Love of the Land

For the week ending 22 December 2007 / 13 Tevet 5768

Nechemiah's Wall

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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Remnants of a wall dating back to the time of Nechemiah have apparently been discovered in an archeological dig in Jerusalem's ancient City of David.

In the Book of Nechemiah (6:16) it is recorded that this wall around the city to which Jews had returned from Babylonian captivity was completed in only 52 days despite the threats of hostile neighbors who had occupied the area around Jerusalem.

This part of the two and a half millennia-old wall is located outside Sha'ar Ha'ashpatot (Dung Gate) and the Old City walls facing the Mount of Olives. Based on rich pottery found during a dig under a previously uncovered tower which had hitherto been assumed to date back to the Hasmonean period, it is now assumed that the tower was part of the wall built centuries before by Nechemiah.

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