When I was a child, there was an expression that we used, the “olden days”. We would ask “did this happen in the olden days” or ” is this from the olden days”?
What are these olden days? Obviously, it all depends on your perspective. Prior to 2016, my beloved Cubbies last won the World Series before WW1, in 1908. That seems like a long time ago. The US Decleration of Independence took place over 240 years ago in 1776, that’s even longer ago. The walls of Jerusalem were built almost 500 yeras ago, in 1540. That much longer ago.
So when we talk about the ancient gate of Ashkelon dating back to 3850 (!!!) years ago, that can really blow your mind. This gate, mostly made of mud brick, is 50 feet long, 14 feet high & 7 feet wide. It’s part of the fortified wall of the ancient port city of Ashkelon, which resides in the southern area of the coastal plains. Pretty amazing to think about the busy daily life of the many people who were walking in and out of this gate in those ancient times. By the way, this gates claim to fame is that it’s the oldest gate in the world!
A gate can also be a metaphor to entering something new in life. We are now entering the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana. May our gate into the Jewish year 5880 lead us into a year of health, happiness & fulfillment.