Israeli history photo of the week: Sealed Gates .
(photo credit: American Colony-Jerusalem-Photo Dept.)
The Library of Congress has recently digitalized a collection of over 10,000
photographs, taken by the "American Colony" in Jerusalem, a group of Christian
utopians who lived in Jerusalem between 1881 and the 1940s. The photographers
returned to the US, and bequeathed their massive collection to the Library of
Congress in 1978. The collection includes Winston Churchill's visit to
Jerusalem, Jewish expulsions from the Old City during Arab riots, and the
building of Tel Aviv.
This summer the Yisrael HaYom newspaper reported on archaeological artifacts
found by a British scholar after part of the el-Aqsa mosque collapsed in the
1927 earthquake that struck Palestine. Reporter Nadav Shragai revealed that
items from the period of the Second Jewish Temple were found but that their
publication was suppressed.
collection includes two inexplicable pictures dated between 1920 and 1933
entitled "Ancient entrance to Temple beneath el-Aksa." The pictures were taken
on the other side of the Hulda Gates, one of the major entrances to the Temple
by pilgrims coming from the vast Shiloah (Silwan) pool. According to the Mishna,
the gates were used for entering and exiting the Temple complex.
The Hulda Gates date back to King Herod's Second Temple period, perhaps even to
Hasmonean times. According to some commentaries, "Hulda" was a prophetess during
the First Temple who apparently prophesized around the area where the gates were
built (See Kings II, 22:14).
More photos can be viewed at http://www.israeldailypicture.com