A Lesson for You From Israel’s Greatest Archaeologist

To make every day a great day, learn to love what you do, to love who you do it with, and to love why you do it.

I’m currently in Jerusalem. Earlier today I visited the Ophel excavation and spent a couple of hours with Jerusalem archaeologist Eilat Mazar. Today was a big day for Dr. Mazar because earlier this morning Biblical Archaeology Review published her article announcing the discovery of a clay bulla that almost certainly proves the existence of Isaiah the prophet.

I’ll talk about the bulla in a moment, but first I wanted to mention a thing or two about Dr. Mazar.

Whilst every day is busy for Eilat, today was extra hectic. I was at the dig for less than two hours and her phone must have jingled a dozen or more times; some of the calls, I know, were reporters seeking an interview. But as special and as full as today was, guess what Dr. Mazar was doing at 1 a.m. this morning? She was at the dig monitoring the contractor who comes by to collect the debris. (The Ophel road is jam-packed with traffic during the day, so the truck has to come by at midnight). Despite the late night, Dr. Mazar was at the dig this morning as usual by 6:15 a.m.

How does she do it? I’m sure there’s a lengthier, more substantial way to put it, but in a word: love. This woman has an epic love for archaeology, and especially for Jerusalem archaeology. It was awesome to see Dr. Mazar excited about the release of the Isaiah bulla, but equally as excited to be at work as normal—digging, recording, examining, coordinating.

My favorite sentence in the short interview I did with Eilat today was her first: “It is a great day,” she said, “but for us archaeologists, we’re having a great day almost every day.” How is it possible to have a great day every day? Again, love what you do.

Of course, there’s a lot more to say on the subject of personal happiness and fulfillment, but perhaps these tidbits from Dr. Mazar get to the nub of it: To make every day a great day, learn to love what you do, to love who you do it with, and to love why you do it.

Here’s the interview I did with Dr. Mazar about today’s big announcement.


Here is our 12-minute video explaining the Isaiah bulla.


Finally, to read the full story of the discovery of the Isaiah bulla, read “Has Eilat Mazar Discovered Archaeological Evidence of Isaiah the Prophet?