History in the Neighborhood: Jason’s Tomb


Of late, I have been hard at work securing more crucial interviews and developing an experimental portion of my research here in Israel. All the while, I have also been engrossed in collecting and analyzing Israeli public opinion data, small portions of which I have posted on this blog and doing more secondary and primary source reading. In short, I have not been bored.

It is easy to get so busy that you begin to ignore the interesting things which surround you in the day-to-day. One of the most fascinating things about living in Jerusalem is that history is truly everywhere. Less than two blocks from my apartment, if you turn to the left through an obscure arch, you will find yourself in front of a surprisingly well-preserved ancient tomb. I have my suspicions that at least some restoration work has gone into it over the years.

The inscription on the wall outside the tomb is not terrible informative, reading only: “Hasmonean Era Rock Cut Tomb.” A bit of research (thank you internet) reveals that the “rock-cut tomb” belongs to Jason, or Yason, of the Oniad family, who was a high priest in the Temple in Jerusalem during the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes. This was the very same Antiochus against whom the Maccabees rebelled, commemorated by the recent holiday of Hannukah.

The tomb is nestled between several blocs of apartment buildings in the heart of Rechavia and is surrounded by a small, two-tiered green space, perhaps a bit too small to be called a proper park which connects Alfasi and Sderot Ben Maimon. Since discovering it a few months ago, I have used it as a quick cut-through between the two streets. There are very few straight lines in Jerusalem. If you are ever in the neighborhood, take time to check it out. It is definitely one of the city’s hidden historical treasures.

Golden Gate, City of David, and Pride Parade


In an effort to get back on track with my blogging, here is a recap of the last three days: the first two in brief and yesterday in more detail.

On Tuesday, I finished packing up everything at Kfar HaStudentim, cleaned up my room, and with almost no trouble checked out. Then I caught a cab out to my new place in Rehavia. Once there, I cleaned out my room, put away a few things, and ran to the shuk to get food. In the afternoon, I mostly finished unpacking, swept and mopped up the apartment, and met up with a few friends in the evening.

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Ulpan, Newspapers, and Apartment Found

ynet My post today will be a brief one. In ulpan, we covered a number of subject areas. We were reintroduced to the pi’el verb form and its many variations and exceptions in its conjugation and transitions from verb to noun forms. Not terribly exciting, but important to learn a language.

Among the more interesting activities we did today was an exercise skimming the newspaper for critical content. Everyone in class was given a copy of yesterday’s Yediot Ahronot (YNet online) in Hebrew and a sheet of simple questions about the content of the front section. In groups, we skimmed the paper and picked up elements of the stories, headlines, advertisements, and even obituaries. We are not exactly yet sitting down with a cup of coffee to read the whole newspaper, but our skills are all developing.

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