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January 7, 2011

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PAGE 18A " HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 7, 2011 T i TEL AVIV--Tel Qudadi, an of Archaeology say. Their new In another reconstruction, it ancient fortress in the heart researchwasrecentlypublished was suggested that the fortress of Tel Aviv at the mouth of the in the Palestine Exploration was erected sometime in the YarkonRiver, wasfirstexcavated Quarterly and BABESH: An- 9thcenturyB.C.E.andcouldbe more than 70 years ago, but nual Papers on Mediterranean attributed to the Kingdomotis- the final results of the excava- Archaeology. rael.Nowacarefulreassessment tions and the finds were ffever It was previously believed ofthefindsconductedbyTelAviv published. Now, research on Tel thatthefortresswasestablished University researchers indicates Qudadi by archaeologists at Tel during the 10th century B.C.E. thatthefortresscannotbedated Aviv University has unpeeled a at the behest of King Solomon, earlier than the late 8th--early new layer of history, indicating in order to protect the approach 7thcenturiesB.C.E muchlater thatthereismuchmoretolearn from the sea and prevent pos- than previously suggested. fromthesite, includingevidence siblehostileraidsagainstinland What this means is that the that links ancient Israel to the Settlements along the Yarkon fortress, although maintained Greek island of Lesbos. River. The establishment of the by a local population, was an "The secrets of this ancient fortressatTel Qudadiwas taken integral part of a network that fortress are only beginning thenasevidenceoftheexistence servedtheinterestsoftheAssyr- to be revealed," Dr. Alexander ofadevelopedmaritimepolicyin ianempireintheregion.TheAs- Fantalkin and Dr. Oren Tal of thedaysoftheUnitedMonarchy syrians, oncerulersofamighty TelAvivUniversity'sDepartment in ancientIsrael, empirecentredinMesopotamia (modem day Iraq), ruled Israel in the late 8th and most of the 7th centuries B.C.E. One of the key finds, say researchers, is an amphora (a large jar used to transport or wine) that hails from the Greek island of Lesbos. The existence of the artifact, together with a re- assessment 0fthe local ceramic assemblage of Tel Qudadi, has helped researchers to recalcu- late the timeline of thesite's operation. It seems to be earliest example of the Lesbian amphorae discovered so far in the Mediterranean, including the island of Lesbos itself. While a single find cannot prove the existence of trade between ancient Israel and an important intermediate Lesbos, the finding has much station on the maritime route to say about the beginnings of between Egypt and Phoenicia, the island's amphora produc- serving the Assyrian interests t'lon and has implications for in the Levantine coast rather understanding trade routes than a part of the Israelite among different parts of the Kingdom. Mediterranean. The Assyrian interest in the What remains a mystery, coastal area is known to have say the researchers, is how the stemmed from their desire to Lesbian amphora arrived at Tel be involved in the international Qudadi in the first place. It's tradeamongPhoenida, Philistia probable that it was brought as and Egypt. The fortress should part ofanoccasionaltrade route be seen then as part of a network around the Mediterranean-- of fortresses and trading posts possibly by a Phoenician ship, alongthe coast.Itdemonstrates Now that the site can be dat- that the Assyrian officials in- edfromthelate8th--early7th vested a great deal of effort in centuries B.C.E the fortress at the routifig of commerce and Tel Qudadi may be considered its concomitant taxesi I By Deborah Hirsch Jewish Exponent PHILADELPHIA--Maybe it was fate, or maybe just a random series of events that motiv#ted a curious Palestinian high school student to sneak into the Hebrew University class where he met the Jew- ish professor who would later become a father figure. However you characterize their serendipitous path, Rabbi Andrew Sacks of Jerusalem considers Anas Sbeih, now,25 and living in Sweden, his ad- opted son. And after all the two have shared over the past eight years, Sacks, a Philadelphia native, is eager to introduce Sbeih to his extended famiiy at a wedding in a Philadelphia suburb this month. "It's a perfectly normal and typical thing that anyonewould wantfor a family member," said Sacks, director of the Conser- vative/Masorti Movement's Rabbinical Assembly in Israel. ButU.S. Embassy officials in Stockholm denied Sbeih's visa application in early December, saying that he didn't have strong enough ties to Sweden to counter the risk that he may overstay his