What is the connection between a rare blue stone from Afghanistan and Israel's national flag?  And what does it have to do with a mysterious snail that appears once every 70 years?  “Out of the Blue”

 A new exhibition at the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem, in honor of Israel’s 70th anniversary year, traces the thread of the mysterious blue color, tekhelet, on its journey from the Mediterranean shores over 3,500 years ago through to the national colors of the State of Israel


Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem  Opening on June 1, 2018

 

A new exhibition, “Out of the Blue”, opening June 1 at the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem, will reveal the secrets of tekhelet and argaman, two precious colors which have carried great significance for generations up to the present day. Opening in honor of Israel’s 70th anniversary year, the exhibition traces the blue tekhelet thread from the early peoples of the Near East, when tekhelet was a vibrant heavenly blue color linked to the divine realm, through to the colors of Israel’s national flag.

 

The sacred meaning of tekhelet took root in Jewish history when the Israelites were commanded to cover the Ark of the Covenant and Tabernacle utensils with tekhelet dyed cloths, and to tie tekhelet threads to the corners of their garments as a reminder of God and his commandments. The Bible mentions tekhelet alongside another luxurious color – argaman, the majestic purple, which was a prestigious color of great importance in the ancient world and a symbol of royalty and nobility. With the decline of the blue and purple dye industry, the skill required to produce these dyes was lost and forgotten for centuries. In recent generations, interest in the colors has revived after researchers traced the source of both tekhelet and argaman to murex snails indigenous to the Mediterranean Sea.

 

Out of the Blue showcases unique archeological and historical items of profound cultural significance. The exhibition will display for the first time two-thousand-year-old tekhelet and argaman dyed fragments of textiles found in the caves of the Judean Desert and Masada. Also on display:

  • a unique crown embedded with the rare lapis lazuli gemstone
  • the only known jar in the world that was painted entirely in purple, featuring royal inscriptions of Darius I, king of Persia, in four languages
  • fascinating archaeological evidence for the purple dye industry from Tel Shikmona and Tel Dor
  • rare prayer shawls and historic flags as Israel celebrates its 70th anniversary year.

 

Amanda Weiss, Director of the Bible Lands Museum says: "This special exhibition looks at the magnificence as well as the significance of the color blue in the ancient world, and ties the blue dyed threads mentioned in the Bible and extra-biblical texts, to the very design of the flag of the State of Israel today. BLMJ is proud to be the one Museum in the world that highlights the relevance and continuity of the roots of civilization in this region and their impact on our world today in a universal and non-sectarian way.”

 

The journey to the origins of the color blue begins with a semi-precious blue stone, lapis lazuli, which was imported from distant Afghanistan to the ancient Near East. The stone was prized for its heavenly color, and in Mesopotamian, Egyptian and Canaanite cultures it was associated with the sky, where the gods were believed to reside. The shimmering, deep blue stone was considered one of the world’s most desirable and precious materials. The Bible called lapis lazuli "sapphire" and it appears in the books of Exodus and Ezekiel in descriptions of God’s throne and footstool. In the Talmud, this sapphire stone (which is different from the mineral now called by this name) is linked to tekhelet, the prestigious color used to dye tzitzit (ritual fringes) threads and the fabrics of the tabernacle.

 

 

Due to the rarity and value of lapis lazuli, the ancients attempted to imitate it using artificial compounds such as Egyptian blue, faience, and glass, all of which feature in jewelry and ritual objects displayed in the exhibition. Moreover, in search of bold and impressive dyes, the inhabitants of the ancient Mediterranean found a way to extract luxurious, fade-resistant pigments from the body of murex snails. Splendid dyes were manufactured by a complex process and applied to woolen textiles in hues ranging from blue to reddish purple –the biblical tekhelet and argaman.

 

Nobles and members of royal families flaunted fashionable garments of blue and purple as symbols of their eminence. According to the Greek historians, Cyrus king of Persia introduced purple garments to the royal wardrobe. The same mode of dress was later adopted by the Hellenistic kings and the Roman Caesars. Purple was considered the most prestigious dye in the Roman world, but Jewish sources attributed a greater importance to the tekhelet blue. In the descriptions of the Tabernacle and its utensils in the book of Exodus, tekhelet always appears before argaman (purple). It is recorded that the robe of the High Priest was "pure blue," and every Israelite was commanded to place a blue thread in the tassels (tzitzit) in the corners of their garments.

