Saturday, November 19, 2011

More on the "Judaization" of Jerusalem


David M. Weinberg writes in the Jerusalem Post: Who’s destroying antiquities in Jerusalem? Hint: It isn't the Israelis.
There is little doubt that Palestinian authorities are conducting this assault on the Temple Mount so as to erase any vestige of archeological evidence for Jewish (and Christian) history.
Cross-file under "Temple Mount Watch," but the article deals with much more than the Temple Mount.

Meanwhile, the new Egyptian Government continues to cover itself in glory:
Million Men to March in Cairo Against “Judaization” of Jerusalem

Hamas announced Thursday that the new rulers of Egypt have given their blessing to a “million man march" against “Judaization” of Jerusalem.

By David Lev (Arutz Sheva)
First Publish: 11/17/2011, 3:20 PM

Hamas announced Thursday that the new rulers of Egypt – swept into power as a result of the “Arab Spring” rebellion – have given their blessing to a major demonstration to take place in Cairo next week. The “million man march” to be sponsored by Islamist groups a week from Friday will protest against the “Judaization” of Jerusalem.


The march will be led by no less than Ahmed a-Taib, Egypt's highest-ranking Islamic cleric and perhaps the most important in the entire Sunni Arab world. A-Taib, head of the Al-Azhar mosque, called the march “very important,” and worthy of the time of every Muslim who valued his religion. In recent weeks, a-Taib set up a special committee to prevent the progress of the “Zionist plan to Judaize Jerusalem.” The committee is expected to develop a platform that it will ask all individuals planning to run in Egypt's upcoming elections to support, committing them to using whatever resources are at their disposal to “defend the Al-Aqsa mosque” on the Temple Mount. A-Taib expects all politicians in Egypt – including Coptic Christians – to endorse the platform.

I don't begrudge the right of Hamas to organize peaceable demonstrations in Egypt, no matter how ridiculous the cause, but I do get the sense that the Egyptian Government is picking and choosing what it supports. And I'll take the "million" part with a grain of salt. Recent tangentially related posts are here and here.

This relatively new line of protesting the "Judaization of Jerusalem," apparently inspired by the recent UNESCO recognition of Palestine, is a combination of Palestinian projection of their own attempts to de-Judaize the city with the principle of the Big Lie.

Background, comments, and more documentation are here.

Hanan Eshel and Jewish burials in Israel

THE LATE HANAN ESHEL is featured in a Jerusalem Post article on recent trends in Jewish burials in Israel:
Without the rabbinate, I'll have a Jewish burial

Hundreds of Jews are buried in civil cemeteries every year in Israel, out of choice, and in nearly all cases, without relinquishing of the ceremony's religious elements.

By Yair Ettinger Tags: Jewish World Bar Ilan Orthodox Jew Jerusalem

The cancer he fought over a long period left Prof. Hanan Eshel time to plan his farewell to this world. Eshel, a Bar-Ilan University archaeologist who was a world-renowned expert on the Second Temple period and the Dead Sea Scrolls, was a religiously observant Jew. Before his death, last year, at the age of 51, he asked his family to bury him at the secular Kibbutz Ma'aleh Hahamisha, near Jerusalem. Though the cemetery is non-religious and private, the preparation for burial and the funeral itself all followed traditional rabbinical law: The body underwent ritual purification and was wrapped in a shroud, the mourners tore their garments, and the Kaddish and El Malei Rachamim prayers were said.

Hanan Eshel lived as a Jew and died as a Jew, and was buried in his own way at a quiet and verdant cemetery, with the help of an Orthodox rabbi he had known during his lifetime and who is not connected to a burial society - instead of at the cold and harsh stone "factory" of Har Hamenuhot, Jerusalem's principal Jewish cemetery, in Givat Shaul.

Rabbi Benjamin Lau, rabbi of the Ramban Congregation in Jerusalem, recalls the ceremony he conducted for Hanan Eshel mainly as a "completely ordinary funeral." Though there were vocal and instrumental musical passages, against which there is no prohibition in rabbinical law, not a single religious element was absent from it.

As a religiously observant individual, Eshel's choice of burial in a civil cemetery was unusual. However, hundreds of Jews are buried in civil cemeteries every year in Israel, out of choice, and in nearly all cases, without relinquishing of the ceremony's religious elements. There are cases in which the religious ceremony is completely standard, but the family prefers to invite a rabbi or cantor privately, from one religious stream or another, rather than putting the rites in the hands of people from a hevra kadisha, an establishment burial society.

