Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Baffling graffiti vandalism of Mount Meron synagogue

THIS IS STRANGE. AND SAD. Graffiti spray-painted on 1,800-year-old synagogue on Galilee’s Mount Meron. For the second time in four years, the 3rd-century house of prayer is vandalized by religious extremists near the tomb of the Talmudic sage Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel).
One of the walls was sprayed — apparently without irony — with “This holy place will not be desecrated. You have been warned.” Other graffiti specifically targeted the IAA, stating, “There will not be an archaeological park here,” and “Mount Meron is not abandoned.”
The really baffling part is this:
The synagogue site, where no active digs are planned, is conserved as part of a government project and is part of a nature reserve. No archaeological park is planned for the area.
The article mentions the graffiti vandalism of the same synagogue in 2015, which I noted here. For more on Mount Meron in connection with Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai (Yohai) and the annual Lag B'Omer celebrations, see here and links. For the tomb of Rabbi Shimon, see here and here and links.

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