Hamat Tibeias is a southern suburb of Tiberias , along the western shores of the Sea of Galilee. The site was known for its thermal springs in antiquity, and especially in Roman and Byzantine times. In the 1960s the site was excavated. To everyone’s surprise an ancient synagogue was found next to the Roman bath. Furthermore, it’s 4th century mosaic floor included figurative art, and a big presentation of a Zodiac with the Pagan god Helios riding a chariot in its center.
This discovery, combined with similar finds in the ancient synagogues in Beth-Alpha and Sepphoris, are significant testimony to the diversity of Judaism in antiquity. Scholars conclude that it attests to a liberal attitude towards figurative art and Pagan symbols that is not reflected in the Talmud. Still the original meaning of all the symbols combined remains a mystery.
Setting a Bar-Mitzvah in Hamat Tiberias Synagogue
The Ancient synagogue on Hamat-Tiberias is a perfect place for a Bar or Bat-Mitzvah ceremony. Developed into a covered and air conditioned visitors center by Israel’s Nature Parks Authority, the site welcome Jewish families of all denominations to celebrate their child special day.
The ceremony can be followed by an event in one of the local hotels, and a private sail on the Sea of Galilee. In the evening a festive dinner at “Decks” restaurant, including live music, dancing, and fireworks from the lake. What agreat way to end a great day!
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