This is another step in the privatization of religious life in Israel: As in private Orthodox wedding ceremonies and private conversions, here too there is a group that is in effect distinguishing between religion and the religious establishment - in this case the hevra kadisha. Here too Jews are preferring to act in the civil-secular realm, while strictly adhering to tradition and rabbinical law in all their details. The main point for them is that they have a choice as to how to do this.


NPR: Dead Sea Scrolls On Display In Times Square

NPR: Dead Sea Scrolls On Display In Times Square.

Many more reviews of the exhibition here and links.

Egyptian bloggers update

Prominent Blogger's Detention Extended [Press Release]

(I can't get this one to cut and paste, but it reports that Amnesty International is now protesting Alaa's detention.)

EU parliament urges release of Egyptian blogger, end of military trials for civilians

Friday, 18 November 2011

By Al Arabiya and Agencies

The European Parliament urged the Egyptian government on Thursday to release prominent blogger activist Alaa Abdel Fatah and suspend trials of civilians in military courts.


Father of arrested activist lashes out at ruling military council

Farouk el-Gamal (
Thu, 17/11/2011 - 20:43

The father of a recently arrested activist called for his immediate release, saying the charges leveled at his son are fabricated. The son was arrested against the backdrop of last month's clashes between mostly-Coptic protesters and the army at Maspero. The father's name is Ahmed Seif al-Islam, and his son is Alaa.

“The military council is brutal and must be brought to trial,” said Islam, who directs the Hisham Mubarak Center for Human Rights. “They are a bunch of executioners.”


Canada calls for Egypt blogger Maikel Nabil to be released,

Desmond Shephard | 18 November 2011 |(

CAIRO: Canada’s liberal justice critic Irwin Cotler and a number of other MPs in the country have called for the Egyptian ruling military to free jailed blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad.

Did I mention that the world is watching?

Background here.

Friday, November 18, 2011

In San Francisco and on a new session

IN SAN FRANCISCO. More tomorrow.

UPDATE: Okay, one more thing before I turn in. At the last minute I've been co-opted into this session for tomorrow because of a cancellation. Note that the time has changed from 4:00-5:30 to 1:00-2:30. I don't have a paper topic, so presumably I'll be dispensing my wisdom extemporaneously.
Engaging the "Wired-In Generation": Knowledge and Learning in the Digital Age
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Room: 3002 - Convention Center

Theme: Hosted by the Student Advisory Board

Teresa Calpino, Loyola University of Chicago, Presiding

Mark Goodacre, Duke University
Pods, Blogs, and other Time-wasters: Do Electronic Media Detract from Proper Scholarship? (15 min)

Christian Brady, Pennsylvania State University
On the Internet No One Knows You're a Grad Student, Or How Social Media Can Help You, Build You Up, and Tear You Down (15 min)

Kelley Coblentz Bautch, St. Edward's University
Videoconferencing in the Classroom: Broadening the Horizons of Students through Interactive Scholarly Exchange (15 min)

Discussion (30 min)
Note also that the SBL ap still displays the incorrect time.

UPDATE (20 November): More on the session here.

Off to California

I'M OFF TO CALIFORNIA, first for the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in San Francisco, then to San Diego for the Thanksgiving holidays. I will blog as often as I can during the trip.

As usual, I am pre-posting my SBL paper, which is to be presented on Sunday. You can download it as a pdf file by clicking on the link: Ritual Praxis in Ancient Jewish and Christian Mysticism.

I expect to be in San Fancisco this evening and I'm looking forward to seeing many readers in person there.

UPDATE (27 November): William Hamblin has posted some thoughts on my paper, noted here.

UPDATE (2 December): Rebecca Lesses has posted her response to the three papers in the session here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Job in ANE History and Aramaic at Chicago University

JOB IN ANE HISTORY AND ARAMAIC at the University of Chicago:
Posting Number:

Position Title:

Assistant Professor in Ancient Near Eastern History and Aramaic Studies

Position Type:


Hiring Unit:

Position Description:
The Oriental Institute and the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations of the University of Chicago invite applications for a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor in Ancient Near Eastern History and Aramaic Studies with a starting date in Fall 2012.

