Blessing the Sea – Issue 5, January 2021 “Finding Refuge in . . . Archaeology”

Above: A Cave at Tel Maresha, Beit Guvrin National Park © Lane Igoudin, 2019

Does the current political turmoil feel overwhelming? Shock, confusion, disbelief, anger are among many emotions last week’s events in Washington, DC, had brought up in me, but remaining engaged, I feel I also need to take a pause. This turmoil has reminded me that returning to the most solid, most sacred part of our identity, to our personal and collective faith and history, is the most centering thing one can do to regain balance.
     Ein kol khadash takhat ha-shemesh  (“There is nothing new under the sun”) wrote Kohelet (Ecclesiastes1:9). It has all happened before. Nothing is unprecedented. Let’s view today’s political turbulence as just one of many chapters in a neverending book. And the book is continuing. Another chapter is waiting on the next page.
     So in this issue, besides sharing some of my new publications, I am offering several inter-related articles on interesting, no, astounding recent archeological discoveries that reframe what we know as legendary ancient history in real historical terms.
     With love and compassion,
     – Lane

Returning to What’s True: Reconnecting with the Present

My new blog series for Applied Jewish Spirituality is focusing on various techniques from Zen and Jewish sources that help to incorporate contemplation / t’shuvah into daily activities. [ . . . ]

“Christmas Dreidels” in The Citadel 2020

This recently published essay explores my partner’s and my experience of building a family on the richness of our heritages, one in which diverse racial and religious backgrounds add up to a new organic whole. Excerpts included. [ . . . ]

From a Failed Burglary to Hanukkah History

Recent archaeological finds in the caves of Maresha, some by volunteer diggers, throw new light on the first attempt at raiding the Jerusalem Temple, ushering in the period of Greek oppression which would lead up to the Maccabean revolt and the lights of Hanukkah. [ . . . ]

Bird Sacrifices in Ancient Israel

In 2019, touring the caves of Maresha, we came upon a giant, underground columbarium – similar to the one you’d see at a cemetery, except the openings were strangely small [ . . . ]

The Journey along the Pilgrimage Road in the Heart of Jerusalem

A drainage repair leads to the discovery of the magnificent Siloam Pool and a perfectly preserved pilgrimage road from Jerusalem’s lower city up to the Temple Mount. A 2020 documentary by The City of David Foundation [ . . . ]

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