37a Beit Shean

Beit She’an is a city in the North District of Israel which has played historically an important role due to its geographical location, at the junction of the Jordan River Valley and the Jezreel Valley.

Above is a mosaic from the proposed study house at Beit Shean.

The Aramaic inscription above reads:

דכירין לטב כל בני חבורתה קדישתה דהנון מתחזקין בתקונה דאתרה ]קדי[שה ובשלמה תהוי להון ברכתה אמן . . . רוב שלום חסד בשלום

Remembered for good all the members of the holy society (ḥavurta qadisha) who support the repair of the holy place and its completion. May they have blessing. Amen . . . in abundant peace, covenant love in peace.

These mosaics from a small room in Beit Shean, excavated by Dan Bahat in 1970, might be a “study house” based upon its inscriptions.  This sixth-century structure is approximately seven meters square, and is located in a complex containing the “house of Leontis” and a bath (itself a complicated complex), both bearing dedicatory inscriptions.