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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; menorah; pope; 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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To: Askel5
True.
As in any organization.
But the side point was that these were officials being dishonest, and no-one is immune to dishonesty however large or small.

I'm still curious as to what their archives has.
They've GOT to have some of teh oldest surviving parches in existence.
Their archives has existed for quite a long time, and hasn't been disturbed too much like other places.
Historians dream, should they let people in there.
What do you suppose there is in there, just plain parchment/ parchment fragment wise?
21 posted on 01/15/2004 6:14:57 PM PST by Darksheare (Warning, Tagline Virus Detected: JS.TaglineException.Exploit.exe)
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To: Alouette
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.

I would guess that the Vatican has a very professional, very active curatorial staff that has a pretty good idea of what it has.

22 posted on 01/15/2004 6:15:06 PM PST by sphinx
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To: SJackson
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.

YES

Let's do it! We could raise billions in about 5 minutes.

Get rid of this POS


23 posted on 01/15/2004 6:16:40 PM PST by AAABEST
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To: Askel5
"I don't think you are being quite truthful in your characterization of isolated allegations of collaboration as policy of "the then church"."
There was recently an apology and some articles on what I mentioned.
IIRC, one or more were posted/mentioned here on FR somewhere.
24 posted on 01/15/2004 6:17:18 PM PST by Darksheare (Warning, Tagline Virus Detected: JS.TaglineException.Exploit.exe)
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To: Zionist Conspirator
Are you going to see Mel Gibson's "Passion"?
25 posted on 01/15/2004 6:17:44 PM PST by truthandjustice1
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To: Alouette
=== 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.


I'll agree it's conceivable (I wish I had a basement for my "archives"), but it's highly improbable.

Keep in mind the archivist and ordered nature of the Medieval mind, particularly. The Church is painstakingly scrupulous about its central libraries and texts.

It's the bones and writings of martyrs and saints, actually ... particularly as hidden away from time to time in areas formerly the frontier of Christianity ... that tend to surprise everyone when an old catacomb or secret panel is discovered under the altars of ancient churches and such.
26 posted on 01/15/2004 6:19:32 PM PST by Askel5
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To: CAtholic Family Association; dsc; BlackElk; TonyWojo; sinkspur; Barnacle; Canticle_of_Deborah; ...
Holyland ping.
27 posted on 01/15/2004 6:20:39 PM PST by AAABEST
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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. 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.

I'd tend to agree with you, but I'd bet if they found it the talk of rebuilding the Temple would move up a few octaves.

In all this, I can't help think of the artifacts the Wakf is excavating by the truckload and hauling to garbage dumps, but I guess that's another thread.

28 posted on 01/15/2004 6:21:59 PM PST by SJackson
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To: Alouette
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.

Alouette, it's no time to start ragging the Catholics to be allowed to go climbing through the Vatican. Next, any remaining Albigensians may declare that the Holy Grail is hidden in there, or something equally ridiculous.

Catholics aren't blowing up Israeli IDF soldiers up, Muslims are. Stick to the real enemy.

29 posted on 01/15/2004 6:23:53 PM PST by xJones
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To: Alouette
Personally, I think it's more likely the Palestinian "archaeologists" digging on the Temple Mount have it.
30 posted on 01/15/2004 6:24:03 PM PST by CaptRon (Pedecaris alive or Raisuli dead)
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To: Darksheare
I don't discount for a moment the notion members of the hierarchy or Vatican officials themselves could be disingenous.

But it's virtually impossible to do so in a public statement (save where some radical's doing their best to twist words as he sees feit). And it's particularly unlikely on this issue, that's all.

It's hard to believe the early Church would have inherited (with no fanfare or mention by historians) a relic like that from the Romans who'd persecuted them for centuries.

And it's true that the curators of the Vatican are probably the world's most impeccably precise librarians on the planet.
31 posted on 01/15/2004 6:24:55 PM PST by Askel5
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To: TheAngryClam
"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."

It's never "enough" for tyrants. They especially want to go after a defeated peoples' religious faith.

32 posted on 01/15/2004 6:27:46 PM PST by redhead (Les Franšais sont des singes de capitulation qui mangent du fromage.)
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To: SJackson
=== but I'd bet if they found it the talk of rebuilding the Temple would move up a few octaves


Pardon my ignorance, but I'm genuinely curious ...