welcome. While that explanation jibes with the law, it doesn't sit well with Sacks. He has appealed for help from friends in the United States, including local rabbis and U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-6th District). Despite their letters pledging support, the embassy hasn't budged. "I don't believe I will be suc- cessful, but I'm not giving up," Sacks vowed in a phone inter- view from Jerusalem, where he has lived since making aliyah in 1987. That is especially so, he added, if this denial means that Sbeih will "continue to be treated as a Palestinian Mus- lim" even after he becomes a Swedish citizen. According to the State Department, foreign- ers who are denied visas must always apply for a visa in the future, even if they gain citizen- ship thatwouldotherwise allow them to travel without one. Speaking in fluent English from Stockholm, Sbeih said he wants to believe that the de- nial was procedural, as officials claimed, but it's impossible to know if racial profiling had any- thingtodowith it. Even ifitwas purely based on legal criteria, he said, it's disappointing to be the object of such "inhuman" bureaucratic maneuvering. "[ don't know what I can do to prove to people that I'm really just a person with no interest to break the law," Sbeih said. "I just want to go to meet the family I've heard about and go back home to Stockholm." Sbeih is used to his identity getting in the way--except in the past, that had more to do with his sexual orientation than Rabbi Andrew Sacks with his nationality. In fact, he said, it was his family's violent reaction to his homosexuality that led him to explore theol- ogy and, ultimately, to con- nect with Sacks. In reaction, Sbeih turned to religion, hoping that in becoming a more observant Muslim he'd find a way to ac- cept or suppress his feelings. That lasted three months. He began spending more time away from home, and, after befriending a stUdent at the Hebrew University, he began hanging out at the campus and sitting in on classes. There, he heard Sacks-- someone who was religious but also liberal--interpreting Judaism from all sorts of angles. "I wanted to seek haven or help, but I couldn't find it," Sbeih said. "I didn't know any religious Muslim figure that would help me accept myself and be in peace with myself. I (1) with Anas Sbeih. saw that in Andy, so I was just thinking maybe I can teach myself and reflect it on my parallel side." Sbeih's family troubles came to a head about a year after that. After a cousin attacked him for being gay, Sbeih said, he left the city for eight months. When he came back, he stayed with friends orwith Sacks, and even- tually moved in with the rabbi. Sacks said that Israeli law prohibits interreligious adop- tion, and that has been com- plicated by the fact that Sbeih was already a legal adult. So instead, the two men signed power of attorney forms and- other forms linking their lives together. Still, Sbeih said, he realized he would never feel safe in Jerusalem. With Sacks's help, he decided to make a new home for himself in Stockholm, where he attained refugee status. There, he worked ms wa two part-time jobs as he studied reconsider, as have two rabbis Swedish and continued to ex- from the Philadelphia/New ploretheology, oftenwithSacks's Jersey region. friends in the Swedish rabbin- Sbeih's"stable employment, ate. One of them, David Lazar, educational and community rabbi of the Great Synagogue in ties to Sweden, and counter- S.tockholm, invited him to read poised lack of ties to the United fromtheKoranduringhisinstal- States, indicate he has every lationceremonyinOctober.Next reason to return home follow- month, Sbeih will speak at the ing his trip," Frank wrote. local Jewish museum as part of In awritten response, Consul apresentationonminoritiesand Martin Tatuch reiterated that creativity. Sbeih's "current family, social Now, after close to four and economic ties to Sweden years, Sbeihis alegal resident fall short of the standard of Sweden, and this fall he prescribed" by U.S. law. After will begin his freshman year reviewing the case, he said, studying political science at "thedecisionwasasoundone." the University of Stockholm. Chris Dunnett, a spokes- Though Sacks has visited man for the U.S. Embassy in him several times and the two Stockholm, declined to answer men have traveled to other further questions, saying it parts of Europe together, the would be "unlawful" to provide planned trip to Philadelphia information on specific cases would have been Sbeih's first out of "concern and consider- opportunity to meet other ation"for the applicants. membersofhis"Jewishfamily." Sbeih can reapply, but he's Sacks said he