Speaker: Rabbi Lee Levine
Program Series: Rabbi Joshua O. Haberman Distinguished Scholar Series
Location: Ohr Kodesh Congregation, Chevy Chase, MD
Date: November 21, 2017
The study of ancient Jewish art is a relatively new field fueled by ongoing archaeological discoveries. Only in Late Antiquity (third to seventh centuries CE) did Jewish art begin to flourish in a dramatic fashion. By the Byzantine era (fourth to seventh centuries CE), religious symbols, biblical motifs and even clearly pagan mythological motifs - especially the zodiac signs and the image of Helios - graced many synagogue mosaic floors in ancient Palestine.
This lecture focuses on the political, social and religious reasons for such a dramatic change, and likewise addresses the variety of ways Jewish communities, which were wholly autonomous and diverse, grappled with such developments.