Now, blessed with plenty of water, fertile fields flowing with milk and honey, and lovely homes, Tzippori hoped to remain at peace with the Romans. Or, perhaps, she was afraid to risk everything she had by joining the revolt. Whatever the reason, Tzippori remained untouched. Tzippori rested on a hill meters above sea level, towering over the Beit Netufa Valley below. Her climate was perfect, for even in summer the city remained cool, as sweet breezes blew softly through the trees.
When his health began to fail, the Roman Emperor Antoninus granted him land in Tzippori. Taking with him his fellow sages, Rebbi set up house in Tzippori, a lovely city where Jews and pagans lived together in peace. Rebbi was friendly with the Roman aristocracy as well as all the contemporary Roman emperors. There is even a tale about his relationship with Emperor Septimius Severus, who ruled from to — according to this legend, Severus valued the rabbi so highly that he built a tunnel from Rome to Tzippori in order that they could study together.
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Jewish neighborhood photo credit: Shmuel Bar-Am It was in Tzippori, at the end of the 3 rd century, that the eminent rabbi edited a compilation of Jewish traditional literature and Oral Law known as the Mishna. Considered the second most important book in Judaism after the Torah , the Mishna shaped, and continues to shape, all aspects of Jewish life everywhere in the world.
No wonder then, that on the day that Rebbi breathed his last, people thronged to the city to mourn and follow him to his grave. The Talmud tells us that many miracles occurred on that fateful day, a Sabbath eve. It seems that the sun stood still until every mourner returned home. And only after each one had cooked his fish, filled a jar with water, and lit his lamp did the sun sink in the Heavens and the Sabbath commence.
Despite its indisputable importance, there was little to see at the site of ancient Tzippori until the early s. Although small-scale excavations were carried out during the British Mandate, and remains of a Roman theater were discovered, no effort was made to find the rest of the famous Jewish city. Indeed, the hill on which it stood was completely covered with dirt, brush, and fruit trees left from the hostile Arab village that stood nearby until When serious digs were finally begun, archaeologists could hardly believe the result: not only did the ancient city sport a theater, but well-preserved, unique mosaics were uncovered along with entire neighborhoods, a market street, and the marvelous underground water system.
Synagogue: a mosaic depicts the Akeda — the binding of Isaac photo credit: Shmuel Bar-Am Today, ancient Tzippori is one of the most exciting national parks in the country. Visitors follow a wide cardo typical Roman central boulevard to stunning 5 th -century mosaics illustrating the Nile River Festival and featuring fabulously designed Amazon warriors. Easily visible are crevices made by chariot wheels and, carved into the stones, a menorah, along with games played by children here long ago. At Tzippori, you will walk atop the very stones that Emperors used to tread on their way to the theater, and sit in the seats from which they watched their performances.
The 4,seat Roman theater at Tzippori, built on the slopes, has been partially restored and affords a beautiful view of the Beit Netufa Valley.
Visitors can follow a little lane that leads to a Jewish neighborhood — with cobblestone streets — high upon the hill. Use the HTML below. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. Fall TV Premieres: Sept.
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