During the week covered by this review, we received 8 articles on the following subjects:
The Pope and the Vatican
The Pope and the Vatican
The Jerusalem Post, March 14, 2016
Pope Francis is to visit Auschwitz on his planned trip to Poland in July, Vatican Radio recently announced. This visit is timed to coincide with the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day, and will be the first time a non-European pope visited the site.
Efraim Zuroff, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel branch, stated that any visit made by a pope to Auschwitz is “an opportunity to acknowledge and apologize for the highly significant role played by centuries of Christian, and particularly Catholic, anti-Semitism in paving the way for the Holocaust.” He added that “the most dramatic gesture the pope could make” would be to open the Vatican’s World War II archives to allow historians “to determine exactly when information on the mass murder of European Jewry reached Pope Pius XII” and whether or not Pius XII was aware and supported Catholic priests’ assistance in the escape of Nazi war criminals.
Tzfat BeTnufa, March 4, 2016
Residents of Safed were “astounded” at the “boldness and impudence” of missionaries who recently distributed “heretic material” in the city’s orthodox neighborhoods. They have reported the matter to Yad L’Achim, who have been engaging in a campaign to caution the public regarding these materials in order to halt their distribution.
Time Out Israel, March 10, 2016
This article contains information about a variety of events taking place in Jerusalem over Easter. The first of these is the Palm Sunday (March 20) procession that begins at the Franciscan Church of Bethpage on the Mount of Olives; the Washing of the Feet ceremony (March 24, 11:00) at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (the mass begins at 07:00); the Good Friday procession (March 25) along the Old City’s Via Dolorosa; the sunrise services at the Garden Tomb (March 27); and the Easter brunch and egg hunt at the American Colony Hotel (March 27, 11:30-15:30). Also of note is the Holy Fire ceremony, taking place at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher on the Saturday before Orthodox Easter (April 30).
HaModia, March 15; HaMachane HaCharedi, March 17, 2016
MK Rabbi Israel Eichler has sent a stiff letter of protest to the prime minister, the ministers of education and finance, and the attorney-general, saying that the government’s recent decision to increase the budget of the Christian education system is due to “racist discrimination” against the Jewish orthodox education system.
Yediot Ahronot, March 15, 2016
Lori Rimon of Kfar Blum (61) found a rare gold coin from 107 CE while on a trip in the eastern Galilee. The coin is stamped with the image of Caesar Augustus, apparently as part of a coin series dedicated by Trajan to the emperors preceding him (only one other such coin is known, on exhibition at a museum in Britain). Dr. Donald Tzvi Ariel, head of the coins department of the Israel Antiquities Authority, stated that while bronze and silver coins from Trajan’s time were common in Israel, gold coins of the period are extremely rare. “You don’t find something so amazing every day,” stated Rimon. “I hope to see the coin soon on exhibition in a museum.”
Yediot Ahronot; Haaretz, March 17, 2016
The US New Republic magazine recently published an article on the archaeological community’s doubts about the authenticity of the 12-string lyre depicted on the half-shekel coin, as the provenance of the original jasper seal depicting the lyre is uncertain, and engraved semi-precious or precious stones may be dated only by comparing the engravings to other findings from the same period. The Israel Museum, which exhibited the jasper seal for ten years, has responded that “the archaeological debate on the seal is still ongoing,” and the Bank of Israel has responded that it is taking no part in the archaeological debate, and that the coins are “formal, trustworthy and safe to use.”