Jewish sites in Southern Israel: Susya

Jewish sites in Southern Israel: Susya


Susya is a site of great marvel. One of the best preserved towns from 3rd century AC, this ancient town is full of evidence of rich Jewish life. Whether it be the synagouge, the best preserved of its kind from the hellenistic period, the Jewish cemetary or the many mikves, Susya forms a unique opportunity to gaze over the past of Judaism and understanding how it used to looked like. If you want to hear more about this incredible site, read on.


Jewish History Smiling from Every Corner

Susya supposedly got its name from Ya’akov Ben Susa, one of the prominent generals in the Maccabi rebelion under Bar Kokhba, a struggle which archiologists have connected to some of the sites in Susya. This means that Susya is part of one of the most important and intriguing Jewish events of all times.

Susya has been especially well preserved for a town that existed from 3rd to 9th century AC, and its most amazing feature is without a doubt the synagouge. The synagouge was dug up in the late sixties, and its amazing mosaic floor is presented in the Israel museum in Jerusalem. The synagouge is very notable for being built according to Halacha (laws decreed by post biblical religious figures), even though Halacha was a new concept at the times.

Susya also has more than 30 mikves, an amazing number for a city which supposedly only had a population of 1500 people. Some of the old houses even have private mikves, which is unbeliviably devoute and shows the deep religion of the Jews residing in the area.

The city is also covered by many Jewish writings, both in Hebrew and Aramaic, which sites scriptures from the bible, and the motif of the Menora (the seven headed lamp which you might know from the Chanuka costum) is widley spread throughout many of the still intact buildings.

Visiting Today

A modern Jewish settelment has been eracted next to Susya, from which the Susya Center for Tour and Study operates. The institue gives a great way to learn more about the site and experience it with the added benefit of knowledged instructors who know all there is to know about the ancient city. For more information contact the Susya cetner for Tour and Study at the following email address: [email protected]