Archive for June 12th, 2009

Trust in God

Friday, June 12th, 2009

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.

Many Mansions

I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

John 14:1-4 (New International Version)

Going into Surgery Now

Friday, June 12th, 2009

I’m headed into surgery now to remove my tumor.
I’ll catch up with everyone as soon as I’m able.
Take care and God Bless!!
-Steve

“AND YOU WERE THERE… AN ODYSSEY TO THE PAST” a Book Review by Fern Sidman

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Jerusalem Footsteps Through Time

“AND YOU WERE THERE… AN ODYSSEY TO THE PAST”

JERUSALEM: FOOTSTEPS THROUGH TIME

TEN TORAH STUDY TOURS OF THE OLD CITY

BY: AHRON HOROVITZ

REVIEWED BY: FERN SIDMAN

For those who will be traveling to Israel for the first time, and even for veteran tourists, there is no doubt that the holy city of Jerusalem; in all its resplendent majesty continues to be a focal point of any journey. Jerusalem is known as “the center of the world” and as such is steeped in thousands of years of rich and vibrant religious history. Because each tourist desires a visit that is rife with powerful personal meaning along with a lifetime of vivid memories, then Ahron Horowitz’s new book entitled, “Jerusalem: Footsteps Through Time – Ten Torah Study Tours of the Old City” (Feldheim Publishers) is simply indispensible.

It is safe to say that after reading this stellar travel guide that one can leave the well meaning but feckless tour guide behind because this book provides a trenchant ride through the annals of Jewish history. And for the visitor who possesses the predilection for meticulously researched Torah tours of the Old City of Jerusalem, then this book delivers a veritable wealth of invaluable information on the heart and soul of the city of gold.

Mr. Horovitz serves as our personal tour guide to the Old City of Jerusalem by highlighting each sight with direct quotes from the entire Tanach, the meforshim (commentaries), the Mishnah, Talmud and other scholarly seforim. Our sojourn is brilliantly enhanced by the impressive array of exceptionally beautiful color photos that will satisfy even the couch potato tourist. The highly informative narrative also includes the seminal discoveries of such renowned British archeologists as Stuart MacAlister, G. Duncan, Kathleen Kenyon as well as Raymond Weill, Yigal Shilo, Ronni Reich and Eli Shukron; who had all conducted extensive digs in and around the Old City; uncovering a plethora of artifacts dating back to the era of the patriarchs.

One cannot help but feel as if we are personally experiencing the awesome holiness of Jerusalem alongside our ancestors as they traverse the magnificent landscape. We begin in the “Footsteps of Abraham” as we learn about the first time that Avraham Avinu saw the city when commanded by Hashem to bring his son Yitzchak as a sacrifice. Avraham sensed the holiness of this place that we know today as Har Habayit (the Temple Mount) and we are told that “through his devotion, Abraham discovered the mountain’s spirituality. He named it ‘Hashem Yireh’ – G-d will see – hoping G-d would one day observe His people serving Him in a house of worship on this site.”

Other tours include “David and His City: The Rise and Fall of Biblical Jerusalem” in which we follow in the footsteps of King David’s conquest of Jerusalem. Stepping back in time, we learn of the growth and expansion of Jerusalem during the reign of King Solomon and how the first Beis HaMikdash was built until the destruction of the city by the Babylonians. What is most amazing is that this tour includes extensive research on the provincial water systems and how they parted a significant role in the city’s capture and vitality.

Analyzing the life and character of King Herod who built the second Beis HaMikdash, we explore the remnants of the walls of the Temple Mount as well as getting a insider’s look into the cutting edge modalities of construction in a tour called, “Secrets of the Temple Mount”. If you’ve ever wondered what everyday life was really like during the second temple period, this tour introduces us to the “Main Street” of Jerusalem as we absorb the sights and sounds of the stores, the sidewalks, secret tunnels, the mikvaos, the grand concourse, the hotels, the shopkeepers and the patrons of 2000 years ago.

The reader will surely be moved by the author’s description of the Kotel (Western Wall) and its environs on Tisha B’Av in the year 70 CE. “Titus and his armies burned down the Temple, after which they razed the walls of the city and the Temple Mount. Had we had been there, looking up from the deep Tryopean Valley at the huge, western wall, we would have seen Roman soldiers toppling stones down into the valley against a background of smoke billowing up from the burning Temple, amid the din of cries of the wounded and dying”, says the author.

We move underground for tours of the labyrinth of tunnels built under the Old City and then to the upper city of the second temple period for a detailed sketch of the last 100 years of that era. Lamentably, one the bleakest periods of the Old City came subsequent to the Bar Kochba revolt and this tour, “and Zion Will Be Plowed Like A Field” takes us through until the Middle Ages. Our spirits brighten in the next several tours which document the re-building of the Old City as we read of the religious fervor and mesiras nefesh of our great Torah luminaries. The promise of the sublime eternal character of the Jewish people and the city that is the center of their lives will resonate with the reader as Jerusalem of yesteryear leaps forth from these pages and in to souls of its readers.

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Fern Sidman holds a B.A, in political science from Brooklyn College. She was the educational coordinator for the Betar Youth Movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She was national director of the Jewish Defense League from 1983-1985. She was a researcher for several books written by Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZTK”L. She was the managing editor of the publication entitled, The Voice of Judea, and is a regular contributor to its web site. She is currently a writer and journalist living in New York City. Her articles have appeared in The Jewish Press, The Jewish Advocate, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, and numerous Jewish and general web sites including, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Pipes and Michael Freund.
We are delighted to have Ms. Sidman as a regular contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.