Bintel Blog

Stolen Jerusalem Stone Returned, Accidental Thief Forgiven

By Nathan Jeffay

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Who says that there aren’t honest people around today?

In 1997, a 46lb fragment of a marble column disappeared from one of the excavations the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) was conducting south of the Temple Mount. It has now been returned.

Several weeks ago, the IAA received an unexpected e-mail from a Christian clergyman in New York: “I am requesting forgiveness for a member of my congregation”, he wrote. “The fellow confessed to me that twelve years ago he took a stone from Jerusalem and his conscience has bothered him ever since. I wish to return the stone to Israel and hope that you will forgive the man for his transgression.”

The stone fragment arrived in Jerusalem in a wooden crate that was specially constructed for the flight back to Israel, with a letter from the guilty party, which read:

I came to Israel on an organized trip. As a student of archaeology, I was very excited when we visited an excavation south of the Temple Mount. I asked how I can purchase a stone from the excavation because I wanted a souvenir with which to pray for Jerusalem and was told it was not possible. On the last day of the trip our Israeli tour guide approached me and took the stone fragment from inside his coat. ‘Take it’, he said. ‘It’s a present from me’. I asked him how he obtained the stone and he replied, ‘It’s okay; don’t worry’. I was very happy and took the stone with me on my flight back to New York. Only later did I realize that he probably took the stone from the excavation without permission. For the past twelve years since then, rather than remind me of the prayer for Jerusalem, I am reminded of the mistake I made when I removed the stone from its proper place in Israel. I am asking for your forgiveness.

Though taking archeological artifacts can lead to imprisonment, the IAA said that because of the “sincerity” of the letter, it will forgive the man, as requested.

IAA officials said that the stone was a column fragment that was discovered during the excavation of one of the Umayyad buildings located south of the Temple Mount. This is the second drama related to stolen archeological artifacts in a month. In early May, the Bintel Blog reported on an Indiana Jones-style operation which led to the return of a stolen 2000-year-old Hebrew document.



Comments
john Sat. Jun 6, 2009

All Human beings ,men women and children plus their cattle , Please dear brothers in humanity , read the statement of the highest reference and authority for the Jews in America , and what he actually says . It is strange for me and for the whole humanity , that the Rabbi Manis Friedman takes the quotation from the Holy Bible which says : The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle). This is the Jewish mentality since the time of Moses till the present time . These are not humans . The problem is that all the Jewish illegal population in the occupied Palestine are behind this fallacy . The Jews are keeping a great hate in their heart to humanity . It is taught to their children in their schools and they will never stop . This is the highest grades of terrorism . America is fighting terrorism , but terrorism is inside . It is published in Moment Magazine . These types of Jews are worse than Bin Laden and Al Qaeda . These are the ugliest terrorist people on earth . This is why Jews made a very bad war against Gaza and destroyed every thing and killed thousands . I believe that the Jews are hiding very bad things towards others . Five million Palestinians are suffering in the Diaspora because of such inhuman Jews . Most of the Jewish population now are not Semites , they are Indo-Aryans .

The Jews killed , massacred tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians and children , they destroyed more than on thousand houses of worship , and now they are digging under the holiest house to let it collapse . But if they do nthey will repent for their whole life . They dismantled hundreds of thousands of old olive trees , because they hate the olive branch the symbol of peace .

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