Day Three – Talmidim
Travel Day – From Caesarea to Migdal (Galilee Sea)
Today was a travel day made to order. It was rainy and windy depending on where we were on the drive. Our drive took us along the coast to the board between Lebanon and Israel. The coast was beautiful but the waters were very rough. For those that watched Seinfeld you could say “ The Sea was angry that day’ my friend”. We stopped for a picture at the coast under the border crossing and then headed for the town of Migdal. Migdal is a very special “little” town in which a new archaeological dig has recently been unearthed. Along the coast of the Sea of Galilee a building project unearthed a first century town believed to be Magdalene. This is amazing as this is truly a first century town with nothing but earth on top. So far the dig has unearthed an affluent part of the town, common dwellings and a synoguog. The synagogue boasts mosaic floor and pillars that still contain colored mosaics (blue, pink and yellow). The affluent homes contain micfa or ritual bath chambers with seven steps leading into the baths that look like they could have been made yesterday. The grounds around the site contain numerous pottery pieces with few pottery pieces found in tact. Three weeks ago when our leaders Dan and Sharon visited with the ISOD group one of the guys with them found a bowl sticking out of the ground that caused great excitement at the site. To owner the site a church made of Jerusalem stone and marble was erected in the last couple of months. Inside there are mosaic depicting Jesus walking on water, Jesus calling Mathew and John to leave their nets and become fishers of men, the healing of ===== daughter and =======. The church is circular in shape with eight pillars dedicated to the women that followed Jesus while he ministered on earth. The seventh pillar is un-named as it represents all women that follow Jesus today. The main sanctuary boasts beautiful painting of all of the disciples, Jesus and Mary. The alter is a Jesus boat placed on green and blue marble. The boat stands in front of an entire wall of windows with a view of the Sea of Galilee and an infinite pool reflecting the boat and shedding natural light into the church. Below the church is an exact replica of the synagogue seating arrangement wish was circular in order to prompt discussion and promote active discussion amongst all that attended. The room is meant to be functional and is available to groups for use. The stone used in the construction is those found lose at the dig site.
The site is currently under construction and is schedule to be completed for the late spring just in time for the tourists. The site was open to the general public with no entry fee and the use of a knowledgeable guide. When completed the site will have include the dig, the church, a visitor center, gift shops and restaurant. The true majesty of the site is the time period as most digs have layers upon layers of centuries as people built on top of the previous settlement; this dig has nothing on top of the first century settlement.
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