Islamic State Threatening Kever of Nachum Hanovi in Iraq


kever nachumThe Islamic State terror group’s offensive in Iraq is now threatening to take the northern Iraqi village of Al Qosh, which is home to an ancient Jewish shul that contains the kever of the novi Nachum, JNS reports.

The 2,600-year-old site lies just 10 miles from the regional frontline of Islamic State, which has been battling the Western-backed Kurdish Peshmerga forces for control of the area.

Nachum was the novi who prophesied the end of the Assyrian Empire and its capital city of Ninveh in the 7th century BCE.

The site of the kever used to be home to a small Jewish community and drew thousands of Jewish visitors each year. But after the expulsion of the Jewish community of Al Qosh in the early 1950s, the tomb has been watched over by an Assyrian Christian family while some attempts have been made to restore the crumbling site.

“When the last Jewish people in Al Qosh left, they asked my grandfather to watch over the tomb, to keep it safe. I don’t know much more than that,” Asir Salaam Shajaa, an Assyrian Christian born in Al Qosh, told Haaretz. “Nachum is not our prophet, but he is a prophet, so we must respect that. He’s a prophet, it is simple.”

Islamic State has destroyed numerous irreplaceable ancient artifacts belonging to the Assyrian people in northern Iraq, calling the artifacts false idols. The terror group released a video earlier this year showing its fighters smashing artifices at the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrod before blowing up the site. The terror group has also sold off numerous artifacts on the black market to fund its operations.

Last month, Islamic State conquered the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra, home to some of the most magnificent Roman ruins in the Middle East. Many fear that the terror group will also loot and destroy Palmyra.

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  1. Why would Nachum be Buried in Iraq?

    He had his Nevua in Eretz Yisrael. Furthermore The RambaM in his introduction in the Mishne Torah writes that Nachum was one of the Ma’atikeh HaShemua,. He and his Beis Din were a link in the chain of the Mesorah. Furthermore it’s likely that he died in Eretz Yisrael, why would he want to be burried in Chutz La’Aretz ??

    I also think the Kever of Mordechai in Ester in Persia is suspect, for numerous reasons:

    1) If Ester married Ahashverosh and was the rightful Queen, why would the royal family allow the Queen to be buried with a man who was not her legal Husband -namely Mordechai ?

    2) Halacha and Minhag would also forbid Ester from being buried next to Mordechai if they were not Husband and wife. after all didn’t Ester say :וְכַאֲשֶׁר אָבַדְתִּי, אָבָדְתִּי – That is she can no longer be with Mordechgai as wife?.

    3) The RambaM (and others) also lists Mordechai as a member of the Anshei Kenesses HaGedolah, well after the events of Purim. Why would Mordechai be taken (after his death) to be buried outside of Eretz Yisrael, ??