THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, March 24, 1972-55
Hebrew U. Study
on Qumran Sect
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tal remains have cast a new per-
spective on the cultural practices
of the Qumran Sect, it was re-
vealed in a study carried out by
Dr. Nicu Haas, senior lecturer in
anatomy at the Hebrew University-
Hadassah Medical School. The re-
mains revealed the presence of
women in the community.
In 1968 Dr. Haas, together with
other researchers, beg an an
anthropological study on 11 skele-
tons dating back to the 2nd
Century BCE, found at the Qum-
ran cemetery near the Dead Sea.
The findings showed that these
were the remains of six men, four
women and a child of two, proving
conclusively that the sect was not
an all-male community as previ-
Dr. Haas' findings contradict
claims that the community served
as a monastic-type hermitage.
Writing in the 1st Century CE,
the Jewish historian Josephus
Flavius asserted that the Essenes,
a brotherhood of Jews to whom
the Qumran Sect belonged, were
a monastic society. Similarly, 10
years ago a French archeologist
claimed that there were no females
"The presence of females was
only the first discovery," says
Dr. Haas. "Another was a purplish-
red stain found in the bones."
Chemical analysis led to the con-
clusion that the stain was derived
from alizarin, the pigment of the
madder root, which is common to
the region. It was known that the
pigment was widely used as a
natural dye for clothes.
The presence of alizarin can be
explained by the penetration of the
dye from clothes after burial, but
in such a case the sect could not
have been Jewish, as Jews are
buried without clothes. The alter-
native solution was that the stain
occurred after ingestion of the
It is known through the Talmud
that it was a custom to use the
madder as a garland amulet to
prevent diseases magically, al-
though the rabbis condemned this
as superstitious and pagan. Jo-
sephus, too, mentions the use of
roots which were made into a
drink to prevent diseases.
LAS VEGAS — "Shalom" is a
favorite expression of the new
bishop of the Nevada Episcopal
The Rt. Rev. Wesley Frensdorff,
ordained last Saturday to the new
post, was a German Jew whose
parents died in a Nazi concentra-
The Hanover-born bishop Frens-
dorff, 45, was honored in a Las
Vegas Strip convention hall, dec-
orated with flags bearing the
names of towns throughout Ne-
vada. One read simply "Shalom,"
R.I. Gov. Licht Praises
Histadrut at Testimonial
PROVIDENCE (JTA)—The Na-
tional Committee for Labor Israel
(Histadrut) held its first event
here and raised $23,000, according
to a spokesman for the group.
The event, a dinner in honor of
Gov. Frank Licht, was attended
by 425. The proceeds of the dinner
will go toward establishing a His-
tadrut scholarship fund in the name
of Gov. Licht for underprivileged
children in Israel.
Licht told the dinner guests that
he has been in Israel several times
and was highly impressed with
the achievements of Histadrut.