Jewish Worship, Pagan Symbols: Zodiac Mosaics in Ancient Synagogues

I usually don’t promote much from BAR, but this article is quite interesting and falls in line with certain subjects I discuss on this blog!  Walter Zanger talks about Jewish synagogues and pagan symbols, notably the zodiac.

Ein Harod is a spring that rises in the valley of Jezreel at the foot of Mt. Gilboa. Gideon gathered his men there to sort out the good soldiers from the bad ones (Judges 7). From the pool, the spring makes its weary and meandering way east down the valley for some 18 km, passing through Beth-Shean to empty into the Jordan River.

A thousand years of neglect had resulted in a valley full of silted and blocked-up waterways creating a marshy and swampy landscape as the spring of Harod—and half a dozen other springs that empty into it—filled the land with water faster than the natural outlets—now blocked—could drain it.

The middle square, the first to be uncovered, was the most spectacular. Figures of four women were at the four corners, with inscriptions (in Hebrew) identifying each as a season of the year. Inside the square was a wheel, 3.12 meters in diameter, with a smaller circle (1.2 m) in its center. The wheel was divided into 12 panels, each with a figure and a name identifying it as a sign of the zodiac. And in the center, a man was pictured driving a quadriga (four-horse chariot) through the moon and stars. Rays of the sun were coming out of his head; it was clear that he was Helios, god of the sun.

via Jewish Worship, Pagan Symbols: Zodiac mosaics in ancient synagogues by Walter Zanger – Biblical Archaeology Review.

Quite an enjoyable piece!  H/T to James McGrath on Facebook.

Depravity: Doctor Charged with Killing 7 Babies

Absolute depravity.  I say the parents should be brought up on charges too.  What sort of asinine parent decides this late in a pregnancy that they don’t want the baby?!  I’ll tell you who, the same parents who throw their newborns in dumpsters.  Just absolutely horrible; this is a true tragedy.

A Philadelphia abortion doctor has been charged with eight counts of murder in the deaths of a woman patient and seven babies that prosecutors say were born alive and then killed with scissors.

The charges against Dr. Kermit Gosnell follow a long grand jury investigation.

District Attorney Seth Williams said state regulators ignored complaints and failed to visit the clinic since 1993.

Williams said the women were subjected to squalid and barbaric conditions at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society, which was shut down last year.

Gosnell has been named in at least 10 malpractice suits, including one over the death of a woman who died of sepsis and a perforated uterus.

Late-term procedures

A local CBS station reported that Gosnell’s wife and eight other people also were under arrest.

It said the deaths occurred following illegal late-term abortions.

The broadcaster said warrants were served late Tuesday or early Wednesday and all the suspects were being held in jail.

It said four of the suspects were facing multiple murder counts.

In addition, Gosnell was the subject of a federal grand jury investigation relating to the illegal prescribing of prescription drugs, CBS said.

Some $240,000 in cash had been found when his house was searched, the station said, citing investigators.

It added that Gosnell had previously insisted he was innocent of any crimes and predicted he would be acquitted if he was charged.

via Abortion doctor charged with killing 7 babies – U.S. news – Crime & courts – msnbc.com.

I hope they all rot in jail.

Depravity: Monk Nabbed with Nun’s Skeletal Remains

This is just plain wrong, as well as depraved.

A Cypriot monk caught at a Greek airport with the skeletal remains of a nun in his baggage told authorities he was taking the relics of a saint back to his monastery.

The 56-year-old Cypriot was detained at Athens airport after security staff discovered a skull wrapped in cloth and skeletal remains in a sheet inside his baggage.

“They maintained it was a woman who was a saint,” a Greek police official who declined to be named told Reuters.

He said the monk told authorities he was transferring her remains to a monastery in Cyprus.

The remains were those of a nun who died four years ago. She was not a saint in the Greek or Cypriot Orthodox Churches, but had once been a nun at a Cypriot convent, police said.Revering the skeletal remains of saints is common in the Greek Orthodox tradition. A sect within the church may have venerated the nun even though she was not an official saint.In many churches, venerated relics are put on display for the faithful to touch or kiss and a box for collecting donations from the faithful placed nearby.

“It appears to be the work of charlatans with a financial interest that is what I suspect,” Cyprus’s Archbishop Chrysostomos told journalists when asked about the monk’s tale.

The monk was freed after being charged with theft and desecrating the dead, a misdemeanor in Greece. He was also suspended from his monastic duties for three months for going away without leave, Cypriot police said.

via Monk nabbed with nun’s skeleton at airport – Travel – News – msnbc.com.

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