Bar’am Synagogue

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I like the little ruin of a synagogue up north at Bar’am. It occupies the same site as Kafr Bir’em, about which I’ve posted below. What strikes me about the byzantine synagogue site is its modest scale and the elegant framing of the door and organization of columns. I think one should be able to write them, the organization of space, without romantic longing or national sentiment. There’s no reason why in memory one ruin needs to supplant another.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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2 Responses to Bar’am Synagogue

  1. nitzan says:

    Zak, if you have the time, there’s an interesting autobio by Miron Benbenisti: Chalom Hatzabar HaLavan that talks about the way those Byzantine ruins were mapped and classified. Highly recommended (for that and other reasons).

    • zjb says:

      i’ll have to read it. but i think the first step is to call these synagogues “Byzantine,” as opposed to Talmudic or rabbinic, which they probably were not!

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