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Postcard from Israel: Korazim


We’re in the Galilee region again this week with a visit to the ancient town of Korazim. Founded in the first century CE, the town covers around 100 dunams (24.7 acres) and has five neighbourhoods.

It is mentioned in the Babylonian Talmud for the high-quality grain grown by its inhabitants and was one of three towns (together with Caperneum –Kfar Nahum – and Beithsaida) mentioned in the New Testament as having been condemned by Jesus because its population would not accept his teachings.

The beautiful late third to early fourth century south-facing synagogue boasts wonderful stonework, including human figures which are thought to have been brightly painted. Later, the same figures were deliberately defaced and this iconoclasm is thought by some researchers to be the result of later, more strict Jewish interpretations of the second commandment.  

The synagogue also boasts a carved stone seat bearing an Aramaic inscription and nearby is the town’s mikve (Jewish ritual bath). Reconstructed houses and the ancient olive press give an idea of what life must have been like in this town which was mentioned by the French naturalist Pierre Belon in his accounts of his travels in 1547 as having a population of Jewish fishermen and was inhabited until the beginning of the 20th century.  

All photos taken by Israelinurse

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  1. My grandparents had a forest and bridge named after them in Korazim. We spent a fruitless but very pleasant afternoon looking for them – the sites, not my grandparents – one afternoon a couple of years ago.

    Korazim is beautiful – it is such a lovely area, perched just above the Kinneret. My kibbutz, Parod, was across the valley and we could look down on the lake from there.

    Happy days.

  2. Magnificent photos. The ancient Jewish architecture and stonecarving is unique and astounding. The brilliant design of the pictured column is remarkable in its individuality and nothing like the ancient Greek Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns we are all so familiar with.

    Here is just a guess at what those stepped engravings on the body of the column may represent. Duvid suggests they are a recreation of Jacob’s ladder or stairway to heaven from his Biblical dream.

    • The brilliant design of the pictured column is remarkable in its individuality and nothing like the ancient Greek Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns we are all so familiar with.

      It’s called “variations on a theme.”
      And let’s face it: the zig-zag motif doesn’t really work.
      😉

  3. mentioned in the New Testament as having been condemned by Jesus because its population would not accept his teachings

    JC never struck me as being the resentful type of messiah.
    “Saint” Matthew was always overrated anyway.
    😉