During the Roman period, when nobles and dignitaries wore tunics adorned with purple stripes, the Jews adopted similar styles. A four-cornered garment decorated with stripes and tassels known in Jewish sources as tallit was worn daily. With the decline of the blue and purple dye industry, the blue thread disappeared from the tassels, but the tallit, which had become a prayer shawl, was often decorated with blue stripes – a memento of the tekhelet thread that had once been part of the tzitzit. At the end of the 19th century, the leaders of the Zionist movement sought to create a flag that could express the identity and national aspirations of the Jewish people. The flag chosen was a white cloth with tekhelet blue stripes and a Star of David in its center. The tekhelet blue, which reminded every Jew of their connection to God, remained in the memory of the people and became an integral part of the national symbol of the State of Israel.

The exhibition displays important artifacts from the collection of the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem and objects generously lent by several museums and institutions in Israel, as well as by private collectors. This exhibition was made possible with the support and cooperation of The Elie and Batya Borowski Foundation, the American Friends of the BLMJ, the Lands of the Bible Archaeology Foundation, Canada, and the British Friends of the BLMJ, the Israel Antiquities Authority, private donors and with the support of the Israel Ministry of Culture and Sport, The Ministry of Education and the Municipality of Jerusalem.  

A Once in a Lifetime Experience at the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem

Delve deeper into the Bible by learning about the lives of the people who populated the Ancient Near East at the award-winning Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem. Founded by the late Dr. Elie Borowski and his wife Batya, the Bible Lands Museum's extensive collection helps visitors gain a more intimate understanding of the Bible by discovering the daily practices of people who lived during that period: how they cooked, how they worshiped, how they buried their dead, how they made weapons, and how they wore jewelry, among many other aspects.

The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem (BLMJ) is located on Museum Row, and the collection draws from the vast geographic area reaching from Afghanistan in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, from the Caucasian mountains in the north to Nubia (today's Sudan) in the south.

The collection dates from the dawn of civilization, focusing on the pre-historic era 6,000 years ago to the Byzantine Era, up until 1450 CE. Through interactive exhibitions, the museum also aims to draw parallels among the monotheistic religions and give visitors a better understanding of the ancient cultures in this region that gave birth to the Bible.

BLMJ was opened to the public on May 11, 1992, and has since earned international acclaim as a universal center for cultural and educational programming. It leads innovative tours for school children, presents weekly lectures, and offers a variety of courses for adults. The Museum is a vibrant cultural institution offering creative programs for families and a rich array of activities throughout the year.

Core Exhibition

For more than 50 years, Dr. Elie Borowski assembled a priceless collection of artifacts, which provide the core exhibition of the Museum. His dream was to create a universal institution where people of all faiths would come to learn about biblical history, the moral and ethical principles that are the foundation of the Judeo-Christian heritage.

The rare collection leads you on a journey through time, unlocking the key to the origins of writing, and revealing the daily lives and religious rituals of our ancestors. History unfolds through artifacts such as figurines, mosaics and more.

In honor of Israel’s 70th year of independence, the BLMJ is launching a new exhibition and an innovative multidisciplinary program, each offering fresh and up-to-date perspectives on the region and Israel — the Jewish nation and the start-up nation.

Out of the Blue | New Exhibition

The exhibition embarks on a journey which starts in the heavens, the abode of the divine yearned for by mankind throughout the generations. The quest for the heavenly blue leads us to the depths of the sea where we encounter an enigmatic creature – the source of the most brilliant and prestigious of colors. Winding our way through its shades and hues we follow the Tekhelet thread as it takes us from the secrets of the ancient dyers to the vibrant blue of Israel’s national flag.     Opening: June 2018

Start-Up Bible Nations | New Display

Expect the unexpected: An innovative look at the highlights of the Museum’s collections where you will discover some of the earliest entrepreneurial initiatives paired with modern Israeli innovations that are game changers in the world today.

