A Rare 3rd-Century Synagogue, and Its Even Rarer Mosaic

In 2014, archaeologists discovered the ruins of a synagogue from the 3rd century CE in the ancient town of Majdulia. Located in the Golan Heights, Majdulia was founded in the 1st century CE, around the time of the destruction of the Second Temple, and was abandoned around 350. Further excavations have recently uncovered the remains of the colorful mosaics that once decorated the synagogue, as Amanda Borschel-Dan writes:

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: ancient Judaism, Golan Heights, Jewish art, Synagogues

The U.S. Has Managed to Force a Stalemate in the Syrian Civil War, at Least for Now

In a little remarked-upon statement in May, James Jeffrey, the State Department’s envoy for Syria policy, said that his goal was to turn the war-torn country into “a quagmire for the Russians.” By using economic leverage, this policy has achieved modest success, writes Jonathan Spyer:

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Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Bashar al-Assad, Russia, Syrian civil war, U.S. Foreign policy