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Archaeology in Israel: Ancient Synagogue at Bar'am

The national park of Bar’am is situated between Kibbutz Sasa and Moshav Dovev, near the Lebanese border. The ancient synagogue there is one of the best preserved in Israel. Its doorways and windows remain intact after more than 1,800 years and its facade is complete up to the second floor. Carved stones decorate the entrances and walls, but the most impressive decorations are the sculpted lintels above the main portal. The gorgeous wreath of branches was once adorned with other ornaments, but unfortunately they failed to survive. There is an Aramaic inscription to the right of the main doorway that reads “Built by El’azar son of Yudan.” The synagogue was built facing south, toward Jerusalem and the ark of the torah was once located in the southern wall.


Another, much smaller synagogue was reported and photographed by 19th-century travelers just 400 meters from Bar’am. Its lintel survived and reads “May there be peace on this place and in all the places in Israel. Yose the Levite, son of Levi made this lintel. May his deeds be blessed.” 

Sources: Israeli Foreign Ministry