Tours available from May 2018

You are invited on a journey through time connecting the past, present, and future; from the days of the patriarchs through the formation of the Jewish people, all the way to the declaration of Israel's independence and growth as the world’s start-up nation.

  • The Museum is open 7 days a week!
  • Fully accessible for disabled
  • Free parking
  • Guided tours in multiple languages including English, Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Russian, Hebrew and Arabic.
  • Special programs for families available
  • Cafeteria
  • Museum Shop

 

Tour lengths and topics vary according to the theme and the number of

participants.  Advance reservations are required and must be coordinated with the Museum.

www.blmj.org 

Tel 02-561106

Facebook   מוזיאון ארצות המקרא ירושלים

 

 

 Photos Silvia Golan

 

 

 

Dear friends,
 
am happy to share a heritage trip post for 'Jerusalem Day', written by my friend Talma Gotteiner from https://www.israel-best-trips.com/.
 
Best,
Silvia

 

‘Jerusalem Day’ is celebrated according to the Hebrew calendar on the 28th of Iyar, which falls this year, on the upcoming Sunday, May 13th, 2018. It commemorates the date of liberation and unification of Jerusalem during the Six-Day War.

 

Following the truce of the Independence War in 1948, Jerusalem was left divided with a border running in the middle of its streets between the Jordanian side and the Israeli side with a small area of ‘no man’s land’ in between. The Six-Day War in 1967 made the city whole again. I am proposing a trip that will take you to related heritage sites.

 

Trip Agenda Options

 

  • Ammunition Hill – The northern battlefield heritage site
  • The Old City Wall Promenade leading to the ‘Wailing Wall’
  • Yvel Design Center – A present day Zionistic enterprise

 

Trip Anchors

 

Ammunition Hill

 

This trip must begin on ammunition hill because that is where you’ll receive all the historical background. The visit starts with a tour of the museum, is followed by a tour of the battlefield and is concluded at the new commemoration hall built by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in collaboration with the families of the fallen soldiers.

 

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The beauty of the museum is that after a preliminary film on the diplomatic atmosphere just prior to the war, it walks you through the events during the war on a daily basis. The museum presents the activities of all the brigades and units at all fronts, the challenges that they faced and how they coped with them through a series of original films and audiovisual testimonies. In addition, the museum displays a collection of various personal items from the battles, among them illustrations made by fighters during the war and the flag that was waved from the Western Wall at the end of the war.

 

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The tour on the hill itself takes you through the bunkers and trenches. It provides a viewpoint of the city and a perspective of the proximity of the battlefield to the city. On top of the hill itself there is a memorial for the 66 Paratroopers Brigade that fought on ammunition hill.

 

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In addition, there is a new commemoration hall that provides the collective spirit of the fighters and their families from all the units (Air Force, Paratrooper brigade, Jerusalem brigade and Harel brigade) regardless of rank and position. Aside from the personal photos and items on display, a digital summary on each of the 182 soldiers is available to make their stories more accessible. What was especially moving during my tour, was the personal story of the Marketing Manager, Alon Wald who presented the hall to the group. As son to a fallen soldier, Captain Rami Wald and as a Paratrooper and Officer himself, he was able to convey the sense of loss for those who had their lives before them but gave the ultimate sacrifice to their country.

 

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I took a day tour, but they also have night tours. Additionally, I’ve included some related Jerusalem Day events on the bulletin that is on my ‘Members Only’ page. Subscription is free.

 

Additional Options

 

The Old City Wall Promenade leading to the ‘Wailing Wall’

 

As you can see from ammunition hill, the old city is nearby. A self-guided tour old city walls ramparts is a beautiful way to reach one of the gates that the soldiers entered from in order to reach the ‘Wailing Wall’.  Although the city walls were originally built 4,000 years ago, the present walls were built by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century. They are ~4 km long, 2.5m thick and ~12m high.

 

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The ramparts can be walked on via two routes each taking ~1.5 hrs since they don’t complete a full circle. The northern portion starts from the Jaffa Gate, just next door to the ticket office and continues to the Lions Gate from whence the Paratroopers entered the city. The southern portion starts from the Tower of David Museum, right across the street on the other side of the Jaffa gate and continues till the Dung Gate from whence the Jerusalem brigade entered the city. Tickets to both are sold in the Old City Information Office located just inside the Jaffa Gate. I took the southern route this time and took some lovely photos.

