Jews seem to take pride in their accomplishments. Rightly so, as the Jews have indeed been — and continue to be — a “blessing to all peoples,” contributing to the betterment of society (through medicine, science, technology, philanthropy, volunteering, literature, etc.) far more than their numbers warrant. It is indeed something to be proud of.

Still, the greatest thing that Jews have given the world is not found in lists of Nobel Prize winners. It is found at Megiddo.

Megiddo is a tel, an “artificial” hill that is made up of layers of ancient towns, built one layer on top of the other. As archeologists dug deeper and deeper here — arriving at the remnants of older and older civilizations — they found an incredible twenty-six separate levels at the site, spanning almost 2,500 years. Considering that there are adequate supplies of water, plenty of space to farm, and that it sits upon one of the only passages from the Coastal area to the interior valleys of the North, it is no wonder the site was popular.

The most famous find on Tel Megiddo is the Great Temple, which was used by society after society, century after century, and was one of the largest and most developed temples in the Middle East. For millennia, it was an active pagan Temple used for idol worship — indeed, thousands of animal bones were found around it.

Then, suddenly, the Temple at Megiddo ceased functioning — after exactly seventeen levels of use. In the most recent nine levels of civilization, the altar was untouched. In other words, idolatry stopped, in its tracks, after thousands of years.

When did this happen? The change occurred right around the time the ancient Israelites arrived!

The Jewish People has helped the world tremendously in many ways, and hopefully will continue to do so. Still, the greatest thing the Jews have given the world is monotheism — knowledge of G‑d, and the end of idol worship.

At Megiddo, you can actually see it.