A member of a fringe ultra-Orthodox Jewish group in Israel was charged in a Jerusalem court on Thursday with trying to spy for Iran. The man travelled to Berlin in 2011 and offered to collect information on Israel for Iranian embassy officials, Israel’s Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency said in a statement.
Israel’s national Holocaust memorial has amended its account of Pope Pius XII’s actions during World War Two, after the original text upset the Vatican by implying he did too little to try to rescue Jews from the Nazis.
The authenticity of a burial box purported to have been for the “brother” of Jesus Christ remained shrouded in mystery on Wednesday after a Jerusalem court acquitted an Israeli private collector of charges he forged the artifact.
Could two of the nails used to crucify Jesus have been discovered in a 2,000-year-old tomb in Jerusalem? And could they have mysteriously disappeared for 20 years, only to turn up by chance in a Tel Aviv laboratory?
Using the Bible as its guide, Texas-based energy company Zion Oil and Gas has searched for oil in the Holy Land for a decade. The company uses a map of the 12 ancient tribes of Israel and the biblical assertion – “the foot of Asher to be dipped in oil on the head of Joseph” – as an unlikely guide to help it decide where to drill. (Photo: A worker stands on an oil rig belonging to Zion Oil and Gas in Karkur, northern Israel October 17, 2010/Nir Elias)
Sitting beneath an 18-storey rig in northern Israel, Zion’s CEO Richard Rinberg translates that reference by pointing to an area on the map where the territory of Asher – long and thin and shaped like a leg – once pushed into the land that belonged to Joseph’s sons.
(Photo: Pope Benedict meets religious leaders in Nazareth, May 14, 2009, with many Muslim clerics in white and red turbans in the audience/Atef Safadi)
Israeli authorities have charged the imam of a mosque in Nazareth with inciting violence against Pope Benedict and supporting al Qaeda and “global jihad,” the justice ministry has said.
The indictment said Nazim Mahmoud Salim, who was arrested by police a month ago, led a group of about 2,000 worshippers, and had also preached at the flashpoint al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, Islam’s third holiest shrine.
A new Jerusalem exhibit displaying a million years of history in the Holy Land offers Bible buffs and skeptics alike a chance to say: “I told you so!” The Israel Museum, fresh-faced after a three-year, $100 million upgrade, offers an unparalleled look into the development of monotheistic religions, while leaving plenty of room for both science and faith. (Photo: A statue of the Emperor Hadrian at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem July 20, 2010/Baz Ratner)
The museum’s more devout visitors may feel vindicated by a collection of three-thousand-year-old weapons used by ancient warriors in the Battle of Lachish, verifying the fighting as depicted in the Bible. The scientifically minded can point to a set of 1.5 million year old bull horns on display around the corner, by far predating Earth’s creation as described by the book of Genesis.
There have been a series of significant and highly publicised events recently in Vatican-Jewish relations.
Israeli companies will unveil this month an array of new technologies that will save and maximize use of the world’s most valuable resource… water.The systems range from a drone that flies 300 metres (900 feet) above ground to fight water leaks– described this week in a recent Reuters article on fighting global leakage – to a petroleum gas storage system that sits on the ocean floor. Arad Technologies’ water meter-reading drone takes off near Tel Aviv and then parachutes down after completing its flight. REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen
Water technology is one of the things Israel does best. Two thirds of the country is arid, and its first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, famously declared that Israel would only survive if it could “make the desert bloom”.Since then, Israeli companies have been pioneers in the field and many of of their developments have penetrated the global market.You can take a look at some of the more intriguing systems to be exhibited at the government-sponsored WATEC conference in Tel Aviv on Nov 17-19 by clicking here.
In a move that may literally take the breath away from many of the world’s Orthodox Jews, a group of Israel’s top rabbis recently ruled that riding in what for decades have been designated as “Shabbat (Sabbath) elevators,” is against Jewish law. This decision — already been opposed by other leading rabbis – could force many Jews who live in apartment buildings to sweat their way up staircases once a week.The Jewish Sabbath, or Shabbat, is meant to be a day of rest. Observant Jews refrain from working, traveling in vehicles, spending money and from using electricity.In modern times, it’s tough to imagine going 24 hours without using anything electric. So gadgets have been invented to allow the use of certain appliances without physically turning them on. Like timers for lights, called Shabbat clocks. Or special cookers for stove tops. Or elevators for Shabbat.The Shabbat elevators, which are ubiquitous in Israel and fairly common in Jewish neighborhoods around the world, are designed to stop automatically at every floor, so passengers are guaranteed to (eventually) make it to their destination without having to activate anything electrical.But in a surprise decision, a group of top rabbis ruled that riding these elevators was not kosher.The decision, published as a small notice (shown below) in a religious newspaper last week, decrees that due to changes in the technology of the elevators, based on information provided by elevator technicians and engineers, riding up or down in the elevator indeed breaks the laws of Shabbat. It was signed by Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, a top leader in the ultra-Orthodox community, and others. It follows discussion over the direct impact on the elevator because the weight of passengers may determine the amount of electricty used.Other senior rabbis have already come out against the ruling, and Israel’s Haaretz newspaper interviewed some unhappy and disagreeing citizens.“This is an edict that will not work,” one resident of a Jerusalem retirement home was quoted as saying. “If we all adhere to it, not only will we not leave our rooms on Shabbat, but life in places like Manhattan will come to a standstill.”