Passover: Nissan 14, 5773 (March 25, 2013)


UPDATE 6 pm Israel time Monday:

Pesach (Passover) begins in a few minutes in Israel at sundown. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon has announced a closure of Judea and Samaria to stop potential terrorists from carrying out attacks against Israeli citizens.

TODAY’S BLOG:

It has become fashionable to think that the Passover story is merely symbolic. Part of this “fashion” is to suggest that Jews really do not have any history in, or connection to–the land of Israel.

But as you sit down to your seder this evening (and even if you are not Jewish), consider that there is considerable archaeological evidence, largely unpublicized, that the exodus of the Jewish people from Israel really happened the way that it is described in the Torah. 

With all attribution credited to ayallah.net, your humble servant offers you a small part of that evidence through the following pictures today:

This first picture indicates the route that the Israelites probably took on their way across the Sinai out of Egypt–traveling on the dotted red line from upper to lower:

Exodus 13:18 "So God led the Israelites around by the desert road toward the Red Sea."

The wadi that leads through the mountains to the Battir Nuweiba beach on the Red Sea is the wadi through which the Israelites are believed to have traveled:

The wadi, the beach (where the Israelites camped), and Saudi Arabia on the other side (at the time of the exodus, Saudi Arabia was "Midian."

At the end of the wadi–a satellite view of the area and the route that the Israelites probably followed across the Sea.

Note the dotted line. The route today would have taken the Israelites into Saudi Arabia. At the time of the exodus, it took them into Midian. From this point, they would have traveled toward what is today Eilat.

A closer look at the beach:

The beach today. The black arrow is pointing to the end of Wadi pictured above.

In 1978, this partially submerged column was discovered beside the above beach at Nuweiba (it was taken out of the water and put where it is today):

Granite column on the Nuweiba side.

And its matching column on the Saudi side:

The column on the Saudi side.

Interestingly, the Saudi column (which has since disappeared) had the following words inscribed in Hebrew: “Egypt” “died”, “Solomon”, “Red”, “Pharoah”, “Moses”, “Water”–suggesting that the column was placed there by Solomon–some 400 years after the children of Israel crossed over.

In 1988, a diver found golden chariot wheels on the seafloor off the Nuweiba beach:

A coral encrusted wheel. Not surprisingly, many human bones were found in the same vicinity.

Another wheel:

Another wheel--this time more visible.

Note the similarity between the above wheel, and the wheels on a chariot in an Egyptian museum:

Golden chariot from the tomb of King Tut.

So what is your humble servant’s point? As wonderfully symbolic as the story of the exodus is–and as wonderfully applicable as it is to us today–the exodus story is, in all likelihood, the story of real Jews who made a real escape from a real Egypt to find a real home in Israel. You might remember that–and share that–as you read at your seder tonight.

Chag sameach!

(All pictures above are courtesy of ayalla.net)

 

 

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