One of the amazing places our tour group went while in Israel was Magdala. The birthplace and hometown of Mary Magdalene (“Mary of Magdala”) is also the home of a 1st century synagogue in which Jesus certainly taught.
Situated on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, the ancient village laid uncovered for hundreds of years until 2009 when a Catholic priest, anxious to build a place of pilgrimage for Christians, bought a plot of land with intent to build a guesthouse. Israeli requirements for development of land include an obligatory archaeological survey to determine if there is anything significant beneath the soil that is to be removed prior to building.
When the archaeologists showed up, they discovered one of the most significant finds in the Galilee area: the Jewish synagogue in Magdala. They even found the Magdala Stone, a table-like structure upon which the Torah would have been unfurled and read by Jesus. Jewish symbols, such as the menorah, were carved into the Magdala Stone, forever identifying it as a Jewish landmark.
The ancient synagogue has been preserved, while a beautiful retreat center has been built on the site. It is a beautiful place with great significance. It is also very close to Nof Ginosar, where a 1st century fishing boat was also found.
Amir Tsarfati shares more history, as well as spiritual application of this site in this 24-minute teaching. Carve out some time and let your imagination take you there!