The opening speaker, Chabad Rabbi Shaul Shimon Deutsch, brought several ancient coins to the conference, held in the Beit Bracha hall near Jerusalem's Mea She'arim neighborhood. Deutsch, who flew in from Brooklyn for the event, runs a museum that displays artifacts he acquired on the private market from the time of the Mishna. Also among the artifacts, he displayed an intact scale that he said had been recovered several weeks earlier from a sunken ship in the Mediterranean Sea.The Living Torah Museum sounds like an interesting project to educate people through archaeological artefacts - although obviously I wish we knew more about the context of the scales, it's always fascinating when archaeology sheds light on Disputes.
The scale, he said, settled once and for all a dispute that has raged among Torah scholars for centuries: How much did the litra, a Talmudic measure, actually weigh? The answer: 354 grams, just as the 11th-century commentator Rashi claimed, and contrary to the opinion of other great medieval commentators such as the Rambam.
(via Jim Davila)