by: Kate Norman
Monday, 01 July 2019 | Two thousand years ago, before the Romans destroyed the Second Temple in AD 70, pilgrims coming from all over the world to Jerusalem ascended to the Holy City on an ancient path known as the “Pilgrim’s Road.” On Sunday, that path was reopened in a ceremony attended by several Israeli and American bigwigs.
The ancient path is part of the City of David archaeological site that includes excavations from the First and Second Temples, the Gihon Spring, Hezekiah’s Tunnel and other significant biblical sites. This newest addition was discovered in 2004 when the sewer from the Palestinian neighborhood that lies above the site sprang a leak.
After years of careful excavation, dignitaries from all over the world—though notably American dignitaries—attended yesterday’s ceremony to celebrate reopening the path that ancient travelers walked two millennia ago.
The ancient road covered the last 2,000 feet (600 m) that led to the Temple Mount. The path led pilgrims to the Pool of Siloam, an ancient mikveh or ritual bath, before heading up to the Temple. Jesus (Yeshua) and His disciples would have certainly walked this path. The Pool of Siloam is mentioned in John 9, when Jesus sent the blind man to wash in the pool and he was healed.
God commanded in Deuteronomy 16:16: “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses…” Jewish pilgrims during the First and Second Temple periods, in obedience to this command, would travel the path leading up the Pilgrim’s Road to the Temple in Jerusalem three times a year for Passover, Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles).
Two thousand years later, archaeologists, politicians and other VIPs—including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife, Sara; US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman; Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer; US Special Enjoy Jason Greenblatt and others—appeared in the City of David to celebrate what they acknowledge as another link between the Jewish people and their eternal capital.
“It confirms with evidence, with science, with archaeological studies that which many of us already knew, certainly in our heart: the centrality of Jerusalem to the Jewish people,” Ambassador Friedman said at the event.
The ceremony was a lightning rod for controversy, however, given its location in eastern Jerusalem, which the Palestinians vehemently claim as the capital of their future independent state. As such, the event itself and the American dignitaries who attended drew criticism from the Palestinian Authority (PA) and left-wing organizations.
The PA Foreign Ministry issued a statement slamming “the American attendance and celebration of the Judaization activities in occupied east Jerusalem as hostile acts against the Palestinians.
“The administration of President Donald Trump proves day by day its…unlimited affiliation to the colonial settlement project led by the extremist right in the state of the occupation (Israel).”
Before the event, US envoy Jason Greenblatt defended the event and the findings of the ancient path. “PA claims our attendance at this historic event supports ‘Judaization’ of Jerusalem/is an act of hostility vs. Palestinians. Ludicrous. We can’t ‘Judaize’ what history/archaeology show. We can acknowledge it & you can stop pretending it isn’t true! Peace can only be built on truth.”
Posted on July 1, 2019
Source: (Bridges for Peace, July 1, 2019)
Photo Credit: Arutz Sheva TV/YouTube/screenshot
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