January 21 – 2015

During the week covered by this review, we received 4 articles on the following subjects:

  •     Christian Zionism
  •     Miscellaneous
  •     Archaeology

Christian Zionism

HaShavua BChadera, December 31, 2014; Mabat Mekomi, January 1, 2015

A department of imaging has been added to the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center, complete with a Philips Ingenia MRI machine. This is the only permanent machine between Tel-Aviv and Haifa, and was bought with the assistance of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), who donated NIS 1.6 million to the project. Other assistance came from the Ministry of Health and from the hospital’s own research fund. Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, head of the IFCJ, said, “This contribution towards the MRI machine, the sixth such contribution given by the fellowship to hospitals in Israel, was made possible thanks to thousands of contributions from Christian lovers of Israel, who by their contributions wish to strengthen the Jewish people and the State of Israel.”

The existence of this new department is expected to greatly improve medical service to the region’s residents.


Rest Magazine, December 31, 2014

Researchers from Bar-Ilan University have planted a vineyard using only species of vines native to Israel. In preparation the researchers collected some 150 different species of wild vines and analyzed them in order to verify their origin. Of these, 70 species were suitable for making wine. “The researchers hope that when the vines grow they will yield a wine suitable to the temple period.”

The team was headed by Prof. Udi Weiss, head of the laboratory of archaeological botany in the Department of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Bar-Ilan University.


Eretz Binyamin, December 31, 2014

A recent conference at Hashmona’im included lectures on new archaeological discoveries in the area. Of particular note are the locations suggested for Ai and Bethel.

Dr. Brian Wood has been directing an excavation at Khirbet el-Maqatir (1.5 kilometers from the traditional site of Ai) since the late 1990s. Wood’s excavation has found a fortified wall and a gate belonging to a Canaanite-era city destroyed by fire; Wood is convinced that this is, in fact, the actual site of Ai, and hopes to uncover more of the city in the coming years. A Jewish village from the Second Temple era has also been found at the site.

The identification of the location of Bethel was also discussed at the conference. Traditionally, Bethel was thought to have been located at the village of Bithin, but recent discoveries show that the ruins found there are from no earlier than the Second Temple era. The alternative theory suggests a site some 900 meters to the north, citing its location on the highest point in the area, as well as the numerous pottery shards found there, as supporting evidence of it being the actual site of Bethel.