January 1, 2012
Rabbi Abraham Cooper associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.
This year’s overlap of Christmas and Chanukah brought startlingly different, but ultimately connected, developments overseas. In Nigeria, word of five suicide bombs by an extremist Muslim sect murdering and maiming Christians at prayer, and wiping out whole families, cast a pall on many of the faithful. Meanwhile, archaeologists working in Ir David—the ancient neighborhood adjacent to Jerusalem’s Old City Temple Mount/Dome of the Rock, announced a discovery validating the historicity of a heritage central to Jews but also important to Christians.
Bearing two Aramaic words meaning “pure for G-d,” a rare, coin-sized clay seal was found not far from the site of the Beit Hamikdash – Holy Temple where Judaism’s holiest rituals were practiced until it was destroyed by the Romans two thousand years ago.