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Arbel ( ) is a moshav in northern Israel. Located on Mount Arbelmarker next to the Sea of Galileemarker near Tiberiasmarker, it falls under the jurisdiction of Lower Galilee Regional Councilmarker. In 2006 it had a population of 364.

Arbel was established in 1949 by demobilized soldiers on the lands of the depopulated Palestinian Arab village of Hittinmarker, whose residents fled during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. It was initially a moshav shitufi (a collective smallholder's settlement that combines the economic features of a kibbutz with the social features of a moshav. Farming is done collectively and profits are shared equally), but became a moshav ovdim (a workers co-operative settlement) in 1959.

Ancient Arbel

In Second Temple times, the village of Arbel was the home of the sage Nitai the Arbelite, to whom the Mishnah ascribes the saying: "Keep your distance from a bad neighbor, do not associate with the wicked, and do not despair of retribution" (Avot 1:7).

Ancient synagogue

Arbel is notable for the ruins of an ancient synagogue, one of the oldest synagogue in the world that stands amid the remnants of an ancient Jewish village on the western edge of the moshav. The door of the synagogue, still standing, was carved form a massive natural outcropping of limestone, and the synagogue itself situated so as to make use of the stone as a handsome door. It is carved with decorative floral motifs and medallions. A carved groove for a mezuzah can be seen. Three sides of the building had carved stone benches. The two story building had three rows of columns with Corinthian capitals on the first floor and Ionic capitals on the second floor.

See also



References

  1. www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/The_Temple.html
  2. Ancient Synagogues in the Land of Israel, Mordechai Aviam, Israel Nature and Parks Authority, 1997, p. 16



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