Love of the Land

For the week ending 29 December 2007 / 20 Tevet 5768

The Sewers of Ancient Jerusalem

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library
In his "The War of the Jews", historian Josephus Flavius writes that numerous people in Jerusalem fled from the invading Roman legions into the subterranean drainage channel which served the city.

A recent archeological excavation has uncovered this channel in the City of David. Its walls reach a height of three meters in some places, an indication that those who fled to this sewer were able to actually live there until they could escape from the city through its southern end.

What particularly impressed the channel's discoverers was the planning on a grand scale which the city's rulers did in order to develop a system that drained the rainfall and prevented flooding.

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