Bet Alfa Synagogue National Park

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The zodiac mosaic and the story of the offering of Isaac

Geographic location

The Bet Alfa synagogue is located in the Bet She’an Valley.

 

Archaeology

The synagogue was founded at the end of the fifth century CE. It consists of a courtyard, corridor, rectangular main hall with the spectacular mosaic floor, second-story balcony and another room.

An Aramaic mosaic inscription at the entrance to the synagogue reveals that the floor was laid during the reign of Justinian (apparently Emperor Justinian I). The other inscription, in Greek, mentions the mosaic’s artists, Marianus and his son Hanina.

The colorful mosaic in the main hall is divided into three panels. They depict the Ark of the Covenant, the zodiac and the offering of Isaac.

The 12 signs of the zodiac appear in Hebrew, surrounding the sun god, Helios, driving his four-horse chariot across the sky. Four female figures in the corners represent the four seasons. The third panel depicts the offering of Isaac, showing a bearded Abraham holding a knife over his son Isaac.

An audiovisual presentation highlights daily life in the ancient village and the making of the mosaic.

How to get there:
The synagogue is located on the grounds of Kibbutz Heftsiba, off road 996 between HaShita junction and Bet She'an, about 10 minutes west of Bet She'an; Egged bus 412 from Afula.


Length of tour: 15-30 minutes

Best season: year-round; the mosaic is in a roofed, air-conditioned building

Don't miss: The approximately 10-minute audiovisual presentation

Other attractions: Souvenir shop; snack-bar
  

Opening hours

Last entry two hours before above closing hour

SUMMER:
Sunday-Tursday And Saturda-8 A.M.-5 P.M
Fridy And Holiday eves- 8 A.M.- 4 P.M.

WINTER:
Sunday-Tursday And Saturda-8 A.M.-4 P.M
Fridy And Holiday eves- 8 A.M.- 3 P.M.

On the eves of Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Pesach: 8:00 - 13:00

Contact us

  Phone: 04-653-2004 

  Entrance fee

 Adult: NIS 22; child: NIS 9

Group (over 30 people): Adult: NIS 19; child: 8

  Entrance to dogs 

prohibited

 

Click here for site pamphlet


    Content under construction, the information apears soon.

    In the Bet Alfa National Park adaptations to make the site accessible to people with disabilities are being made. Adaptations currently in place include:

    • Parking
    • restroom
    • gathering square
    • model of the synagogue
    • the synagogue building

    32.518876,35.427651
    Bet Alfa Synagogue National Park