Love of the Land

For the week ending 16 June 2007 / 30 Sivan 5767

Cheftzibah - Home of the Magnificent Mosaic

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

One of the most interesting relics of ancient times can be found in Kibbutz Cheftzibah at the foot of Mount Gilboa. It is the magnificent mosaic that decorated the floor of a synagogue built some 1400 years ago on the site where nearby Kibbutz Beit Alpha is located.

It was back in 1928 that the discovery of this mosaic came about while a tractor was digging in the fields of Beit Alpha. Archeologists who rushed to the scene uncovered the floor of the ancient synagogue with a mosaic showing the sun encircled by the twelve signs of the zodiac (the mazalot in Hebrew).

The government has erected a building over the mosaic to protect it at the kibbutz to which it was moved and it is now a popular tourist attraction.

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