We’re glad to be back up and running now (our blog, that is).
Yesterday we arrived at ATL on time on our return from Israel. This trip was biblically educational for all: helpful for first-time travelers as well as those returning. It is a fact that you get a lot more out of that 2nd or 3rd trip to Israel; that first visit tends to be overwhelming, there’s so much to take in! I continue to learn on each trip.
Last week I posted on the discovery of the 1st century synagogue at Magdala. Of interest there was the discovery of two mikva’ot (plural of mikveh). A mikveh was used by the Jews for ritual purification (not for bathing; they would bathe first).
Archaeologist Ronny Reich, in BAR in an article discussing mikva’ot at Sepphoris says:
. . .we often find mikva’ot in pairs, side by side. We must remember that where the mikveh was not served by a continuously flowing spring (as in the vast majority of cases), the pure water had to last from the end of one rainy season, in around March, until the beginning of the next rainy season, about October. If one of a pair of mikva’ot no longer had enough pure water, the other could be used. What’s more, the waters of a pure mikveh could be used to purify the water in the other. Rabbinic literature describes how a moveable pipe or assemblage of pipes could be used for this purpose (Tosefta mikva’ot, 5.5). Pairs of mikva’ot are frequently found in Jerusalem. At Sepphoris I saw five or six pairs or groups that can easily be identified: numbers 4, 5 and 6; 7 and 9; 14 and 15; 17 and 18; 19 and 20; 21 and 22 on the site map (28:02 Mar/Apr 2002).
The view from Magdala is beautiful.
Click on images for larger view.