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ERETZ 119 - May 2009

In the last twenty years the relation between history and bible has been raised time and again. Today the academic world accepts that many of the early biblical descriptions are of a mythical character. The battle lines as to were myth ends and history begins are drawn over the period between the 12th and 10th century BCE the conquest of the Promised Land, Canaan, the crystallization of the Jewish people and the foundation of the grand Israelite commonwealth of David and Solomon. Are these events described in the books of Joshua, Samuel and the First Book of Kings actual historic occurrences or a figment of the imagination in the time of King Josiah, after the fall of the northern of the two Israelite kingdoms .

Gold Coins Jerusalem
ERETZ Magazine is published 6 times a year. The magazine is printed in Israel and airmailed to subscribers in 64 countries around the world.


Siloam Inscription Hezekiah

King Solomon's Golden Treasure
The excavations in the City of David in the last few years have completely changed our ideas as to how the Canaanite city had looked. The fortifications, citadel and palace of the time of David and Solomon, the great water works of King Hezekiah and the buildings and houses of the Byzantine era - an updated survey of the latest discoveries

Gold Hoard Jerusalem

Jewish Pirate Carribean

Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean
The Spanish Inquisition gave birth to a surprising phenomenon: Jewish pirates. Sailing on ships with kosher kitchens, the Jewish pirates plundered Spanish ships in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. After decades of research, Ed Kritzler has just released the book Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean - telling the story of Rabbi Samuel Palache, Moses Cohen Henriques and others who commanded ships with names such as "Shield of Abraham" and "Queen Esther", who roamed the seas in search of Spanish bullion.

Pirate Tombstone Carribean

Sun Blessing

Blessing the Sun
Thousands of Jews all over the world gathered at sunrise on the morning before the festival of Passover began in April to recite what may be the least-said blessing in Judaism: Birkat Hahama, the blessing of gratitude to God for creating the sun, which is recited only once every 28 years..

Sun Blessing

Tel Aviv

Who founded Tel Aviv
The decision to list the names of Tel Aviv's founders on a plaque at its fortieth anniversary celebrations in 1949 sparked arguments that are still continuing today, as the Hebrew city celebrates its centenary. Who were the founders and why were some left out - Ilan Schori investigates this 100 year old enigma.

Tel Aviv

Maon Synagogue Mosaic

The Ma'on-Nirim Mosaic
One of the most beautiful ancient mosaics in the Land of Israel has recently been restored: The 1,500-year-old mosaic floor of the Byzantine period synagogue at Ma'on-Nirim. The site is now open to visitors - without fees or lines - a well kept secret in the Western Negev.

Maon Synagogue Mosaic

Mimouna Year Round
Esther Biton has just published Mimouna Year Round, a cookbook of the recipes she has just spend her lifetime perfecting - recipes for the delicacies Moroccan Jews serve the day after Passover at the Mimouna celebration.

Departments and Features

Language Corner

What's Up

Ancient News


Shalom Aleichem
The word shalom is one of the most ancient words in the history of languages. It comes from the root shalem, which means whole, a root that is common to Ugarit, Aramaic, Hebrew and Arabic. Its main meaning is peace - but it has also many others usages, from peace, through innocent, to congregation of the faithful.


Doctor, Can you Heal My Teddy Bear?
The Some 200 children from kindergartens in  southern Israel took their teddy bears to Soroka Medical Center, in Beersheva. They were received warmly by doctors and medical students who asked the children to tell them about any illnesses or medical problems bothering their teddy bears. The sick bears were carefully examined, with the help of the children, who as a result learned hands on what a hospital does and to help decrease fears of hospitalization.


Preserving the Western Wall
Following a survey of the Western Wall that revealed that the physical condition of the 2000-year-old stones was deteriorating, a large scale project has been initiated for the preservation and conservation of one of the most important cultural heritage sites around the world..

Bird's Eye View
Asaf Solomon, a dedicated Galilean, nature lover, and farmer, photographs the land of Israel while flying over it in a powered paraglider, a picturesque craft that gives the passenger a sense of freedom and tranquility, as wll as the opportunity to take photographs from an unorthodox angel.

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