11.02.2011 07.Adar l, 5771
What was thought to be an ancient synagogue is actually a church that the Israel Antiquities Authority plans to close to the public next week.
Khirbet Midras is a large site (about 40 acres) 30 km SW of Jerusalem, in the heart of the Shfela. Danny Herman, an archeologist and one of itraveljerusalem's tour guides discusses the new findings:
Although documented since the 19th century, Khirbet Midras was never really excavated. Surveys at the site detected various remains, mostly from Classical periods. One of them is a large stone lintel, which was always visible. Some suggested that the lintel was part of an ancient synagogue, but recently a team of the Israel Antiquities Authority exposed the vicinity of the lintel, and to everyone's surprise it turned out to be a church….