The Tomb Of The Sisters

10 Elul 5777

1 September 2017


The News on the Israel Street

The new school year begins today . . . 

The new school year is the talk of the street today. Israelstreet wishes good luck to the 2,272,000 Israeli schoolchildren and the 180,000 teachers who will be in the classroom.

The ramifications of the start of school are numerous: huge traffic jams as kids are dropped off at school, empty beaches as evening at the beach is replaced by studies, no children running around the malls (hallelujah!), and parents heaving a huge sigh of relief. 

Why hasn’t someone petitioned before? . . .

We have often decried the egregious discrimination on the Temple Mount. We saw it at full play in July when the entire fiasco with the metal detectors took place.

As we noted at that time, the truly perverse fact was that our Israeli government agreed to remove the metal detectors for Muslims, but kept the one for Jews (and tourists) in place. 

To repeat, the only metal detector at a gate to the Temple Mount is the one at the Mughrabi Gate, the only gate that non-Muslims can use to access the Mount.

Yesterday, a petition was filed to remove that metal detector. 

One thing you can know for sure. The Court will give the Police discretion about whether to remove it or not, and the Police most certainly will not. 

Palestinian terrorism yesterday . . .

Once again, the roads of Judea and Samaria were the scenes of numerous terror attacks. Some of the worst came on the Gush Etzion Road where a number of buses were badly damaged and their passengers traumatized.  Many motorists were also attacked on Road 437 that runs along the outskirts of Hizma.

Terrorists infiltrated Havat Ma’on in the Hevron Hills, but escaped after security alarms were sounded.

As terrorism continues, Palestinian employment in Israel surges . . .

Yesterday we had both the head of the Kibbutzim Agricultural Association along the Gaza border as well as the President of the Manufacturers’ Association of Israel both bizarrely asking the government for the same thing.

More Palestinian workers.

On top of the staggering number of Palestinian workers we already have.

Government statistics show that 105,000 Palestinians currently work in Israel. 

In an interview yesterday, Shraga Brosh, head of the Manufacturers Association, practically waxed poetic in his paean to Palestinian workers calling them “professional, excellent, and dedicated.” And he added that the “vast majority” have no “security problems.”

Vast majority? What about the minority who do have “security problems”? Major security problems?

Then Brosh added this: 

“It should be remembered that the employment of Palestinian workers in Israeli territory allows them to make a decent living, with unemployment in the Palestinian Authority at 18.8%, alongside a continued decline in foreign aid, from NIS 4.5 billion in 2013 to NIS 1.7 billion in 2017 Therefore, we must continue to assist and strengthen those who wish to work and contribute, and prove day after day when they arrive at work that a successful coexistence exists and is possible in the State of Israel.”

Say what?

Why is it Israel’s job to solve the Palestinian unemployment problem?

And why in the world is it Israel’s job to make up for the shortfall in international donor money flowing into the pockets of PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his terrorist cronies?

And when are the Palestinians ever going to prove to us that “a successful coexistence” is possible?

Apparently never.


The Tomb Of The Sisters

Imagine this.

It is sometime around 70 CE in Judea. The Romans are overrunning the country, pillaging and slaughtering as they go. 

You and your sisters are living in a small village in Binyamin near the capital. You have witnessed what has happened, and you know what is coming as Roman soldiers near your home.

You run to hide in the only hiding place you have, an olive press cave in the side of the mountain beside the village. Yet you know that you will probably be found because of the path leading to the press and because of the two ritual baths carved in the rock beside the entrance to the cave.

But with no other choice, you run there with your sisters and your young brother, and there you are discovered and butchered by the Romans. 

Did this really happen? 

Here’s what we know. In 2013, coins from the time period, two mikvehs, and an oil press were found in and around a cave at an archaeological dig on the side of mountain near Givat Assaf. The dig revealed a distinctly Jewish village.

What was also found in the cave were the bones of seven women and a boy. The bones were subsequently carbon dated to the time period just before the destruction of the Second Temple.

Interlaced with the bones were Roman arrowheads–and the shoe studs of Roman soldiers, suggesting that, at the least, the eight victims were shot and then stomped to death. 

In January of this year, the bones were transferred from the forensic laboratory where they were being examined to the burial society of Ofra.

The monument at Ofra.

The monument at Ofra.

The people of Ofra were ready for the bones and built a natural rock monument near the grave of the women with this inscription:

The Tomb of the Sisters

Here lie the bones of seven women and a
Jewish youth who saw the Second Temple in its splendor and who were killed by Roman soldiers
during the Great War for the Freedom of Jerusalem
while they were in hiding in their village
in the Land of Binyamin

Blessed be the memory of the seven sisters and the young man. They died horrifically alone, but they are alone no more. May their memories be forever blessed.

*Israelstreet thanks Arutz Sheva for elements of this story.
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