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The feast of Shavuot is an opportunity to evoke two biblical characters of great importance: Ruth, whose megilla is read during the service of the feast, and her great-grandson : King David (Ruth 4:22).
The Book of Ruth is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. It traces the story of Ruth the Moabite which takes place when the Judges ruled the people of Israel. This is to show how a foreign woman not only entered the people of Israel but became the ancestor of King David.
The feast of Shavuot is an opportunity to evoke two biblical characters of great importance: Ruth, whose megilla is read during the service of the feast, and her great-grandson : King David (Ruth 4:22).
The Book of Ruth is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. It traces the story of Ruth the Moabite which takes place when the Judges ruled the people of Israel. This is to show how a foreign woman not only entered the people of Israel but became the ancestor of King David.


Who was the most famous Moabite ?



Ruth, a convert who clings to the values ​​of Judaism after the death of her first husband.

Ruth tells her mother-in-law, Naomi :

“Do not urge me to abandon you, to return from you; for where you go I will go, and where you spend the night I will spend the night. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.” (Ruth 1:16, 17).

Ruth's words are so remarkable that 3,000 years after they were spoken, they have lost none of their force !

How can we understand that the kingship of Israel originated in a conversion ?

The masters of the Talmud interpreting this verse show us that it is above all in the desire to be faithful to the law of Israel in all its details that Ruth wins adherence.

Who was the most famous Moabite ?



Ruth, a convert who clings to the values ​​of Judaism after the death of her first husband.

Ruth tells her mother-in-law, Naomi :

“Do not urge me to abandon you, to return from you; for where you go I will go, and where you spend the night I will spend the night. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.” (Ruth 1:16, 17).

Ruth's words are so remarkable that 3,000 years after they were spoken, they have lost none of their force !

How can we understand that the kingship of Israel originated in a conversion ?

The masters of the Talmud interpreting this verse show us that it is above all in the desire to be faithful to the law of Israel in all its details that Ruth wins adherence.

The simplicity of Ruth's words and her deliberate choice of the yoke of mitzvot make her the receptacle that can bring deliverance to the people of Israel.

No representation of Ruth has been discovered by archeology for ancient periods. The oldest manuscripts of Ruth's megillah date from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, such as this illuminated manuscript, dated around 1320 and preserved in the British Library in London.

King David



It is, on the other hand, represented since Antiquity

3,000 years after his death, he is still the greatest king in the history of the Jewish people. To take the measure of his greatness, note that his name is mentioned 912 times in the Bible (that of Moses is mentioned 706 times). For the little anecdote, it is the 3rd first name chosen for little boys in Israel in 2019 and 2020…
This magnificent mosaic was discovered in 1965 during excavations of the synagogue in Gaza. It is a building that was destroyed in antiquity and only the first foundation of stones and mosaic floors remain. Its plan was characteristic of the synagogues of High Antiquity: a building in the form of a basilica with several naves, the central part of which was terminated at its eastern end by a projecting semicircular apse, oriented towards Jerusalem, where the Holy Ark containing the Torah scrolls.
The ruins of Byzantine synagogues are numerous in the Land of Israel. One notices in many of them an important Hellenizing influence. The most famous of these synagogues is that of Capernaum, although it is much later than the one where Jesus would have preached. Some are decorated with mosaics as at Beth Alpha and Ein Gedi, where the zodiac is depicted, or at Hammath-Tiberias where the sun god Helios is seen.

Jewish Figurative Art in Late Antiquity



In the synagogue of Gaza, a good part of the floor mosaics are well preserved, one of which bears a dedicatory inscription, in Greek, and mentions the date of 508/509. The motifs of these figured mosaics include scrolls of foliage inhabited by different animals, and especially a David playing the harp and soothing the animals: this biblical motif is important in the discussion of Jewish figurative art in late antiquity.
The mosaics are now on display in the Good Samaritan Museum, located on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho.
The harp is certainly one of the oldest instruments in the world. In Antiquity, it was for a long time an instrument.
In Antiquity, it was for a long time a sacred instrument for communicating with the gods and celebrating worship. The Bible mentions it many times. It is made with sandalwood or cypress wood.
The harp naturally evokes King David who composed and sang many praises to God.
The simplicity of Ruth's words and her deliberate choice of the yoke of mitzvot make her the receptacle that can bring deliverance to the people of Israel.

