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Re: receding water level at the Dead Sea
Dear all those who are following this discussion,
According to Ezekiek 47:7-12 the prophet touring the temple and land of
the future reports ::"As I came back, I saw trees in great profusion on
both banks of the stream. The water, he told me, runs out to the eastern
sea, into the sea of foul waters (so NJPS for yamah hammutsaim), the
water will be healed. Every living creature that swarms will be able to
livbe whereever this stream goes;the fish will be very abundant once
these waters have reached there. It will be healed and everything will
live wherever the stream goes. Fisherman will stand beside it all the
way from En-Gedi to En-Eglaim; it shall be a place for drying nets; andd
the fish will be of various kinds and most plentiful, like the fish of
the Great Sea. But its swamps and marshes shall not be healed, they will
serve to supply salt. Al kinds of trees for food will grow up on both
bans of the sreams. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail'
they will yield new fruit every month, because the water for them flows
from the Temple. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for
nOte the uses of the verbs hay and rafa, living and healing, used
throughout this pericope. They show that the sea before hand was
certainly considered dead, even though there is no indication that the
name yam hammawet was ever actually used. In fact, there may have been
an ancient name yam hammawet along with yam hammeleh (salt sea) which is
only attested in written sources of later periods.
Also interesting, is the reference to fishermen and drying their nets.
Nets are used by fishermen fishing in boats, thus indicating that at
least in the future there will be a marina on the dead sea.
By the way, this passage obviously gives us the aetiology of the Jewish
custom of eating herring on Shabbat, as a taste of the world to come.
ANother opinion is that the herring, usually plit open, is in memory of
Tiamat whose body, according to enuma elish was split open like a fish
for drying by Marduk when creating the world out of her corpse. So
eating herring on shabbos at kiddush must be in memory of the creation,
while eating the same fish at shalshudos is in anticipation of the
messianic age and resurrection of the dead.
TO all, have a happy holiday, kima parsushu u pilludeshu (that's akkadian
for kekol huqqotaw ukekol mishpataw)