Garo Nalbandian

Destroyed by an earthquake in the sixth century A.D., the synagogue of Beth Alpha, near Beth Shean in the Jezreel Valley, features the extravagant and well-preserved mosaics of a folk artist. This panel in the nave (compare with photo of detail from the Hammath Tiberias synagogue) displays a composition very similar to the Hammath Tiberias mosaic. Two menorot flank the Torah ark, at center, which is guarded by lions. On each side, a lulav with an attached etrog can be seen between the lion and the ark. The familiar incense shovel and shofar also appear on each side.