Larry and Mindy לארי ומינדי

Sometimes there are amazing treasures hiding right under our nose and we don’t even notice them.

After many years of performing at the fabulous Jacob’s Ladder Festival, we recently visited a site that is literally a 1-minute drive – okay maybe 2 minutes – from Nof Ginosar, where Jacob’s Ladder is held twice a year.

The site is called Magdala, and it defines itself as the crossroads of Jewish and Christian history – and indeed it is.

There is an amazing first century synagogue there that was discovered in the year 2009, only 30 cm below the surface! It is the oldest synagogue excavated in the Galilee, and one of only seven first century synagogues in Israel. Coins excavated in the synagogue date between 5 and 63 CE. A coin minted in 29 CE leaves the impression of Jesus teaching in the synagogues during his public life.

In the center of the synagogue is a beautiful stone – appropriately called the Magdala Stone. They believe it was a holder for the Torah scrolls and symbolizes the Temple. The rosette design on the top represents the veil before the Holy of Holies, and a carved menorah flanks one side of the stone.

Also uncovered at the site is a large market place with over 20 rooms, in addition to wells and possible fish pools. In another area of the site are four well preserved mikvaot, and there are several beautiful mosaics as well.

At the site there is also a new, modern building comprised of four chapels commemorating the public life of Jesus.

The site is open every day from 8-18, so if you live in the north, or are on your way from the Center to Jacob’s Ladder, it is worth stopping at the Migdal Junction to have a look!


One of the four mikvaot (ritual immersion bath)

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