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With Jerusalem Off-limits, Judaism Thrived On The Golan

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During the Byzantine era, a quarter of Israel’s synagogues were located in three dozen Golan Heights communities. The Archeological Museum in Katzrin does them proud.

Less than a hundred years after the Romans quelled the Jewish revolt and destroyed the Temple, the Jews rebelled yet again. Led by Shimon Bar Kochba, a man many believed to be the Messiah, they fought for Jewish independence. The Romans quashed this revolt as well

Jewish settlements in the south were destroyed and Jerusalem became off limits to the Jews. Many of those who survived moved to the Galilee, and during the 4th century, large numbers moved from the Galilee to the Golan. So it’s not surprising that during the Byzantine era, fully 25 per cent of Israel’s synagogues were located in nearly three dozen Golan Heights communities.

No wonder, then, that the Golan Archeological Museum in Katzrin – whose displays consist exclusively of finds from the region – features a rich and exciting collection of religious artifacts. Among them: a famous lintel from a rabbinical school in the village of Devora (Dabura), magical amulets from the town of Kanaf, sculpted Menorah decorations from ancient Yehudiya and Pik, a sarcophagus lid naming 26-year-old “Shimon son of Abun” found at Ein Nashut, and the unique capital that once topped a column at that village’s 5th-century synagogue.

You get a taste of antiquity the moment you enter the museum, where an impressive rock is on display. It boats a triad of gods: Venus, god of the moon; Apollo, god of the Sun, and a bearded Jupiter, father of all the gods. The carvings demonstrate a high level of artistry, for they were created with hammer and chisel on hard basalt.

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Read the full article over at The Times of Israel

 

 

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I feel prompted to write this email to you all and your wonderful company after the tour my daughter and I took with you throughout Israel. From the moment you picked us up, to the time we arrived for our airport departure, I was impressed with the service you delivered. Shmuel is an absolute legend and quite clearly has a real passion for his country and culture and loves to share it with others. His love and knowledge of Israel and the people whom live there is in my mind what made the trip all that it was. Shmuel has left a large impression on me re-igniting a spark inside me that has been slowly smothered by the pressures of living in our fast paced modern society in the United States. During the tour I came to realize the reality of the Bible stories and felt a new connection spiritually. I can’t thank both of you enough for making such a trip so informative to the average person like myself, as I believe it has left me with a new outlook on life and passion to get out there to what is real - our love of Israel, it’s culture and most importantly to have compassion and support for those who care for this great land. Ignorance only comes through a lack of knowledge and people like Aviva and Shmuel makes a big difference. We highly recommend seeing Israel with them, shalom! Yours Gratefully, Christine and Genevieve Ivory





Christine and Genevieve Ivory