A rare clay seal that appears to have been used to authenticate the purity of ritual objects used in the Second Temple has been discovered during excavations near the Western Wall, the Israel Antiquities Authority said yesterday.
The report of the discovery is particularly timely, since a seal like the one displayed yesterday, on the fifth day of Hanukkah, played a key role in the holiday, according to religious tradition. The Festival of Lights celebrates the Maccabees' victory over the Greeks and the rededication of the Temple - made possible by the single vial of oil affixed with just such a seal of purity, which tradition has it kept the menorah lit for eight days.
The seal, which was displayed in a ceremony in Jerusalem yesterday, is two centimeters in diameter and has a two-word Aramaic inscription that translates as "pure for God." It was discovered during excavations beneath Robinson's Arch, in the Old City's archaeological park.THE MOSQUE ATOP THE TEMPLE MOUNT IS AN AFFRONT TO G-D. IT SHALL NOT STAND.