No representation of Ruth has been discovered by archeology for ancient periods. The oldest manuscripts of Ruth's megillah date from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, such as this illuminated manuscript, dated around 1320 and preserved in the British Library in London.

King David



It is, on the other hand, represented since Antiquity

3,000 years after his death, he is still the greatest king in the history of the Jewish people. To take the measure of his greatness, note that his name is mentioned 912 times in the Bible (that of Moses is mentioned 706 times). For the little anecdote, it is the 3rd first name chosen for little boys in Israel in 2019 and 2020…
This magnificent mosaic was discovered in 1965 during excavations of the synagogue in Gaza. It is a building that was destroyed in antiquity and only the first foundation of stones and mosaic floors remain. Its plan was characteristic of the synagogues of High Antiquity: a building in the form of a basilica with several naves, the central part of which was terminated at its eastern end by a projecting semicircular apse, oriented towards Jerusalem, where the Holy Ark containing the Torah scrolls.
The ruins of Byzantine synagogues are numerous in the Land of Israel. One notices in many of them an important Hellenizing influence. The most famous of these synagogues is that of Capernaum, although it is much later than the one where Jesus would have preached. Some are decorated with mosaics as at Beth Alpha and Ein Gedi, where the zodiac is depicted, or at Hammath-Tiberias where the sun god Helios is seen.

Jewish Figurative Art in Late Antiquity



In the synagogue of Gaza, a good part of the floor mosaics are well preserved, one of which bears a dedicatory inscription, in Greek, and mentions the date of 508/509. The motifs of these figured mosaics include scrolls of foliage inhabited by different animals, and especially a David playing the harp and soothing the animals: this biblical motif is important in the discussion of Jewish figurative art in late antiquity.
The mosaics are now on display in the Good Samaritan Museum, located on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho.
The harp is certainly one of the oldest instruments in the world. In Antiquity, it was for a long time an instrument.
In Antiquity, it was for a long time a sacred instrument for communicating with the gods and celebrating worship. The Bible mentions it many times. It is made with sandalwood or cypress wood.
The harp naturally evokes King David who composed and sang many praises to God.

The simplicity of Ruth's wordsThe simplicity of Ruth's words




Very young, David is a shepherd and already composes songs (Psalms 43:4; 108:3-5 for example). He plays the harp admirably to the point that he is recommended to King Saul who takes him into his service. The king is appeased by the sound of the harp when he is tormented by the evil spirit sent by God (1 Sam 16:14-23). When Saul and Jonathan died, David composed a dirge in their honor, "The Lament of the Bow," and then ordered it to be taught to the Judeans (2 Samuel 1:17-19).
King David energetically dances to the sound of the harp when he brings up the Ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem (1 Chronicle 15:28). Aged and approaching the end of his life, David appoints Solomon to succeed him and organizes the construction and operation of the Temple. 4,000 musicians will be required to praise the Almighty (1 Chronicle 23:5). Later, when the temple in Jerusalem is built, certain musical Levites are appointed to sing and accompany themselves with harps, lutes, and cymbals for the service of the house of G‑d (1 Chron 25:6).
On the mosaic, David is seated facing forward, apparently, on a rock, his head enshrouded in a diadem of the Byzantine imperial type of that period, adorned with precious stones. He wears a long chiton (Greco-Roman tunic) with sleeves of blue-red colors in the shadows of the folds, which indicates purple and a yellow mantle, that is, woven with gold; he wears sandals. His left-hand touches the strings of his harp which are fourteen in number, and the right extends the plectrum, this stick is used to strum the strings. The instrument is supported on a kind of cushion placed on a cubic object. On the right, we see the forepart of a lioness who, touched by the sounds of music, bows her head. Below her, an undulating being resembles an erect snake, but could also be the trunk of an elephant.
The identification of David is beyond doubt since his name is inscribed in Hebrew letters. This listing has been the subject of much discussion. The name David is usually spelled with the three letters daleth/vav/daleth. Here is added the letter youd.
In literature from the First Temple period, such as the books of Samuel and Kings, the name is usually written as 3 letters David, while in later biblical books, such as Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah, it is written with the additional youd letter. Sages and commentators have discussed this subject a great deal. The letter youd holds a very important rank in kabbalistic esotericism: it is indeed the initial of the divine tetragrammaton YHVH. It also evokes the hand (“yad” in Hebrew). It is the hand of God, the hand that sows ; that which makes life possible.