understands not sure it's worth the hassle. that 25-year-o|d single Pales- Maybe a few years from now, tinian men "are not those that he said, he'll be able to get his the States most want to let in." Swedish citizenship and have His issue is that the law, or the a better chance of being ap- officials interpreting it, d0n'tal- proved. For now, he said, he'll lowenoughroomforapplicants settle for traveling around Eu- to prove they have no intention rope with Sacks and discussing ofimmigrating.Sackshaseven Judaism--in fluent Hebrew-- volunteered to put up a bond with Lazar at a nearby cafe. to guarantee Sbeih's return to Together, they make quite a Sweden after the visit, sight, Lazar said with a chuck- In addition to Gerlach, U.S. le--"a gay Palestinian Muslim Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) andarabbispeakingHebrewin has written a letter urging the acoffeehousebetweenachurch U.S. Embassy in Sweden to and a synagogue." By Edmon J. Rodman LOS ANGELES (JTA)--Bet- ter polish up a trophy, Jewish football fans. Across the country, there are enough Jewish high school football teams currently play: ing 11-man full-tackle football to hold a playoff and a bowl game. Back in September, JTA ran a story about one such team: the Jewish Academy Lions at the San Diego Jewish Academy High School in California. Since then, JTA has learned of two additional teams that play in an independent Florida league: the Ben Lipson Hillel Community High School of North Miami Beach and the high school of the David Posnack Hebrew Day School in Plantation. According to Hurricanes out- side linebacker Judah Makover, who is a senior at Ben Lipson Hillel this year, his team has finished its third season of fuil- tackleplay."Ourteamalsosings 'Hatikvah' at home games and does not play on Friday nights or Saturdays,"Makover reported in an e-mail. "Before every game, the rabbinic dean at our school, Rabbi Chaim Albert, gives us a dvar Torah to pump us up," Makeover wrote. "We play the Posnack Rams once a year. The winner receives the 'Kiddush " Cup,' atrophy, whichhasresided within Hillel's halls for the past three years." Makeover, perhaps pumped from this year's victory over Posnack, also suggested a post- season game pitting the best Jewish football team on the East Coast against the best Jewish footballteamon theWest Coast. Yes, he did say that. A J-Bowl. Ilan Sredni, the father of a Hurricanes player, also thought a game would be a good idea. "It would be wonderful to see them play each other and form a bond" he wrote in an e-mail to JTA. "Maybeitcouldbelikearound robin," suggested Makover in a phone interview from his home in Boca Raton. "There are ah;eady Jewish basketball tournaments. Why not foot- ball?" he asked. The game already has a potential med!a sponsor--JTA. "We could get behind that," said/X, yni Eden, JTXs editor in chief, when told of the i iea. "We could certainly supply the coverage, the trophy--=and the name. It needs to be some- thing better than J-Bowl or Nose Bowl. Maybe The JTANews Bowl," Eden wrote in an e-mail. "We would need some person or organization to come forward to help with the travel expenses. Maybe it could be played on the opening Sunday of the General Assembly of the Jewish Federa- tions of North America--that way, it would rotate cities each year, like the Super Bowl." The athletic directors at the three high schools are open to the idea. "Let's pursue it," said Mike Quigley, athletic director at the San Diego JewishAcademy High School, whose team this year played a home game against a squad fromVancouver 'Perhaps Hillel Community High School The Ben Lipson Hillel Community High School Hurricanes of North Miami Beach, one of two Jewish high school football teams in Florida, pose for a group photo. we could also put together-a wantedto"seehowwearegoing And he also likes the idea ofa Shabbaton. Can you put us in to pay for it." bicoastal Jewish bowl game. ,'If touch?" The athletic director at David we could work something out, Cindy Lyon, the athletic di- Posnack Hebrew Day School, maybe something like ajambo- rector at the Ben Lipson Hillel Mitch Evron, who has a degree ree, the networking especially Community High School, who in sports medicine, likes the would be fun," Evron said. supervises a program covering discipline and the respect for Makover agrees. "It would 25 different sports, was more teamwork that football brings be awesome," the Hurricanes temperedin her response to the to his players and relishes the linebacker said. "Football--it's idea of a tournament. Though friendlyrivalryhissquadalready the American game, and we're supportive of the idea, she has with Ben Lipson Hillel. excelling at it."