amazes. Our visit to the Jerusalem and, in particular, two of the exhibits blew me away. Israel Museum
The first was the
model, a scale model of this eternally important city as it existed at the time of the second Jerusalem . We’re talking 66 CE. It is awesome to view and to walk around, and it is awesome to contemplate how meticulously the model was researched and constructed. Temple
model was commissioned by hotel owner Hans Kroch in honor of his son Jacob killed in the 1948 War for Jerusalem . It was built under the supervision of archeologist Michael Avi-Yonah of the Independence who based his research on the writings of Josephus Flavius in the New Testament and on Hebrew writings found in the Talmud and the Mishna as well as on customs concerning buildings of that period. Even the construction materials are from that time whenever possible. If a contemporary archeological find proves an inaccuracy, the model is updated. Almost incredibly, ancient Josephus was so accurate and complete in his descriptions that very few changes have been made. As I think of it in these terms, I am awed. Again. Hebrew University
The model opened in 1966 on the grounds of the Mr. Kroch’s hotel but eventually had to be moved because of construction. The
welcomed it with open arms, and it was reopened here in 2006. The model occupies 21,500 square feet, so it cannot help but be impressive. Israel Museum
Picture the era. The
, the single biggest structure, was built by King Herod and the Romans will destroy it in 70 CE. Temple
To this thriving and beautiful city, worshippers came to the
three times a year to sacrifice and to pray. Thousands entered the open areas to watch the proceedings, and they brought their offerings with them. Temple
Before I move on to another exhibit, I think of how remarkable it is that I am able to see some of the remaining city still standing, during my visit--the walls encircling the city, the Western Wall of this Temple, the gates to the city. The feeling is indescribable.
Now on to another exhibit. Perhaps even more impressive is what lies beneath this building we jokingly called a Hershey’s Kiss when we entered the museum grounds.
Little did we know that this is The Shrine of the Book, and within this carefully constructed sanctuary lie the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest group of Old Testament scrolls ever found. (no photos allowed) All I can tell you is that I researched further after I returned home, and these scrolls reveal ideas, beliefs, stories, psalms, and history that boggle the mind. There is so much information about the scrolls, where and when they were found, the biblical and non-biblical texts, the different versions, the use of Hebrew and Aramaic, the link between Judaism and Christianity and so much more that I cannot begin to write about here, but this link will summarize some of the amazing facts. http://www.centuryone.com/25dssfacts.html.
Don’t get me wrong. The rest of the museum was beautiful. Art—modern and ancient, sculpture, pieces of antiquity, gardens.
Certainly more than several hours’ worth of viewing. But if you are in
, take the time to look at the model and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Those times will be with you forever. Jerusalem
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