Live from Israel: the Israel Museum


Two things hit me hard after a day spent at The Israel Museum.  First, civilization has been around for a very, very long time. I saw pottery and tools and funeral items dating back to the 8th, 15th and earlier centuries B.C.E.

I even saw bones of a woman in a fetal position with her dog’s bones lovingly beside her that were from more than 14,000 years ago.

Sure, they didn’t have the IPhone, IPad or ITunes, but these people had stunning jewelry and architecture and were constantly inventing new ways to make their lives just a bit easier.

The second thing that struck me was how rich a Jewish culture there has been for so many centuries until very recently in so many of the countries that hate us now. Sure, I knew that Jews lived and thrived in Iraq and Iran and Syria, but here I was confronted with the details that they had full happy lives.

There was one exhibit featuring the amazingly gorgeous wedding dress of a Yemeni woman. There was a case full of head coverings from Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany, Morocco and more, each with their own separate distinct shapes and designs.

Another room contained five elaborate Torah cases again each from another country. They weren’t that old but they had a rich history that was not always positive. There even was a charred Torah crown, burnt in the Holocaust.

It saddens me to know that Jews aren’t welcome in so many of the places their ancestors lived full Jewish lives.  But it saddens me even more to realize that the chance of any museum in so many Arab countries hosting an exhibit featuring the richness of Jewish life is slim to none.

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