Among the Tombs

My friend Eldad Keynan has set up a website, focusing on tombs in Israel, a subject that greatly interests him, and me as well. I remember visiting a tomb with him in 2011 which is supposedly that of Joshua of Sakhnin, but which Bellarmino Baggatti thinks might have been the tomb of Jacob of Sakhnin, a Jewish Christian mentioned in rabbinic sources. Local Jews, Christians, and Muslims all revere the site, and one local Muslim said that Jacob was the name of Joshua’s father. Inside the tomb, it was clear that someone had been sleeping there, apparently seeking some sort of spiritual benefit from the experience. I couldn’t help but wonder whether that practice is an ancient one, and might be reflected in the story about a demon-possessed man living among the tombs.

Below is a photo from Eldad’s website, of a different tomb which he took me to see. I think the photo may be one that I myself took, but at the very least, I was there when light was literally being shed on this particular tomb…

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  • Eldad Keynan

    Thanks, James; no doubt – you took that photo! BTW: I believe the site named after R. Yehoshua of SakhninJacob of Sakhnin was initially Judeo-Christian. Anyway, it was a mausoleum, completely built in the ancient surface. I still remember what the Muslim neighbor told us – that when a wicked man enters the the soul of righteous hits his head. I also remember who got his head knocked from above . . .