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Israeli Rabbis Hope to Search Vatican
Associated Press ^ | Jan. 15, 2004 | Gavin Rabinowitz

Posted on 01/15/2004 5:26:25 PM PST by Alouette

JERUSALEM - Israel's chief rabbis, who will meet the pope Friday, said they hope to get permission to search Vatican storerooms for artifacts such as the huge golden menorah that stood in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago.

Vatican officials confirmed the meeting would take place but declined comment on the rabbis' request.

Yehuda Metzger and Shlomo Amar are to have an audience with Pope John Paul II, the first by Israel's chief rabbis in the Vatican. The pope met Israel's previous chief rabbis in the Holy Land during his visit in 2000.

Amar, spiritual leader of Israel's Jews of North African origin, told Army Radio that when he received the invitation, "the truth is I asked them, I could not resist ... I asked them about the Temple vessels and the menorah."

When the Romans sacked Jerusalem in 70 A.D., they took huge amounts of booty home. Legend has it that religious articles from the Temple, including the menorah, were among them.

The Arch of Titus in Rome depicts victorious Roman legions marching off with the seven-branch menorah in hand.

Amar said the Vatican official denied the menorah was there.

"My heart tells me this is not the truth, but that it is some kind of camouflage," Amar said. An aide to the rabbi said the Vatican was not likely to permit a search.

The Vatican will allow the rabbis to view rare Jewish manuscripts in its possession, Amar said.

He said if the rabbis were to come across "other objects," they would be happy to bring them home.

The menorah was the most important symbol of the Temple after the Ark of the Covenant. The image of the biblical menorah is the symbol of the modern state of Israel.

Some Orthodox Jews believe the restoration of the menorah and other holy vessels to Jerusalem would be the first step in rebuilding the Temple, whose site is now occupied by the Al Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest shrine of Islam.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Israel; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: artifacts; godsgravesglyphs; israel; jerusalem; letshavejerusalem; menorah; pope; romanempire; temple; templemount; vatican
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The Arch of Titus may not be a correct representation of how the Temple Menorah looked. According to Maimonides, the arms of the Menorah were straight and not curved.


1 posted on 01/15/2004 5:26:26 PM PST by Alouette
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To: 1bigdictator; 1st-P-In-The-Pod; 2sheep; a_witness; adam_az; af_vet_rr; agrace; ...
FRmail me to be added or removed from this pro-Israel ping list.

WARNING: This is a high volume ping list

2 posted on 01/15/2004 5:27:02 PM PST by Alouette (Proud parent of an IDF recruit!)
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To: Alouette
It's about time!

Now this is the kind of Jewish-Catholic conflict I can get into whole-heartedly (unlike the usual "conservative" Catholics vs. "liberal" Jews routine).

Hey, Rabbis! Demand that the Catholic Church stop disseminating the documentary hypothesis and evolutionism!!!

3 posted on 01/15/2004 5:38:31 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Ki sheishet yamim `asah HaShem 'et HaShamayim ve'et Ha'Aretz.)
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To: Alouette
I remember some clown awhile back going round and round with myself and a few others, he called himself 'harvard man', who claimed that the Arc of Titus was faked.
His explanation was extremely twisted and convoluted.

Seeing that pic just reminded me of him.

Getting back on topic, it's good to see that they're going to be able to at least begin to track things down if not find them outright.
4 posted on 01/15/2004 5:43:24 PM PST by Darksheare (Warning, Tagline Virus Detected: JS.TaglineException.Exploit.exe)
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To: Alouette
I loaned John Paul II a Queensryche CD a few years back.

I bet he thinks I've forgotten about it....
5 posted on 01/15/2004 5:47:24 PM PST by baltodog (A diamond lasts a lifetime, but a Freeper post lasts forever....)
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To: Alouette
It's gone.

Examination of the post-holes used to hang bronze letters on the Coliseum indicate that Vespasian and Titus built the structure using loot from the supression of the Jewish revolt.

They melted it down and made it into money, odds are.
6 posted on 01/15/2004 5:48:24 PM PST by TheAngryClam (Don't blame me, I voted for McClintock.)
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To: Darksheare
I've always wanted to know exactly what great treasures of history are hidden away in the Vatican archives. I'm sure they have a huge cache of "indiana Jones" type artifacts.
7 posted on 01/15/2004 5:48:56 PM PST by Alouette (Proud parent of an IDF recruit!)
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To: Alouette
=== "My heart tells me this is not the truth, but that it is some kind of camouflage,"

