Sunday, November 2, 2008

Mosaic Zodiac Floor at Tzippori (Zippori)

Picture of Pisces sign and Hebrew name on the Mosaic Zodiac Floor at Tzippori (Zippori), in the North of Israel, is courtesy of bdnegin from Flickr.

This floor belongs to a 6th century Synagogue. Beside the Hebrew name (dagim) of Pisces appears on the mosaic the Hebrew name (Adar) of the Jewish month connected to Pisces.

In contrast with most other appearances of Pisces a human being is holding two fishes in his hands. The fishes are held vertically so that each fish in an opposite direction, while in most other appearances the fishes are swimming in opposite directions, but horizontally. These changes are so drastic that I suspect that the prevalent interpretation of Helios that sits in the middle of this zodiac (and other Jewish zodiacs) is in place. IMHO the figure in the middle is the sun, alluding to the Patriarch Jacob (Israel) who is the sun in Joseph’s dream (Genesis 37) while the tribes (11 stars) of Israel are connected, in this dream, to the zodiac signs.   

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