The Ancient Synagogue of Baram

There is a nice piece on the Galilean Baram synagogue in the Jerusalem Post.

Off The Beaten Track: The ancient synagogue of Baram

Remains of synagogues throughout the Galilee tell the history of the continuous Jewish presence in Israel.

“Peace be upon this place, and upon all the places in Israel.” This Inscription was found in the 19th century on the lintel of the smaller of two synagogues, now destroyed, in Baram.

The Galilee holds some wonderful treasures for any traveler looking for some off the beaten path sites. One of my favorite pastimes is to make my way to the over fifty ruins of ancient synagogues in Israel’s northern regions. These synagogues range in age from the first century BCE through the eighth century CE. Some of the synagogues are in the middle of overgrown fields and only accessible by hiking trail or off road vehicle. Others, albeit not many, have been incorporated into national parks that are easily accessible. The best way to see these synagogues is to check out one of the better preserved ones, like at Baram, Capernaum or Khorazin and then seek out the harder to find ones using a trail map.

When I first visited the Baram synagogue, I was simply shocked. Here we have a synagogue, one of at least two that existed in the village, serving a large Jewish community maybe as early as the second century CE through the Middle Ages, and whose façade has remained intact to this day. As a young American fresh out of college, I was under the impression that the Jews were thrown out of Israel in the first century CE and never came back until the Zionist movement began in the 19th century. At least that’s what my college professors were saying. Simply put, this notion is false; and proof of a continuous, vibrant, populous Jewish presence is evident throughout Galilee from ancient times until this day…[click link above for the rest]


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