LISTEN: High Priests, Holy Smoke and Cannabis in the Temple

Ancient Israelites used hash in religious ceremonies - and may even have done so in Jerusalem's Temple. PLUS: Why even archaeology is political in Israel. LISTEN FREE

Haaretz Weekly podcast.
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A Hindu holy man smokes marijuana during Shivaratri festival in Kathmandu, Nepal, in Feb 2020.
A Hindu holy man smokes marijuana during Shivaratri festival in Kathmandu, Nepal, in Feb 2020.Credit: AP Photo / Niranjan Shrestha
Haaretz Weekly podcast.
Haaretz Weekly

Host Simon Spungin, archaeology correspondent Ariel David and science editor Ruth Schuster discuss the startling revelation that ancient Israelites used cannabis in their religious ceremonies almost 3,000 years ago.

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LISTEN: High priests, holy smoke and cannabis in the TempleCredit: Haaretz

Recommended related reading:

Ancient Israelites Used Cannabis as Temple Offering, Study Finds / Ariel David

Israeli Company Launches ‘Biblical Protein’ Locust Products in the U.S. / Ruth Schuster

Haaretz Archaeology: Full coverage

What does this tell us about the cultic practices of the time? When and why did the Israelites stop using psychotropic substances? And what might Judaism have looked like if cannabis had remained part of the ritual?

We also discuss the challenges and opportunities facing archaeologists working in Israel and Palestine and hear about an Israeli company marketing a bizarre product to evangelical Christians: locust-based snacks.

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