After five winters with not enough rain, the lake today reached a dangerously low level. The water surface is now 213 meters below sea level. Some 27% of Israel's water needs are supplied by Yam Kinneret. But soon we are going to be in big trouble.
For a short video about the water crisis click here.
Yafia, near Nazareth in the Lower Galilee, was a large fortified city in the time of the Jewish revolt against the Romans and was destroyed in 67 CE. This section of mosaic floor was found in its synagogue. A golden eagle is perched on a Medusa mask. Or, the portrait may be of Helios, the sun god.
The sign in the Rockefeller Museum is interesting: "The depiction of human and animal figures on a synagogue floor, despite the explicit biblical prohibition against producing graven images, is surprising, particularly given the pagan nature of the subjects. However, the remains of ancient synagogues discovered to date indicate that this was actually quite a widespread practice in Byzantine times. It seems that classical and Hellenistic decorative traditions were used in synagogue art to convey Jewish beliefs and that the sages found ways to reconcile this custom with Jewish law."
Aha! That means another Y --the Yiddishe Kopf was at work in Yafia.
For clever Y words and photos visit Mrs. Nesbitts Place for ABC Wednesday.