The mosaic of Gaza is one of the very first representations of King David which will be one of the favorite subjects of artists throughout the history of art, from Michelangelo to Chagall (Photo 4), to name just two.
Very young, David is a shepherd and already composes songs (Psalms 43:4; 108:3-5 for example). He plays the harp admirably to the point that he is recommended to King Saul who takes him into his service. The king is appeased by the sound of the harp when he is tormented by the evil spirit sent by God (1 Sam 16:14-23). When Saul and Jonathan died, David composed a dirge in their honor, "The Lament of the Bow," and then ordered it to be taught to the Judeans (2 Samuel 1:17-19).
King David energetically dances to the sound of the harp when he brings up the Ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem (1 Chronicle 15:28). Aged and approaching the end of his life, David appoints Solomon to succeed him and organizes the construction and operation of the Temple. 4,000 musicians will be required to praise the Almighty (1 Chronicle 23:5). Later, when the temple in Jerusalem is built, certain musical Levites are appointed to sing and accompany themselves with harps, lutes, and cymbals for the service of the house of G‑d (1 Chron 25:6).
On the mosaic, David is seated facing forward, apparently, on a rock, his head enshrouded in a diadem of the Byzantine imperial type of that period, adorned with precious stones. He wears a long chiton (Greco-Roman tunic) with sleeves of blue-red colors in the shadows of the folds, which indicates purple and a yellow mantle, that is, woven with gold; he wears sandals. His left-hand touches the strings of his harp which are fourteen in number, and the right extends the plectrum, this stick is used to strum the strings. The instrument is supported on a kind of cushion placed on a cubic object. On the right, we see the forepart of a lioness who, touched by the sounds of music, bows her head. Below her, an undulating being resembles an erect snake, but could also be the trunk of an elephant.
The identification of David is beyond doubt since his name is inscribed in Hebrew letters. This listing has been the subject of much discussion. The name David is usually spelled with the three letters daleth/vav/daleth. Here is added the letter youd.
In literature from the First Temple period, such as the books of Samuel and Kings, the name is usually written as 3 letters David, while in later biblical books, such as Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah, it is written with the additional youd letter. Sages and commentators have discussed this subject a great deal. The letter youd holds a very important rank in kabbalistic esotericism: it is indeed the initial of the divine tetragrammaton YHVH. It also evokes the hand (“yad” in Hebrew). It is the hand of God, the hand that sows ; that which makes life possible.

The mosaic of Gaza is one of the very first representations of King David which will be one of the favorite subjects of artists throughout the history of art, from Michelangelo to Chagall (Photo 4), to name just two.

His famous harp is today one of the symbols of Jerusalem and is located at the entrance to the City of David.

By Brigitte Ohnona-Mannheim, Archaeologist at the IAA, and Dr. David Ohnona, CEO Memories Foundation, former Inspector General at the IAA in charge of antiquities trafficking.
Photo credit : IAA (Israel Antiquities Authority)

Next Foundation trip : Biblical Jordan. October 23 to November 4, 2022

ISRAEL ARCHEOLOGY FOUNDATION
Contact: Brigitte Ohnona-Mannheim +972 542026541
https://israel-archeology.org
Facebook : Fondationisraelarcheologie
Instagram : Fondationisraelarcheologie
.
His famous harp is today one of the symbols of Jerusalem and is located at the entrance to the City of David.

By Brigitte Ohnona-Mannheim, Archaeologist at the IAA, and Dr. David Ohnona, CEO Memories Foundation, former Inspector General at the IAA in charge of antiquities trafficking.
Photo credit : IAA (Israel Antiquities Authority)

Next Foundation trip : Biblical Jordan. October 23 to November 4, 2022

ISRAEL ARCHEOLOGY FOUNDATION
Contact: Brigitte Ohnona-Mannheim +972 542026541
https://israel-archeology.org
Facebook : Fondationisraelarcheologie
Instagram : Fondationisraelarcheologie
.

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