Buyer Beware! How Forged Dead Sea Scrolls Were Exposed by High-Tech Tests

QumranThe full release in 1991 of the Dead Sea Scrolls from the cabal of Christian scholars who held onto their rights of access and publication set off an amazing series of academic achievements: the full publication of the Scrolls by an expanded international team, of which I had the privilege of being a member, and the availability of the entire photographic archive on the websites of the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Israel Museum. These important achievements sparked an enormous amount of new research on Judaism in the Bayis Sheini period. This research extended to all areas: Biblical studies, literature, history and archaeology.

But the renewed interest in the ancient scrolls discovered at Qumran (probably Biblical Sechachah; Yehoshua 15:61) on the western shore of the Dead Sea brought with it a dark side as well. Collectors, most of whom were Evangelical Christians seeking to connect tangibly with the Bible, began to attempt to purchase fragments of Dead Sea Scrolls manuscripts. Several individuals and institutions bought such fragments, believing that they were buying the real thing. Millions of dollars were paid by these collectors and institutions. Today, some 70 fragments have been identified as having surfaced on the antiquities market from… Continue reading

Concerns of Rising anti-Semitism

Concerns of Rising anti-SemitismWhile we are all focused on the horrendous tragedy that took place in Pittsburgh at the Tree of Life Synagogue and on the anti-Semitic motivations of the murderer, there is an amazing side to this sad event that needs to be pointed out. The support that the Jewish community has received from virtually the entire American population, its government and institutional structures, and even its sports teams, says a lot about the character of the country in which we live. This is true despite some of the terrible rhetoric being used in the discussion of immigration, both legal and illegal. The reality is that support for anti-Semitic violence no doubt lurks in some corners of the dark Internet and in some white supremacist cells, but the neighbors with whom we live truly support and want to protect the Jewish people. All over America memorial services and solidarity programs are being held, in synagogues with non-Jews in attendance, in churches, in government, and in schools. The simple fact is that this Jewish tragedy has touched the entire nation.

Read the rest of this article from Jewish Tribune.

Sects and the City

The Jewish Communities of Qumran and Alexandria

Sects and the CityCo-sponsored by Drisha, The Jewish Publication Society and Sixth Street Community Synagogue
November 29th, 7:00 PM
Sixth Street Community Synagogue
325 East Sixth Street

$10/students free of charge.

Please join us for an evening to celebrate the publication of Dr. Malka Z. Simkovich’s new book, Discovering Second Temple Literature: The Scriptures and Stories That Shaped Early Judaism (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 2018).

Talks will be given by Dr. Malka Z. Simkovich (Drisha Faculty member and Crown-Ryan Chair of Judies Studies at Catholic Theological Union) and Dr. Lawrence Schiffman (Judge Abraham Lieberman Professorship in Hebrew & Judaic Studies at New York University).

We will explore the Jewish literature and communities of Alexandria and the Dead Sea Scrolls in Greek and Roman times, as Jews navigated as a minority through worlds dominated by powerful cultures.

Light refreshments will be served. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Click here to register.