Israeli Boy Who Survived Oct. 7 Makes Astonishing Find Confirming History of Holy Land

Israeli Boy Who Survived Oct. 7 Makes Astonishing Find Confirming History of Holy Land

"It took an 11-year-old boy's discovery in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 terror attacks in Israel to remind everybody of who the historical inhabitants of the Jewish state were.

According to the Jerusalem Post, an 11-year-old boy, who usually lives on a kibbutz, found a coin from the Hasmonean Dynasty, one which ruled in Judea over 2,000 years ago.

In February, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced the find, which dates from the rule of King and High Priest Alexander Yanai of the Hasmoneans.

The Post reported that 11-year-old Nati Toyikar was living in one of the hotels for evacuated members of Kibbutz Magen along the Dead Sea.

'Sometimes when school is over, the kids go walking and exploring in the area of the hotel,' said Nati's father, Ronen Toyikar.

'Nati is a curious boy who likes to look at the ground and look for interesting things. After the trip, he came back to me excited and told me that he found a small coin,' he said.

'We researched the coin a bit on the Internet, and on Nati's own initiative, he suggested calling and reporting the finding to the Antiquities Authority. The great care we received and the fact that archaeologist Alex Freiberg came all the way to meet Nati and give him a certificate made him very happy. It motivates me to show good citizenship next time as well.'

Officials with the Israel Antiquities Authority said that they've been active among the evacuees in the wake of the Hamas terror attacks.

'Since Oct. 7, we have guides from the educational centers of the Antiquities Authority organizing and conducting activities in hundreds of hotels where evacuees are staying,' said Orit Apalo and Einat Kashi from the agency.

'The participants get a few moments of distraction from the difficult reality and are exposed to the world of antiquities,' they added.

'We meet the residents of Kibbutz Magen as part of a wide range of activities carried out among evacuees in the Dead Sea region, and we are happy that the younger generation already knows about the importance of antiquities.'

The Post noted that the rule of Alexander Yanai coincided with the peak of Hasmonean rule in terms of power and territory.

The coin, which is said to be minted 'in very large quantities' around 80 B.C., is emblematic of the kingdom's expansion. (According to the Jewish Virtual Library, the kingdom began in 147 B.C. and ceased to exist roughly 80 years later.)

Dr. Robert Cole, who heads the coin division of the Antiquities Authority, said, 'The coin that Nati found is a well-known coin of the Hasmonean king and high priest Alexander Janai. ... On the face of the coin appears an anchor, and around it appears an inscription in Greek — "Alexander Basileus," which translates to "(of) Alexander the King."

'On the back of the coin appears a star with eight rays, surrounded by a crown of kings. Between the rays, you can see an inscription, which appears in small letters. Only a part of it can be deciphered here. It recalls the name and title of the king in ancient Hebrew: [Yohan]n/he/mel/[cha]/.'

Cole added that 'coins of this type found along the coast of the Dead Sea are evidence of military and the king's conquests against the Kingdom of the Nabatim in Jordan.

'These coins were used to pay the king's soldiers and to build and strengthen fortresses in the area (such as Masada, Makhvar, Qumran) — and also — to build a fleet of vessels that operated in the Dead Sea,' Cole said. 'Hence, perhaps, the anchor symbol that appears on the currency.'

Perhaps most notably, Alexander Yanai is a reminder of Israelite presence in the country since time immemorial. When we ask ourselves who should rule there, it's another sign that the Holy Land belongs, politically speaking, to the Jewish people. Anyone who forgets, take one look at this coin. Problem solved — unless, of course, the whole point has been to forget history from the get-go."

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