Archaeologists Discover a Rare Talmudic-Era Mosaic in the Galilee

Several years ago, part of an ancient winepress was uncovered in the ruins of the village of Korazim (known in the New Testament as Chorazim), but only recently have archaeologists been able to investigate further without damaging it. They found a mosaic floor that, like the winepress, dates to the talmudic period (200-500 CE), as the Jerusalem Post reports:

The winepress was found within the village, while most other winepresses are discovered outside of villages. . . . The winepress is about 52.5 square feet in area. . . . The farmers invested in decorating the winepress floor with a mosaic of patterns of squares and diamond shapes.

Korazim [also] houses impressive remains of a Jewish village from the time of the Talmud, including a magnificent synagogue. Korazim is mentioned in the New Testament and the Babylonian Talmud as a place where high-quality grain was produced, such as the wheat brought to the Temple.

The synagogue at Korazim is in the Galilean style, made from basalt stone. The inside of the synagogue features seashell decorations, a copy of the art of the Holy Ark [once found in the Temple], and a basalt throne, known as the Seat of Moses, with a dedication written on it to the donor of the chair.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Galilee, History & Ideas, Synagogues, Talmud, Wine

The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7