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Beit Alfa Synagogue National Park (on Kibbutz Hefzibah)
Mosaic of the zodiac and the story of the sacrifice of Isaac

Useful Information

The Beit Alfa synagogue was constructed in the fifth century C.E. It had a courtyard, an entryway, a large rectangular room, a second-floor balcony, and an additional room. Two inscriptions were found on the entryway floor. The Aramaic inscription states that the mosaic was made at the time of Justin (apparently Justin I, who ruled from 518 to 527); the Greek inscription is in memory of the artists who made the mosaic, Marianus and his son Hanina.
The piece de resistance is the mosaic floor in the central room, one of the most important mosaics discovered in Israel. Each of its three panels depicts a scene - the Holy Ark, the zodiac, and the story of the sacrifice of Isaac.
The zodiac has the names of the twelve signs in Hebrew. In the center is Helios, the sun god, being whisked away in his chariot by four galloping horses. The four women in the corners of the mosaic represent the four seasons. The most touching scene is, of course, that of a bearded Abraham preparing to sacrifice his bound son Isaac.
Visitors can also watch a film about life in the ancient village and the making of the mosaic floor. The soundtrack is available in Hebrew, English, and German.



Directions:
The synagogue is at Kibbutz Hefzibah. The kibbutz is located on Route 669 between Hashita junction and Beit She\'an, about 20 minutes west of Beit She\'an.
Average length of visit:  15-30 minutes
Best season to visit:  Year-round
Make sure not to miss:  Audio-visual presentation.
Also available:  Gift shop; snack bar.
Hours:  April-September: 8:00-17:00
October-March: 8:00-16:00
Telephone  (04) 653-2004
Admission fees:  Individual: adults NIS 17, children NIS 7
Groups: adults NIS 14, children NIS 6
Dogs entrance:
Sites of interest nearby:
Beit She\'an National Park
Harod Spring National Park
Gan Hashlosha National Park (Sahne)
Cochav Hayarden National Park

Mount Gilboa

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