An item becomes something special when there is a story behind it that makes it more noticeable, valuable, memorable, and cherished in our human existence. Last week my sister Sapir, who lives in Jerusalem, told me the story behind a local line of Jewelry called Queen Helene’s Jewelry.
Queen Helene (Helena) of Adiabene lived in the first century. She became part of Jewish history when she and her son, king Monobaz II, converted to Judaism in 30 AD. Queen Helene and her son are mentioned fondly in the Talmud and in the writings of Josephus Flavious, the Jewish historian of this era ; both sources note the devotion of the queen and her son to Judaism, the city of Jerusalem, and the people of Israel. During the famine in Jerusalem in 45 AD the queen greatly supported the poor by providing them money and food. Queen Helene built her palace in Jerusalem and lived there until her death in 56 AD when she was buried there as a queen.
|Sarcophagus of Helena, Museum of Israel|
In 2007 archeologist Doron Ben-Ami discovered the remains of the palace of Queen Helene during the excavations in the City of David. Among the discovered ruins was also Queen Helene’s jewelry. The City of David national park has decided to create replicas of all the found Jewelry so that more people would be able to enjoy this beautiful piece of history.