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Torah Shrine 2

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Torah Shrine 2
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Photo Comments

This is a detail of the Torah Shrine mosaic.  In the center is a Torah Shrine ("ark") that has wooden doors and a curtain that is tied.  Two columns, with Ionic capitals that support a gable roof with a shell in the center of it.  It looks like three stairs lead up to this shrine—there may have been three wood stairs leading up to the actual "ark" on the black basalt platform.

On each side of the "ark" is a menorah, seven-branched candelabra, on a tripod on a stand, and "flames" in the seven bowls.  At the base of each menorah is a lulav (palm branch associated with the festival of Succoth) and a citron (etrog) along with an incense shovel and a ram's horn (shophar).  Note that even the red coals on the incense shovels are visible.  All of these articles are associated with worship in the Jerusalem Temple—which had been destroyed in AD 70.

Several bands of various colors and a guilloche form the border of this portion of the mosaic "carpet."

This synagogue dates to the 4th-5th centuries.