Saturday, July 5, 2008

More on Torah from Mosul

Here is another story on the Torah found by the US Military in Mosul:

I referenced another story about this episode on the IraqCrisis list (and linked in a prior post on this blog), noting that the removal of the artifact from Iraq appeared to have official sanction. A number of participants on that list immediately jumped on that statement, claiming that the Torah "must have been looted" and illegally imported into the US. The above story again suggests otherwise, though I suppose some will object to Rabbi Youlus paying "fees" to Iraqi government officials to allow for its removal from the country. But then again, after reading Alex Joffe's IraqCrisis post (again linked below), what would one expect to save the Torah?

All in all, too many participants on archaeological discussion lists (most of whom are archaeologists) are all too willing to jump to the worst possible conclusions. In the process, they risk defaming individuals who apparently acted in good faith, like the US Special Forces soldier mentioned in this article. The actual story is seldom as "black and white" as they may think.

Interestingly, Chuck Jones posted this story on the IraqCrisis list back in 2007:

For whatever reason, it apparently elicited little interest at that time.

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