A mosaic shows a soldier being swallowed by a large fish during the parting of the Red Sea.
Archaeologists have discovered two panels of a mosaic floor of a Roman-era synagogue that depict Noah’s Ark and the parting of the Red Sea during the exodus from Egypt at a synagogue in Huqoq, Israel.
“You can see the pharaoh’s soldiers with their chariots and horses drowning and even being eaten by large fish,” said excavation director Jodie Magness of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, the National Geographic reports.
She said such images are very rare in this period.
“I know of only two other scenes of the parting of the Red Sea in ancient synagogues. One is in the wall paintings at Dura Europos [in Syria], which is a complete scene but different from ours—no fish devouring the Egyptian soldiers. The other is at Wadi Hamam [in Israel], but that’s very fragmentary and poorly preserved,” she said.
Magness said the ark scenes are uncommon and she knows of just two: one at the site of Jerash in Jordan, and the other at the site of Misis in Turkey.
Since 2012, Magness has been discovering mosaics at Huqoq. She returns to the site every June and excavates for one month with student volunteers and specialists in art history, soil analysis and mosaic conservation.
They recently found a series of unusual scenes in panels like an inscription in Hebrew surrounded by theatre masks, cupids and dancers; Samson and the foxes from Judges 15:4 in the Bible; Samson with the gate of Gaza on his shoulders from Judges 16:3; and a three-tiered mosaic that depicts the meeting of two important male figures.
One morning, a patch of mosaic was discovered showing a bear’s hind leg with three long claws, and a leopard chasing a gazelle.
“As the dig worked eastward, a decorative ribbon known as a guilloche appeared. And then a couple of long-eared donkeys, two more bears with claws, two more leopards with spots, and pairs of lions, ostriches, humpbacked camels, little gray elephants, sheep, goats, slithering snakes—symbols of the whole menagerie, two of every living thing, that marched into Noah’s ark before the great flood in the book of Genesis, chapters 6 to 9,” the report said.
Magness said, “This panel is exactly as it should be. It’s facing north, so people could see it as they entered from the south.”
The team also uncovered the scene from Exodus 14:26—several fish, a horse floating upside down and soldiers bearing shields and spears who were swept off their feet by the Red Sea.
A Sa’ar 4.5-class Corvette of the Israeli Navy fires its canons during a naval exercise off the coast of Israel.
Israel’s Defense Ministry on Sunday announced a series of deals for the purchase of combat systems from local defense industries in the amount of $420 million by the end of this year. This is part of a project to acquire warships whose mission would to protect natural gas platforms within Israel’s “economic waters” in the Mediterranean against military threats.
An Israeli soldier training in Krav Maga.
Several dozen members of the Indian military are currently learning how to protect themselves using the Israeli martial art of Krav Maga, India Today reported this weekend.
“I brought Krav Maga to India in year 2002 after intensive training in Israel,” Vikram Kapoor — the head instructor at the International Krav Maga Federation — was quoted as saying. “This is the only self-defense technique that is being evolved every moment and that is why it is the best.”
Culminating a three-year process, delegates at the Mennonite Church USA assembly in Orlando on Thursday adopted a resolution titled “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine,” with approximately 98 percent voting in favor. The resolution calls on members to “avoid purchase of products associated with the occupation or produced in settlements in occupied territories.” It also establishes a process for the church to review its investments “for the purpose of withdrawing investments from companies that are profiting from the occupation.”
Rabbi Steven Wernick says Netanyahu recruited progressive Jews to find a compromise for the holy site; now that the PM has reneged, world Jewry won’t be silent
The fight for pluralistic prayer at the Western Wall is a battle already won by Jewry’s Conservative movement. For some 20 years, Conservative Jews have inhabited a spiritual home at Jerusalem’s contentious holy site, which they won through a series of Supreme Court cases — in a section allocated to the Davidson Archaeological
Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. (Photo credit: hebron.com)
In a secret ballot held at the World Heritage Committee’s 41st annual summit in Krakow Poland, on Friday, UNESCO voted twelve to three in favor declaring the Holy City of Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs “Palestinian world heritage sites”.
The resolution described a Muslim history of the city while blatantly ignoring the Biblical narrative describing 3,000 years of Jewish connection to the site. Six countries abstained from the controversial vote which, at the request of Poland, Croatia, and Jamaica, was a secret ballot; a first for such a vote.
During last month’s 2017 Chicago Dyke March, the true face of “inclusion” among “progressives” finally surfaced. According to the Chicago based newspaper Windy City Times, the march proceeded calmly with people “of all races, genders and gender identities” attending, until “the Dyke March Collective ejected three people carrying Jewish Pride flags (a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the center).”
Something is terribly broken in the relationship between American and Israeli Jews. I say this as an American Jew who has lived in Israel for almost half a century. But if anyone thinks this started with Women of the Wall or PM Netanyahu’s recent – and I believe unfortunate – backtracking on the agreement over egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, he is suffering from selective memory, if not total denial.
gentleman from times gone by. He was soft-spoken, courtly, and wore his pants hoisted high and held up by suspenders; clearly, a European who had personally endured horrors in the last century.
Indeed, he had personally survived the Holocaust in Poland. Therefore, I could not immediately understand why he now attends a very left-wing synagogue—but, totally incomprehensible, was his unexpected and rather passionate defense of Poland and of the Poles. He argued on their behalf as if his very life still depended upon it.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s decision to visit Jerusalem but not Ramallah has prompted much comment.
The expectation of equal treatment goes back to the Oslo Accords’ signing in Sep. 1993, when the prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, represented his government in the handshake with Yasir Arafat, the much-despised chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. No one found it strange or inappropriate at the time but things look differently nearly a quarter century later.
Matthew Healy at the Atlantic, one of the few remaining liberal anti-censorship magazines, offers a disingenuous counterpoint to the debate over political correctness.
The attempts to silence dissenting points of view are counter-speech, according to Healy. And counter-speech is an important form of free expression.