Applicants must have the Ph.D. in hand before the appointment begins. The candidate should be a scholar of the first-millennium BC Near East who has synthetic research interests that address problems in ancient history and who has demonstrated expertise in Aramaic language and texts. Applicants must upload a CV, a cover letter, and three (3) letters of reference.

Review of applications will begin after December 31, 2011.
Inquiries can be directed to with the subject heading "Ancient History/Aramaic Search".

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity Employer

Additional Information or Requirements:
The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity Employer.

Required Applicant Documents:
Cover Letter
Curriculum Vitae
Reference Contact Info
Other Document
Via the Agade list.

KJB@400 Watch: The KJB and England

The Holy Land of England

By Liam Hoare (Jewish Ideas Daily)

The King James Bible, along with the Book of Common Prayer, Shakespeare, and Milton, transformed the English language, introducing a vibrant lexicon that is used to this day. It also fused biblical mythology with concepts of English national identity—becoming, as Simon Sebag Montefiore argues, the "national epic of Britain" and placing "the Jews and Jerusalem at the very heart of British life." The King James translation was part of the Reformation's attempt to break the Catholic monopoly on European Christian worship. It was equally an attempt at nation-building. It sought to elevate England's Church, its monarchy, and the nation to pre-eminence by linking the histories of the English and Jewish peoples and tying the city of Jerusalem to a nation emerging as not only a European but a global superpower.

Also: Queen marks anniversary of King James Bible (AP)

The economy and antiquities

THE ECONOMY is also bad news for antiquities:
Recent articles in popular news magazines (Time, Forbes) and newspapers (Wall Street Journal and the New York Times) extol the virtues of investing in the past. Buying antiquities has become a safe(r) investment than the stock market. Recent sales of Dead Sea Scroll fragments by a family who had “owned” them for decades were compared to a 401(K) program that kicks in as family members need the money. Record breaking purchases of the Guennol Lioness (US $57.2 million) and an Imperial Chinese vase from a Swiss collection (US $22 million) attest to the lure of the ancient not only as mementoes of past trips, past lives and the ancient past, but of potential future profits and retirement “nest eggs”
(Morag M. Kersel. The Lure of Ancient Artifacts, at Bible and Interpretation)

Brandeis cuts Hebrew major

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE: Brandeis cuts costs by cutting Hebrew major as students scratch heads (

The cutting of any academic staff position or any academic major at a university should be preceded by the cutting of at least three administrative positions.

Review of NYC DSS exhibit in CSM

REVIEW OF THE NYC DEAD SEA SCROLLS EXHIBITION by Gregory M. Lamb in the Christian Science Monitor: Dead sea scrolls come alive: Ancient Dead Sea Scrolls find new accessibility in New York's bustling Times Square. Excerpt:
While opening up study of the scrolls to an online audience is welcomed by scholars, they don't dismiss what's to be gained by seeing them in person. "I think many [people] are just amazed and fascinated to look at a piece of writing that's 2,000 years old, that may be from a text that they're familiar with," Dr. Kohn says. "Some of the scrolls are amazingly clear and in really good condition."

Just as with ancient art and architecture, seeing the scrolls in person is an encounter with "the ancients themselves," says William Yarchin, a scrolls aficionado and professor of biblical studies at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Calif. "You are in the presence of the ancient...." It may sound hokey, he says, but "there is some sort of communion or contact ... that cannot be duplicated" by viewing a photograph or online image.

More reviews etc. here and links.

Lecture on apocalypticism in Austin

Professor gives talk on apocalypticism

By Sara Sanchez

Published: Monday, November 14, 2011 (Hilltop View)

Updated: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 17:11

If you've ever wanted to see what activities your professors do on campus besides teaching, the Faculty Talks on Scholarly, Creative and Professional Work are an opportunity to learn.

On Nov. 10, Kelley Coblentz-Bautch, a religious studies professor at St. Edward's University, gave a talk entitled "From Classroom to Conference and Back Again: Studies in Ancient Apocalypticism."

Coblentz-Bautch talked about a number of issues related to the Dead Sea Scrolls and the activity of apocalypticism in the last 70 years. Coblentz-Bauch defined apocalypticism as the movement or perspective associated with the end of the world as we know it.

