Off the Beaten Track: Following the Tenth LegionThe writer doesn't give a source for this legend, but presumably it is rabbinic. A similar story appears in a couple of Old Testament pseudepigrapha. According to 4 Baruch 4:1-5 and the Coptic Jeremiah Apocryphon 28, during the siege the prophet Jeremiah tossed either keys or the gold plate with God's name on it into the sun for safekeeping.
By JOE YUDIN (Jerusalem Post)
Marks of Hadrian, Herod, Crusaders, Rabbi Akiva, Bar Kochba, Rashi, Mamlukes, Ottomans, Brits, Israelis and more are all over Jerusalem.
Joe Yudin owns Touring Israel, a company that specializes in “Lifestyle” tours of Israel.
There are ten measures of beauty in the world-nine in Jerusalem and one in the rest of the world. There are ten measures of suffering in the world-nine in Jerusalem and one in the rest of the world. There are ten measures of wisdom in the world-nine in Jerusalem and one in the rest of the world. There are ten measures of smooth talk in the world-nine in Jerusalem and one in the rest of the world. There are ten measures of Torah in the world-nine in Jerusalem and one in the rest of the world. -Avot de Rabbi Natan, B.
This late period midrash (around the 8th century CE) explains Jerusalem perfectly even until this day. There is no place on earth like Jerusalem, its beauty is unique and very special, and its history and holiness are almost immeasurable. There is also a dark side to Jerusalem: its politics, its sectarian friction, and its history of being destroyed and rebuilt over and over again.
Walking through Jaffa Gate in the Old City we pass the ramparts walk entrance and bathrooms immediately to the left, then the tourist offices and the “Tomb of the Architects.” Pass the first street on your left and then take your next left through an arched gateway next to a kiosk, seemingly entering a building but in actually it’s an alleyway. Check out the ceilings under the arches and continue to a small circular opening next to a café. You will be standing next to a lamppost, but take a closer look at the pillar holding up the lamp. There is Latin writing engraved on it. This pillar marks the spot of the headquarters for the Roman governor of Judea, “Marcus Iunius Maximus…Legate of the Tenth Legion of the Sea Straits.” The infamous Tenth Legion, previously led by Octavian Augustus which defeated both Sextus Pompei and Mark Anthony, also participated in the siege of Jerusalem and its destruction in the year 70 CE, first under the command of Vespasian and later his son Titus.
During the Titus led, Tenth Legion’s siege of the Temple Mount complex, the Temple itself caught fire and the Jewish priests threw the keys to Jerusalem and the Temple into the burning ambers of the Temple proclaiming “Master of the Universe! Since we have not been privileged to become Thy faithful ministers, let these keys been entrusted to Thy hands!” ...
Friday, September 16, 2011
Following the Tenth Legion