 

This is Mishkenot Sha’ananim neighborhood, the first neighborhood to be built outside the old city walls by Sir Moses Montefiore in the 19th century. You can see the flour windmill that he helped build in order to assist the settlers financially.

 

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The Armenian quarter, the smallest of the old city quarters, serves the Armenian community, the first nation to accept Christianity in 301 CE. The church with the dome is dedicated to two St. James, the brother of Jesus and James the Apostle, one of Jesus’s 12 followers.

 

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The Dormition Church with it’s pointed dome and bell tower that commemorates the place of passing away of Mary who according to Christian tradition fell asleep and ascended into heaven.

 

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You can either get off the ramparts at the Zion Gate (note: if you do, you can’t get back on) or continue till the end of the ramparts toward the Dung Gate.  Just before you walk down you see in front of you the golden Dome of the Rock on Temple Mount.

 

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Once you get down, you will see the ‘Dung Gate’ to your right

 

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and thanks to the Six-Day War, enter the ‘Wailing Wall’ area to your left

 

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I was happy to see many school children on their way to the wall to celebrate the day.

 

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Yvel Design Center

 

I was deliberating if I should include this in my post, but I was impressed by the sincerity of the Zionistic values of the company that to my mind continue the legacy. I’d first heard about ‘Yvel’ from a reader of mine who recommended it to me after one of my previous posts on Jerusalem. I wrote back that I’d keep it in mind and indeed the time has come.

 

Yvel, is an award-winning jewelry company specializing in natural pearls, that is committed to assisting new immigrants integrate into society. Around 90% of the current employees are new immigrants.

 

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In particular, the founders, Isaac and Orna Levy have taken to heart the difficulties of the Ethiopian community and have established a school  called ‘Megemeria’ an Ethiopian word meaning ‘Genesis’ in English or ‘Beresheet’ in Hebrew. The school accepts 20-22 students each year for professional education and training at no cost. In addition, the students are provided with a full stipend and assistance in job placement at the end of their studies.

 

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A visit to the Yvel design center includes films telling the stories of ‘Yvel’ and ‘Megemeria’, a tour of the jewelry factory, a tour of the historic building that includes a wine cellar where they sell wines from all the vineyards in the region, an events hall and gorgeous display. Prices start at $50.

 

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All profits generated from the ‘Megemeria’ students collection are put into a separate company that funds the school’s program.

 

The company is located just outside Jerusalem so you can visit it either coming or going from Tel-Aviv.

 

Address: 1 Yechiel Steinberg St., Ramat Motza, Jerusalem

Phone: 02-6735811

 

Food

 

You can buy lights snacks at ammunition hill, but for lunch, I’d recommend to stop at one of the restaurants on or near ‘Mamilla mall’ from where you can continue easily to Jaffa Gate: ‘Happy Fish’, ‘Rooftop’, ‘Café Rimon’, ‘Caffit Mamilla’, ‘Café Gregg’, ‘Kedma Brasserie’, ‘Luciana’ and  ‘Satya Restaurant’.

 

Accomodation

 

A few suggestions include: ‘Hotel Prima Kings’,‘Gloria Hotel’, ‘Dan Boutique Jerusalem’, ‘David Citadel Hotel’, ‘Mamilla Hotel’, ‘National Hotel Jerusalem’, ‘Eldan Hotel’,  , ‘Leonardo Plaza Hotel’, ‘Montefiore Hotel’, ‘David Citadel Hotel’, ‘King David Hotel’ and ‘Inbal Jerusalem Hotel’.

My timeline

 

The trip took two half days. I’ve placed the locations on the map for your convenience.

 

This is what it looks like on the map:

 

Happy Jerusalem Day!

 

Best,

Talma

 

 

 

 

6 May 2018, Tel Aviv - Over 150 people, including representatives from the Tel Aviv city government and members of the local and religious community in Israel, gathered at the lush Hayarkon Park in northern Tel Aviv for the Embassy's third annual joint celebration of Labor Day and Flores de Mayo. Twenty Filipino community organizations participated in the Flores de Mayo parade, carrying flower arches and wearing costumes representing their respective regions.