Professor Coblentz-Bautsch is a member of the Enoch Seminar and the SBL Esotericism and Mysticism in Antiquity Section. She and I will be meeting in San Francisco at SBL to start planning the Pseudepigrapha session for the 2013 meeting of the International SBL at St. Andrews.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On the 11-11-11 closing of the Great Pyramid

I'VE BEEN MEANING TO COMMENT on that story about the Egyptian Government closing the Great Pyramid last Friday to protect it from the 11-11-11 depredations of a horde of "Jewish Masons." I can understand the Government's desire to maintain order at the site, but it doesn't sound as though there was much basis for concern apart from "unconfirmed rumours in the local press" about a plot to put a Star of David on top of the Pyramid. In any case, it was handled in a typically ham-fisted way that invites ridicule, but at least no one got hurt this time. The Guardian has a pretty detailed account, from which the quote above comes.

My interest is more in the background of the event (or, as it turns out, the non-event). Israel Today Magazine has the relevant details:
Claiming that the world will soon come under assault by external powers, the group obtained permission from Egyptian authorities to hold a ceremony at the Great Pyramid and place a protective crystal inside.

But there was an uproar in Egypt following claims that among the New Age group would be 1,200 "Jewish Masons" who intended to cap the Great Pyramid with a Star of David.

Egyptian antiquities officials said that Jewish Masons have been trying to cap the Great Pyramid for nearly a century in order to highlight the claim that the ancient structure was built by Jewish slaves prior to the biblical Exodus.
As I have noted before, I can't find any Jews who make the claim today that the Israelites built the Pyramids, although Egyptians keep bringing it up. Scotland gets blamed too, but the earliest surviving reference to this daft notion comes from Josephus.

Cross-file under "Junk History."

Stiles on first-century boat from Sea of Galilee

THAT FIRST-CENTURY BOAT from the Sea of Galilee is profiled by Wayne Stiles in his Jerusalem Post column: Sights and Insights: Not just any old shipwreck.

Background here.

Human Rights Watch: Free Alaa

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Egypt: Free Blogger Held in Maspero Case.
No Transparency in Military Investigation of Killing of Copts
November 15, 2011

(New York) – Egypt’s military prosecutor should immediately release an award-winning blogger charged in connection with the demonstration by Christian Copts on October 9, 2011, which turned deadly, Human Rights Watch said today. Alaa Abdel Fattah was detained and later charged with incitement and theft of a military weapon, even though the prosecutor had presented no evidence to support the charges. His detention came as military prosecutors started questioning activists and priests about their alleged involvement in publicly encouraging Copts to demonstrate on that day.

Background here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bloomberg discovers the Cairo Geniza

BLOOMBERG has discovered the Cairo Geniza:
Israel Computer Solves Ancient Jigsaw of Prayers, Wedding Vows

November 15, 2011, 3:12 AM EST

By Gwen Ackerman

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Thousands of fragments of centuries- old Jewish texts, from shopping lists to historical documents, are being joined together using new software.

The scraps of the Cairo Genizah being cataloged include a letter from a wife complaining about her husband and a rabbinical judge’s authorization of the kosher status of cheese sold by a Jerusalem grocer.

The software, developed by Tel Aviv University professors Lior Wolf and Nachum Dershowitz, is analyzing texts that span about 1,000 years of Middle East history. The algorithm program adapts facial recognition technology to identify similar handwriting on documents which are then sorted into digital loose-leaf binders.

“The computer found thousands of items running for a week,” Dershowitz said in a telephone interview. “Then it took months for the scholars to look at it and decide if the computer was correct.”

Background to the project is here and links.

Arabic Crusader Inscription

ARABIC CRUSADER INSCRIPTION: The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs posts the IAA press release:
Unique archaeological discovery - Crusader inscription in Arabic

14 Nov 2011
Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: "This is the only Crusader inscription in the Arabic language ever found in the Middle East."

Photo courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority

(Communicated by the Israel Antiquities Authority)

An Arabic inscription that bears the name of the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II, and the date "1229 of the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus the Messiah", was recently deciphered by Professor Moshe Sharon and Ami Shrager of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. During the deciphering it became evident that this is a rare archaeological find - the only one of its kind.

The 800-years-old inscription was fixed years ago in the wall of a building in Tel Aviv. The original location of the gray marble slab, on which the inscription is engraved, was probably in Jaffa's city wall.

