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Monday, May 16, 2011

Bible Lands Museum – new exhibition INSPIRED

After three pretty heavy heavy posts connected to Holocaust Memorial Day,  the Eichmann Trial and Independence Day  I decided it’s time for a light break.

During Pesach ( Passover) we made the most of the generosity of Bank Hapoalim, who sponsored free entry to many museums and National Parks, for everyone, during the  week long festival, .

We hadn’t visited the Bible Lands Museum for a long time so we headed there first.


We were greeted at the door by the friendly Bank Hapoalim emblem IMG_0165

The emphasis inside at this time of year was, not surprisingly, ancient Egypt. Many people think that the Jewish slaves built the pyramids but the view below of the three largre pyramids which still remain today, were also seen by Jacob and his sons when they went down to Egypt originally as free and honored men, thousands of years ago .

The pyramids  were built, many years before the Jewish people’s arrival ,as tombs for the Pharos (kings) by the Egyptians.


The current pride of the museum is  a new exhibition by the Spanish  sculptor  Manel Alvarez entitled INSPIRED.

All his sculptures that are on display were inspired by episodes from the Bible.
I honestly admit that I don’t always understand or appreciate modern art but some of these pieces were beautiful and  clear even to me – whereas others remain a mystery.


IMG_0177 This piece represents Joshua. A shield for the soldier and the musical notes on the shield represents the ‘music’ from the shofar which he blew as he circled the walls of Jericho seven times.


IMG_0181 The tree of life which stood in the middle of the Garden of Eden. The wood I can understand representing a tree but the spear through the middle ? I don’t know.

IMG_0182 The tree of knowledge of good and evil, also found in the Garden of Eden. Maybe the spear  represents branches in both trees.

IMG_0183 Moses in his basket in the river Nile.

IMG_0184The Golden Calf which the Israelites built when Moses came down from Mt Sinai late with the 10 Commandments.


The sculpture of  Tower of Babel – reputed to be the tallest sculpture in the world at 10.5 meters high, stands outside the museum.



The children are always well catered for in museums in Israel with plenty of art and craft workshops based on  topical themes, connected to the time of year and the cur

There are several other exhibitions in the museum  at the moment including  ‘Angels and Demons – Jewish Magic through the Ages’ which may well surprise those of you who thought that  magic was forbidden in Judaism.

Take a few hours off and visit the museum – there’s plenty to enjoy there.


Reb Mordechai said...

But Ann, occult practices like magic and sorcery IS forbidden according to Torah.

That doesn’t negate the fact that the Ramban amongst others stated that there are such things as demons and that there are supernatural and metaphysical powers created by Hashem in the seven spheres of heaven which it is possible to tap into.

The Talmud records those Rabbis who had reached a high state of holiness and knowledge and been given divine permission to use these powers. These great and special Rabbis are called kabbalists. (Not to be confused with the fraudsters and charlatans who claim to be kabbalists today, who take money from the vulnerable and stupid).

There have been many throughout history (Jew and Gentile) who have tapped into these powers without Hashem’s permission. This forbidden act, the Torah calls Sorcery. It is not only forbidden by Torah but the Rabbis write that attempting to use these powers in a forbidden manner, even to save lives, will place a curse on all your descendants.

See “Faith and Folly” by Rabbi Yaakov Hillel, published by Feldheim.

Ann Goldberg said...

Did I say occult and sorcery?
I don't think so.

I wasn't referring to practices forbidden by the Torah - I said those that are allowed.

I'm assuming from what you wrote that you haven't seen the exhibition I'm referring to, so you're guessing what's there.

Don't worry it was all pretty harmless customs but interesting to see how they evolved.