Besides the obvious problem of moving the Islamic mosque off the site, are there certain requisites to actually rebuilding the Temple?

In other words, could it be rebuilt with or without the relics which the Romans stole when they destroyed the Temple?
33 posted on 01/15/2004 6:28:05 PM PST by Askel5
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To: SJackson
They wouldn't keep such a thing from the Jews. People can say what they want about the Vatican but people of conscience wouldn't do this, especially collectively.

These things aren't needed to rebuild the temple. All that's needed is the will to do so.

34 posted on 01/15/2004 6:29:25 PM PST by AAABEST
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To: TheAngryClam
**They melted it down and made it into money, odds are.***

I read somewhere it was broken up and thrown in the Tiber River, however I believe Eusebius mentioned it being displayed years later somewhere.
35 posted on 01/15/2004 6:29:42 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: Straight Vermonter
As to why the Romans would keep something of this nature and not melt it down, well it wasn't unknown for the victors in classical antiquity to dedicate a portion of the spoils of battle to one god or another and for the offerings to be displayed in that god's temple or kept in a treasury.
That said I think if this had been done it would be highly unlikely for an object of that mass of gold to have survived all the wars, invasions and looting of the intervening centuries, but who knows.

skepsel
36 posted on 01/15/2004 6:29:59 PM PST by skepsel
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To: Alouette
http://www.vatican.va/library_archives/vat_secret_archives/docs/documents/vsa_doc_10121999_regeng_en.html
37 posted on 01/15/2004 6:36:42 PM PST by PAR35
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To: Alouette
Gravemakers from the roman and hellene eras, as I recllect show the menora as curved.

Here's a ancient one from Greece:

I'm looking for more.

38 posted on 01/15/2004 6:39:28 PM PST by bvw
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To: Askel5
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".

Well said and thank you.

39 posted on 01/15/2004 6:41:06 PM PST by Colosis (RENTAL CAR: The only *TRUE* all-terrain vehicle.)
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To: Alouette
The Re-Building of the Temple as told in the Book of Revelation:

Prophecy is happening before our eyes.....
40 posted on 01/15/2004 6:42:13 PM PST by missyme
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To: xJones
Albigensians may declare that the Holy Grail is hidden in there, or something equally ridiculous.

Do you think it's ridiculous that documents regarding the Albigensians, or the Cathars, or the Templars, or other suppressed heretical sects may be found there?

Who said anything about the Catholic Church being the "enemy" and why would you think I am targetting Catholics? I just commented on what their archives and storage dungeons might contain. Is it wrong to be academically curious?

I'm not writing a novel.

41 posted on 01/15/2004 6:44:12 PM PST by Alouette (Proud parent of an IDF recruit!)
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To: redhead
Religion was the reason the Jews revolted.

Not considered a smart thing, you know. They got uppity after overthrowing the Seleucid rule.
42 posted on 01/15/2004 6:45:03 PM PST by TheAngryClam (Don't blame me, I voted for McClintock.)
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To: Askel5
are there certain requisites to actually rebuilding the Temple?

Um, yeah. The Messiah has to arrive first. Now, you Christians think he already arrived, but what I mean is, the Messiah triumphant must first be revealed and then rebuild the Temple.

43 posted on 01/15/2004 6:46:50 PM PST by Alouette (Proud parent of an IDF recruit!)
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Perhaps these folksmanaged to find something of interest:

Hi All! One of the more interesting folk traditions in the contemporary Jewish community suggests that the seven-branched Menorah of the Jerusalem Temple, taken to Rome by Titus, is hidden to this day in the Vatican. I am planning a study of these traditions, and am turning to you for any light you can shed on it-- especially stories, references, oral testimony, and interesting historical or contemporary parallels. If you know anything that might help with my research into this oft-repeated tradition, I would appreciate your input.


As I remember, and I cannot remember where I heard it, the menorah supposedly survived until the Visigoths took Rome in 410 and then ended up as part of their loot, possibly later deposited Aleric's tomb in southern Italy. I have not run into the more modern fantasy.