As Professor Sharon relates, "Frederick II led the Sixth Crusade of 1228-1229 and succeeded, without resorting to arms, in achieving major territorial gains for the Crusader Kingdom. His most important feat was the handing over of Jerusalem to the Crusaders by the Egyptian sultan al-Malik al-Kamil as a result of an armistice agreement the two rulers signed in 1229. Prior to achieving thisagreement, the emperor fortified the castle of Jaffa and left in its walls, as it now appears, two inscriptions, one in Latin and the other in Arabic. The Arabic inscription was drafted by Frederick's officials, or possibly even the emperor himself, and it is the one which has been now deciphered".

Although just a small part of the Latin inscription was preserved, it was enough to ascribe it, already at the end of the 19th century, to Frederick II. Today, with the aid of the Arabic inscription, it is possible to virtually complete the text of that fragment.

The unique Arabic inscription is almost completely intact. It lists all of the titles of Frederick II, and as already stated, has no counterpart elsewhere. In Sicily, where Frederick's main royal palace was located, no Arabic inscription of his has been found to date. Furthermore, until now this is the only Crusader inscription in the Arabic language ever found in the Middle East.

Frederick II, despite having been excommunicated by Pope Gregory IX, crowned himself king of Jerusalem in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and mentioned his being the 'King of Jerusalem' in this inscription. He knew Arabic and maintained a close relationship with the Egyptian royal family.

A scientific publication of the inscription is currently being prepared by Professor Sharon and Ami Shrager.
Outside PaleoJudaica's usual purview, but file under Too Cool Not To Mention.

LiveScience also has an interview with Professor Sharon (or perhaps a longer version of the press release) which has additional information.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Solomon the pygmy?

SOLOMON THE PYGMY? Dorothy Lobel King is skeptical of the claim in BAR in 2008 that Solomon, Socrates, and Aristotle are pictured in a Pompeii fresco.
Did I mention that his Aristotle, Socrates and Solomon are all pygmies? It’s mean to be a humorous scene on a podium decorated with fresco scenes of pygmies. In another panel they battle crocodiles and hippopotami, whilst in a third they process along the banks of a river (images here).

More on the Cairo Geniza & TAU

THE CAIRO GENIZA DIGITIZATION PROJECT at Tel Aviv University is covered briefly in Haaretz:
High-tech science pieces together ancient scraps of Jewish Life

Computer scientists at Tel Aviv University use artificial intelligence to gather fragments of the legendary Cairo Genizah to tell the story of 1,000 years of Jewish history and culture.

By Joel N. Shurkin Tags: Jewish World

Computer scientists at Tel Aviv University are using artificial intelligence to gather the fragments of the world’s largest collection of medieval documents, the legendary Cairo Genizah, to tell the story of 1,000 years of Jewish history and culture. They have reconstructed more than 1,000 documents from 350,000 individual items found in the Cairo storage room: more in a few months than in 110 years of conventional scholarship.

In some ways, the contents of the Cairo Genizah are more important than the Dead Sea Scrolls, several scholars believe. While the Dead Sea scrolls were the religious literature of a small sect that lived in the desert for a few years, the Cairo Genizah told the story of the day-to-day details of a millennium of Jewish life, from the mundane to the magnificent.

Wait a minute. The Dead Sea Scrolls are more important than this paragraph implies. The "small sect" may have been pretty extensive; whether or not the sect actually lived at Qumran, the library itself may have been gathered from all over Judea in advance of the war with the Romans; the scrolls were written over a period of a few centuries, not a few years; and they are a thousand years and more older than anything in the Cairo Geniza and include some of our earliest fragments of the Hebrew Bible.

In the scheme of things, inevitably the antiquity, romance, and biblical connections of the Dead Sea Scrolls bring them more attention from both scholars and the public. Objectively, it's hard to say whether they or the Cairo Geniza finds are more important. It depends on what you want to know. I'm glad we have both.

Background to this project is here and links.

Work resumes on Jerusalem Museum of Tolerance

Archaeologists resume work at contentious worksite of Jerusalem museum

No one involved in the digs would comment on any archaeological findings since the resumption of the excavations, which are taking place in the capital's Mamilla neighborhood.

