Rav Berland visits the ancient synagogue of Jericho

Rav Berland looks at the mosaic floor in the ancient synagogue in Jericho

Visiting the ancient synagogue of Jericho

On Friday, May 10th, 2019, of the week where Parshat Emor is read in the Holy Land, Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, visited the site of the “Shalom Al Yisrael” ancient synagogue in Jericho. The synagogue is located in the place where the angel encountered Yehoshua Bin Nun, and told him:

“Remove your shoe from your foot, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.[1]

The Rav, together with the community, recited the Tikkun HaKlali, and prayed on behalf of Am Yisrael.

Shalom Al Yisrael

The ancient synagogue in Jericho was discovered during excavations that occurred around 80 years ago, which uncovered a large, tiled mosaic floor which measured 10 by 13 metres. The place got its name, ‘Shalom Al Yisrael’, thanks to the artwork and the inscriptions which were discovered there, which contained that phrase.

In the center of the mosaic floor, there is a circle which contains a seven-branched menorah. On the right, there is a shofar, and on the left there is a lulav. Underneath this image, it’s written in Hebrew: Shalom Al Yisrael – peace upon Israel.

You are treading on a holy place

In the Book of Joshua, it’s written that on the night that Joshua conquered the city of Jericho, Joshua was wandering around its walls when he suddenly encountered the angel who told him: The place where you are treading is holy! [Remove your shoes!] And so, Joshua did.

The synagogue itself dates back to the time of the Jerusalem Talmud, (the 3rd century C.E.). It was built by a congregation who were knowledgeable about the holy tradition associated with the site, which is located next to Tel Yericho (the remains of the biblical city of Jericho) and also close to Elisha’s spring.

Below, we’re very pleased to share with you the full clip of Rav Berland’s visit to the ancient synagogue in Jericho:



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[1] Joshua 5:15

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