by Carolyn Shield
In the land near the Sea of Galilee, one of the oldest synagogues was found in the area called Migdal. It is believed to date back 2000 years from 50BCE to 100CE.
The time of Jesus and around Mary Magdalene's possible home. This would be the temple Jesus and Mary would have attended and it has been unearthed. Archeologists have discovered a large hand carved stone which has the seven candle menorah and two trees on both sides. The carving has hearts and two large vases which probably one contained the sacred olive oil used to light the sacred menorah. The other large amphora was used to anoint the King of Israel. The Vatican was building on the land a hotel called the Magdala Center which was being built to welcome tourists, pilgrims on pilgrimage, and Christians. It was on this land that the ancient synagogue was found. What a coincidence.
On the carved stone there is a six petal rose within a circle in the center between two trees surrounded by hearts. In legends the rose in the Garden of Eden only got thorns after Adam and Eve were expelled. Hearts and six petal flower even in our times depict love.
The six petal flower could be a lily or rose which symbolizes the righteous and resurrection. What a special temple was this at Migdal to have the symbols of love on its walls. The lily went on to be a symbol of the fleur de lis which Clovis used and French royalty. It is interesting we see the lily in connection with the Synagogue at Migdal which existed in Jesus' time. We see the two trees that of the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge on the stone. The reverence the ancient Jewish people had for trees is interesting especially for the Acacia tree of which the Ark was said to be built of and the Tabernacle. The discovery of Migdal's ancient synagogue is an exciting one and especially to find the ancient symbols carved in stone for all to see 2000 years later.
|Example of Rose window from Gothic Cathedral in Paris and rose petal design of synagogue stone carving found in Migdal near the Sea of Galilee. 50BC-100 CE|
After the Crusaders can back from the Holy Land they built the Gothic cathedrals. One wonders did the Crusaders see the symbol of the lily (rose) while there. The Rose stained glass window greeted many worshippers. The sun's rays lit the colored glass illuminating the church like dazzling jewels. Just like Migdal's temple where the six petal lily (rose) greeted its worshippers. Jesus may have walked and worshipped there as well as Mary Magdalene. The Gothic churches also share the symbolism of the trees. Jesse's tree is a recurring symbol through out France's churches. Jesse's tree symbolized the "Tree of Life" the bloodline of Jesus.
The town of Cana is just a short distance from this ancient synagogue. Gospel writer John 2:1-11 is the only one who tells of the first miracle at Cana. Jesus turns water into wine at the wedding of Cana. Luke, Mathew, and Mark do not mention it. The wedding of Cana may have been performed in the synagogue at Migdal and the family celebration at Cana.
Wood panel at Notre Dame ParisPicture by M. Brown permission granted to C. Shield
The heart symbol on the Migdal Jewish temple stone surprised me. The heart symbol is more Egyptian. Moses in Exodus may have brought some sacred symbols with him.
The Egyptian's believed the heart was weighed on a scale for judgment. The heart symbol was used on talismans and amulets for protection. Book of Jeremiah 17:9, it is written that the Lord is the judge who "tries" the human heart. In the Sacred Heart of Jesus is very similar symbolism. The Sacra Coeur church in Paris is a church dedicated to the heart symbol. It's amazing to see these symbols in Migdal's temple. "Mary of Magdala", a town on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee could this be her temple that her family worshipped at. Did Jesus worship there too? What do you think?