Zev Radovan

Eshtemoa synagogue doorway. The city of Eshtemoa in the Judean hills has been inhabited continuously from Biblical times to the present. Often, one generation’s builders would incorporate the architectural components left by an earlier generation. For example, in this doorway, we see the main entrance to the synagogue as it appears today, decorated with geometric designs and rosettes. The lintel in the photo originally spanned one of the side entrances to the synagogue. After the synagogue was destroyed, however, this lintel from a side entrance was placed in the center entrance. Because the side entrance lintel was not wide enough for the larger, center entrance, the re-builders made the center entrance narrower with ashlars from the original building. Decorations on the stones supporting the lintel in the photo indicate that these stones were once part of the stone-carved frame of the original, center lintel of the original synagogue.