Saturday, 21 December 2013

Cleromantic objects rediscovered

Rabbi Oud Ramonides has always known about the Urim and Thummim - האורים והתומים - the cleromantic objects used in the First Temple, and long thought to be used for divination. The Talmudic view (despite Josephus) is that they were lost when the Babylonians sacked the Temple. However from his dusty scrolls Ramonides has discovered that they were safely carried into exile, and thereafter moved around the area of the Caspian Sea in a camphorwood casket, until they reached Daşoguz in Turkmenistan. During the 365 AD earthquake they floated across the Mediterranean, and round Gibraltar to the South Coast of England.

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