I believe that the removal was in 455 by the Vandals rather than the Visigoths. The relics were later recaptured by Justinian's army under Belisarius, and displayed on parade in Constantinople in 535. Apparently they were then given back to Jewish authorities. procopius writes about them.

My personal speculation is that the Jewish leaders had been persuaded to help finance the Belisarius adventure in return for repossessing their treasures.

The levant was virtually destroyed in the years after 543. It is quite likely, IMO, that the Jewish treasures were looted and destroyed in this period, by marauding faction brigands, or the Persians, or plague-crazed mobs. It was a very unpleasant time.


You are right--I remember now. Well, anyway I provided a good example of how unreliable traditions begin! Mac


The earliest traditions were that the treasures of Jerusalem were taken by the Visigoths, according to Procopius, or taken by the Vandals, according to ... Procopius! The Vandal "treasure" was recovered with the Justinianic reconquest, and was supposedly returned to Jerusalem. These facts seem to have evaded knowledge in the west, where the treasure became more fabulous and acquired items from the original Solomonic Temple, and a late medieval guidebook, Mirabilis Urbis Romae, cap. 35, reports the Lateran as holding the candelabra, along with the Ark of the Covenant, the tablets of the Law and Aaron's priestly robes. There is a translation which appeared recently in ppb., my copy of which has decided to go missing. I'd be interested in hearing whatever else you have to find.


I was also told this legend as a child in Britain. See H Strauss 'The history and form of the seven-branched candlestick of the Hasmonean kings' Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 22 (1959) p.6f., which discusses the possibility that the menorah survived in Constantinople until 1204, and refers by the way to various other legends. Susan Tel Aviv


re: Temple Menorah at the Vatican I've often wondered if the story in Orosius' History 7.39, where the Goths and Romans have a sort of triumphal procession to restore treasures to St. Peter's Basulica, might have some relevance to the Temple Menorah legend.



44 posted on 01/15/2004 6:47:41 PM PST by Askel5
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To: Askel5
Yes, it is unlikely the object was still around centuries after the sack of Jerusalem, when the Roman government began to favor the Catholic Church. Besides that, Rome was sacked by the Goths in 410 and by the Vandals in 455, so anything valuable may have been carted off on one of those occasions.
45 posted on 01/15/2004 6:48:45 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus
=== Besides that, Rome was sacked by the Goths in 410 and by the Vandals in 455,

Evidently, the folks on the "antiquities" .edu chatboard tend toward blaming Vandals as well.
46 posted on 01/15/2004 6:49:50 PM PST by Askel5
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To: TheAngryClam
Taxes, colonization, and the defilement of the Temple by Roman soldiers were pretty good reasons to rebel.
Herod Agrippa warned the Romans, but they were bent on supressing Judea.
47 posted on 01/15/2004 6:51:00 PM PST by rmlew (Peaceniks and isolationists are objectively pro-Terrorist)
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To: Alouette
Alouette,
It is so ironic how the re-building of the temple and a Messiah who will bring Peace to the world is the same as the christian theory that this will also happen but this "Messiah" will be the Anti-Christ in other words "Satan" that will be a wolf in sheep's clothing. Does this concern you? that you might be worshipping the "Devil" do you think you will be deceived should this event happen in your lifetime??
48 posted on 01/15/2004 6:54:22 PM PST by missyme
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To: Alouette
=== The Messiah has to arrive first.

Now this I did not know and never would have guessed.

I had always been under the impression there were two messianic visions ... one riding an ass into Jerusalem and a second, more triumphant, return.

I was under the further misimpression that Jesus of Nazareth was born during a sort of "messianic" age ... wherein Jews were already expecting the Messiah (as they are now, I know).

But the Temple was intact back then and I can't imagine anyone dreamt it would be destroyed. Has that initial Messianic vision always been tied to the Temple in Jerusalem such that no one can conceive of the Messiah's coming without the Temple's being there?

If you've got some source to point me to, I'd be grateful, thanks.
49 posted on 01/15/2004 6:54:42 PM PST by Askel5
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To: Alouette
=== storage dungeons

You may not be writing a novel but I suspect you've got the wordsmithing ability and imagination to do just that! =)
50 posted on 01/15/2004 6:56:09 PM PST by Askel5
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