Doors – Israel 2012

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I took this picture somewhere on “Jewish Quarter St.” As we wandered
through Jerusalem’s Old City, we passed by shops that sold pretty much
everything you could imagine, and several things that your not likely
to imagine. This beautiful and ornate door was at the entrance to a
Jewish mosaic artist’s shop. If you look closely at the pictures, you
can see Old Testament stories told in tile.

We saw a lot of mosaic art in Israel, from floors being painstakingly
restored in the Church of Loaves and Fishes at Tabgha, to the
protected floors beneath the current floor in the Church of the
Nativity in Bethlehem.

We visited a mosaic studio near Mt. Nebo while we were in Jordan. The
artisans were all physically challenged individuals, the shop itself
being sponsored by government to provide employment opportunities for
these people. They did beautiful work. “St. George and the Dragon” and
“The Tree of Life” were two very common motifs expressed in this art
form.

In Madaba, not far from that studio, we visited the Church of the Map;
the Byzantine era Greek Church of St. George. In the floor of that
church is an ancient mosaic tile map of the Holy Land. The church
itself being a starting point for pilgrimage, the map helped to point
travelers in the right direction.

Loose mosaic tiles litter the ground in Jerash and many of the other
ancient sites we visited. They weren’t difficult to spot once you knew
what to look for.

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