Do you also believe the Vatican is lying?
8 posted on 01/15/2004 5:49:41 PM PST by Askel5
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To: Alouette
I wouldn't doubt it.
The story is that they have several rare manuscripts that all by themselves are historically significant and priceless.
Of course, they are stored away out of sight out of mind.
Even if they ARE small parch fragments.
Considering they the early church did the earliest translations of religious texts, I wouldn't doubt this either.
9 posted on 01/15/2004 5:52:57 PM PST by Darksheare (Warning, Tagline Virus Detected: JS.TaglineException.Exploit.exe)
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To: Askel5
Several Vatican officials denied that the then church helped Vichy France ship Jews off to Nazi concentration camps.
So, one never knows whether any organizational group is telling the truth.
*shrugs*
Isn't for me to say one way or the other.
But they do have manuscripts, and those are of interest to me.
10 posted on 01/15/2004 5:56:24 PM PST by Darksheare (Warning, Tagline Virus Detected: JS.TaglineException.Exploit.exe)
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To: TheAngryClam
"They melted it down and made it into money, odds are."

This was the first idea that crossed my mind, also. They would probably have done this for several reasons, over and above the need for more coinage. Mainly, I believe they wanted to teach the Jews a "lesson."

11 posted on 01/15/2004 6:01:06 PM PST by redhead (Les Franšais sont des singes de capitulation qui mangent du fromage.)
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To: Alouette
It's simply inconceivable that the Vatican would be hiding it. If they had it, they would say so. And in the present climate of opinion, they would return it to the Jews, although it's not altogether obvious who it would be returned to. Short of rebuilding the Temple, which no government of Israel has ever wanted to even talk about, it's not clear where it should be kept.

Melting down is the most likely fate. If the Romans brought it back as spoil, they would have been more interested in its weight in gold than its religious significance.
12 posted on 01/15/2004 6:01:52 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Darksheare
=== Several Vatican officials denied that the then church helped Vichy France ship Jews off to Nazi concentration camps. So, one never knows whether any organizational group is telling the truth.


As most should know by now, individuals in the Catholic Church do not always remain faithful to the Church.

Because the notion "the then church" somehow rationalized cooperation with the Nazis even as it attacked the Third Reich (well in advance of the war) and countless of its own were imprisoned and slaughtered for their resistance and their aid to Jews, I don't think you are being quite truthful in your characterization of isolated allegations of collaboration as policy of "the then church".
13 posted on 01/15/2004 6:07:50 PM PST by Askel5
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To: redhead
If burning the whole country down, breaking out the salt for the fields, deporting a whole mess of them, enslaving tons more, and publicly executing any leaders they could get their hands on (apart from Josephus), wasn't enough.
14 posted on 01/15/2004 6:08:04 PM PST by TheAngryClam (Don't blame me, I voted for McClintock.)
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To: Alouette
If they get access, I think it's great. This is potentially more productive than Peace Now protesting the Vatican's Apartheid Wall. Maybe they should discuss their respective positions on that.
15 posted on 01/15/2004 6:08:32 PM PST by SJackson
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Yehuda; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; ...
If you'd like to be on or off this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.
16 posted on 01/15/2004 6:08:56 PM PST by SJackson
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To: Alouette
I've always wanted to know exactly what great treasures of history are hidden away in the Vatican archives. I'm sure they have a huge cache of "indiana Jones" type artifacts.

No, No... don't open THAT box!!!!!!!!!

Arrrrggggggghhhhhhh. We're DOOMED!!!!!

Oh, excuse me. That wasn't the one. Shall we continue?

17 posted on 01/15/2004 6:09:08 PM PST by Phsstpok (often wrong, but never in doubt)
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To: Askel5
You hit the nail on the head. Why would the Vatican deal with these people who are so rude as to publicly accuse the Vatican of lying.

Also, why would the Romans keep the menorah and not melt it down? It's not like they valued the item as a religious icon.
18 posted on 01/15/2004 6:10:07 PM PST by Straight Vermonter (06/07/04 - 1000 days since 09/11/01)
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To: Cicero
It's simply inconceivable that the Vatican would be hiding it. If they had it, they would say so.

It's conceivable that they have a lot of STUFF jumbled away in vast storage catacombs which hasn't been sorted or catalogued or cleaned out in centuries. Kind of like my basement.

Imagine the garage sale!

19 posted on 01/15/2004 6:10:07 PM PST by Alouette (Proud parent of an IDF recruit!)
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To: Darksheare
=== The story is that they have several rare manuscripts that all by themselves are historically significant and priceless. Of course, they are stored away out of sight out of mind.


I believe the Vatican has always been very accomodating in allowing scholars to study what priceless manuscripts they hold in safekeeping.

And contrary to the "out of mind" notion, it's precisely its preservation of ancient heritage and sense of enduring truth -- as conceived not only by men with benefit of revealed knowledge but those who apprehended same prior to the Incarnation or without benefit of Scripture -- which accounts for the universality (and prodigious footnotes =) of Church teaching.
20 posted on 01/15/2004 6:14:15 PM PST by Askel5
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