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The tzitzit is an important part of the Jewish fabric – the tallit (cloak). The tassel has eight strands – seven white and one blue. The white strands indicate divinity (holiness) and the blue strand symbolizes God’s royalty or authority. The tassel is a reminder of God’s covenant, the Mosaic Law, and commandments.
It wasn’t clear how many people steered the first-century Galilean watercraft for many centuries until 1986. The Gospel books gave us accounts, but they left us to guess crew size and passenger capacity. The boat’s discovery has illuminated us, and now we’re certain that a maximum of five people steered the boat. The Gospel accounts indicate that the boat accommodates more than five people, but Josephus Flavius confirms this by indicating that the boat can accommodate around 15 people.
While Jesus’s actions may seem to have violated the Mosaic Law (or Jewish traditions), if the woman who suffered from chronic bleeding touched the “hem” or tassel of His garment, then the ancient laws and the covenant held great significance in her healing. The books of Numbers and Deuteronomy give a biblical context of the tassel. This part holds great significance, and it’s possible that, had the woman touched a different part, she couldn’t have healed.
There are three chief reasons why the actions of the Judean woman to touch Jesus’s garment were controversial – and revolutionary. For one, it’s against the custom of Judea for a man to touch and talk to a woman who isn’t clearly his mother, daughter or wife. Second, the Judean society is male-dominated, and so the treatment of men and women isn’t equal. Third, lepers are social outcasts in the society.
In his book, Understanding the Boat From the Time of Jesus: Galilean Seafaring, Shelley Wachsmann gives an account of how came to a conclusion that the Galilean boat was manned by a maximum of four rowers. Read on.
Archaeology has helped us to solve controversies, and that was the case with the Galilean boat. Until 1986, none of us, for sure, knew exactly how the boat looked like and how many people it could accommodate. Fast forward to today, thanks to cautious excavation and preservation, we can be thankful that the two-millennia-old debate has been solved.
The areas around the shores of the Sea of Galilee are among the most fertile and holiest on earth. This is especially more so in the northwestern shores of the lake – Biq ‘at Ginosar. Every plant species you can think of grows here. In addition, lots of miracles and historic events have occurred here. What’s even more confusing is how Jesus spent his entire time preaching gospel within an area around the lake whose radius is no longer than three miles.
The issue of how the boat Jesus and his Disciples used for fishing and preaching the Gospel looked like and how many people it carried had been debatable for centuries. For sure, no-one knew how exactly the boat looked like, even during the renaissance and enlightenment periods. However, all that was to change in January 1986.