantine period, and unless they are up North there are very slim chances of the bones being Jewish.

  2. Rafi mentioned that "news reports, including the haredi media, have been saying that the re-burial of the bones have been delayed because nobody can agree where to bury them - no chevra kadisha has been willing to bury them in a Jewish cemetery because they are very likely non-Jewish remains."
    Why can't they bury them in an Eidah Chareidit cemetery?
    Wouldn't you know it: the bones are Jewish enough to interfere with a hospital, but not Jewish enough to bury in MY cemetery!
    Hashem Yeracheim!

  3. They certainly are not Jewish. And the haredi rabbonim for all their Torah learning, cannot seem to tell the difference between a pagan - who worshiped idolatrous images and yours truly, a Son Of Noah, who worships the same G-d as the Jews!

    Its sad, really!

  4. Catriel Lev, if they are not Jews what is the uproar all about? There is as I understand it, no halachic prohibition on moving disused graves to a different site, as long due care is taken not to desecrate the dead. And the needs of the living take precedence over people who died thousands of years ago! What these people have against saving the lives of Jews alive today, I will never understand.

  5. There was a patshkevil up when the debate got serious. It claimed to be bringing the "proofs of the archaeologists" one by one and show how silly and lacking of any substance they were. I don't know if they brought all the proofs but the ones they brought were silly.
    I saw yesterday in the hebrew mishpacha newspaper, that Reb Dovid Shmidel (I think it was in the interview with him but it might have been the one with lizman)was claiming that the whole thing was politicaly motivated by the press and the purpose had nothing to do with graves. He claimed that the same people who agreed that they were Jewish graves then changed their mind and he claimed that kadima originally were against moving the graves under the olmert administration and made an about face under the netanyahu administration.
    The whole story seems funny. A hospital that has been shlepped through the beuracracy for years all of a sudden becomes pikuach nefesh and must be dealt with immediately.
    An additional point, even if the kevarim were of goyim, the rabbonim were still against moving them as it sets a precedent and makes the israeli government weeker in their attempts to preserve Jewish graves all over the world, including places of high real estate value.
    It has been clear that the whole debate was an agenda driven debate and anybody whose info comes from the secular media has definately been tricked or misled in formulating their opinions

  6. it was a clearly political decision, as Netanyahu caved in to the increasing pressure from the media that was driving the public to increase the pressure. I saw the article with Rav Shmidel. I dont know how to evaluate who's claims are silly and who's are true. Archaeology is a whole science and they know things based on things they find similar in other places and a lot is based on theory, so saying one sides claims are better and the others are silly is just taking sides. Finding the pagan altar seems to be a good indication, but of course the haredi claim is that they somehow brought the altar from somewhere else and snuck it in unnoticed.
    Regardless, the hospital was claiming pikuach nefesh for a long time. It was the government that shlepped it out. It is strange the govt shlepped it out so long and then had to do it this fast. The hospital on the other hand was claiming pikuach nefesh for years.

  7. weren't some (or many) Jews ovdei avoda zara?


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