By Nir Hasson (Haaretz) Tags: Jerusalem Jews and Arabs Israel archeology

Archaeologists have resumed excavating the Jerusalem site where the Museum of Tolerance is to go up, amid controversy surrounding the exhumation of skeletons in what had been a Muslim cemetery for nearly 1,000 years.

In addition to fielding objections to the museum site, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which is sponsoring and financing the project, also has to contend with the recent resignation of the two architects who planned the museum. But for all the troubles, construction of the museum is scheduled to begin in the next few weeks.

Background here and links.

Christianity Today on Eilat Mazar

EILAT MAZAR: Archaeology's Rebel: Bible in One Hand, Spade in the Other (Christianity Today).

Most recently seen here at PaleoJudaica.

Egptian bloggers update

Egypt keeps two bloggers in jail
Published: Nov. 13, 2011 at 3:08 PM

CAIRO, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Egyptian officials Sunday ordered two more weeks of detention for a controversial blogger who refused to cooperate in a military investigation.

Alaa Abdel Fattah is accused of inciting violence in a bloody clash between troops and Coptic Christians last month and was locked up for 15 days pending further investigation.


The Web site said another jailed blogger, Maikel Nabil Sanad, had his trial postponed again until Nov. 27. Nabil has been on a hunger strike since August. He was sentenced to three years in prison over a March blog post that criticized the Egyptian military.

The world is watching.

Background here and links.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

New book: Leuchter & Hutton, "Levites and Priests in History and Tradition"

NEW BOOK from the SBL:
Levites and Priests in History and Tradition
Mark Leuchter, Jeremy M. Hutton

ISBN 1589836065
Status Available
Price: $31.95
Binding Paperback
Publication Date November, 2011

Priestly functionaries occupy a paramount position in the study of the Hebrew Bible. Despite more than a century of critical research, questions still abound regarding social location and definitions of the various priestly groups, the depictions of their origins, their ritual functions, the role of the laity and family religion, the relationship between prophecy and the priesthood, and the dating of texts. Making use of cross-disciplinary approaches, this volume provides a representative look at the state of current research into various aspects of priesthood in ancient Israel.

Mark Leuchter is Director of Jewish Studies, Department of Religion, at Temple University. He is the co-editor of Soundings in Kings: Perspectives and Methods in Contemporary Scholarship (Fortress). Jeremy M. Hutton is Assistant Professor of Classical Hebrew Language and Biblical Literature at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of The Transjordanian Palimpsest: The Overwritten Texts of Personal Exile and Transformation in the Deuteronomistic History (de Gruyter).

More NYC DSS exhibit reviews


From Lauren Green at Fox News, with video: Dead Sea Scrolls in a Command Performance on Broadway. Larry Schiffman is interviewed:
Lawrence Schiffman, curator and Dead Sea Scroll scholar, says, "The way a person should relate to this and, in fact, I think this is true whether they are a religious believer or not, is that what we see here is the background of the whole religious system that underlies Western civilization."

Schiffman explains that the exhibit shows the real live relationship of Christianity and Judaism, how they developed.

Included in the exhibit are some 700, centuries-old artifacts, giving viewers a look inside the ancient biblical world of faith.

Schiffman says, "we've got here a house that you can look into and get a sense of what was there.

How people live. How people bathed. How they cooked. We've got some weapons. We've got all kinds of things from that real life that you read about, especially in the books like Samuel and Kings."
And a dismissive one from The Forward:
Dead Sea Scrolls Come to Times Square
Massive Discovery Show Aims to Put Artifacts in Context

By Michael Kaminer
Published November 11, 2011, issue of November 18, 2011.

“Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Biblical Times,” which opened on October 30 at the cavernous Discovery Times Square exhibit space in New York, touts itself as showcasing “the largest and most comprehensive collection of Holy Land artifacts ever organized.” Indeed, a more accurate title for this Bible-themed behemoth of a show, produced in partnership with the Israel Antiquities Authority, might be “Dead Sea Scrolls: The Collected Works.”

While the exhibit’s ambition — to contextualize the creation of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and to frame their effects on religion, borders and history — is spectacular, the sheer volume of notable relics ends up diminishing the show’s impact. Among the more than 500 objects, many on display for the first time, are pottery, coins, seals, jewelry, carvings, textiles and 2,000-year-old olive pits dug up in the deserts surrounding Qumran, where the scrolls were first discovered.

More reviews noted here and here.