The event, organized in partnership with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office and Overseas Workers' Welfare Office in Israel, served as the Embassy's salute to over 25,000 Filipino workers in Israel, on the occasion of Philippine Labor Day.

Ambassador Neal Imperial thanked the Filipino community and the Embassy's guests for joining the celebration and took the opportunity to honor the contributions of Filipino workers to the country's development.

. "We honor our workers - our Overseas Filipino workers in particular, who are our partners for national development," Ambassador Imperial affirmed.

In a nod to female workers, who make up more than half of the Filipino population in Israel, the ambassador explained that for the Embassy, the Flores de Mayo celebration is intended to honor the particular contributions of Filipino women and mothers to the country's development.

"Here in Israel, over seventy percent of our workers are women, some of whom have chosen to pursue overseas work to make sure that their family’s future is secure. Today, we honor them for their sacrifice, and for their love."

 

 

"You are the true force for change," Labor Attaché Cynthia Lamban told Filipino workers, reading from Labor Secretary Silvestre Q. Bello's message elaborating on the 2018 Labor Day theme, "A salute to the Filipino worker: the pride of our people, our partners for the change!"

The Filipino community concluded the celebrations with a potluck picnic along the banks of the Hayarkon River after the conclusion of the program.

The Philippine Embassy holds an annual joint celebration of Labor Day and Flores de Mayo on the first Sunday of May.

 

 

Photo Philippine Embassy

Photo 1 Philippine Embassy officials headed by Ambassador Neal Imperial lead the members of the Filipino community during the parade

Photo 2 and 3 

This year’s winners: Little Princess and Little Prince ; and the Queen & King  with their runners-up

 

 

 

Mini Mondial for Peace – 2018

Ambassadors and Diplomats from around the world, Israeli Premier League Players, Mayors and Heads of Local Councils from across Israel, and 800 Arab and Jewish, Israeli and Palestinian girls and boys participated in the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation's 2018 Mini Mondial for Peace tournament

 

"Sport knows no boundaries and sees no culture or religion. Sport is an international language that unites us all"- President Shimon Peres

Herzliya, Israel – The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation kicked off the 15th annual Mini Mondial for Peace – bringing together 800 Arab and Jewish, Israeli and Palestinian girls and boys from communities across Israel and the West Bank through soccer. This event promoted shared-living and acceptance of the "other."

 

 

Ambassadors and diplomats from around the world, Israeli premier league players, and Mayors and heads of local councils joined with the players in the opening ceremony - held at the Herzliya Municipal Stadium.

To kick off the event, two exhibition games were held between the children and the Ambassadors and Mayors Peace Team and the Israeli Premier League Peace Team. Dia Saba, star of Maccabi Netanya and the league's top scorer, and Lee Falkon, Player of the Year, were presented with the "Sport Ambassador for Peace" award for their contributions to advancing understanding, peace and co-existence through sports in Israel.

Special guests included: Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Peres Center, Chemi Peres; CEO of Maccabi Tel Aviv, Ben Mansford; Mayor Moshe Fadlon of Herzliya; Mayor of Sakhnin Municipality and Head of the Arab Mayor's Forum, Mazen Ghanaim; and the children's TV star, Tal Mussari, who served as the event MC and game announcer.

 

The Ambassadors and Diplomats included:

  • Mission Director Monica Stein-Olson, USAID

  • Counsel Rogerio Mario, Angola

  • Secretary Andres Rojas, Argentina

  • Ambassador Chris Cannan, Australia

  • Counsellor David Millward, Canada

  • Deputy Ambassador Signe Biering Nielsen, Denmark

  • Ambassador Anu Saarela, Finland

  • First Secretary Gauthier Appriou, France

  • Ambassador Alison Kelly, Ireland

  • Ambassador Gianluigi Benedetti, Italy

  • Charge d' Affaires Jon Chessoni, Kenya

  • Ambassador Doulat Kuanyshev, Kazakhstan

  • Ambassador Edminas Bagdonas, Lithuania

  • Ambassador Magnus Hellgren, Sweden

  • Representatives from the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Israel

Chemi Peres said: "Today, with the security tensions, you are proving to everyone that there is hope for coexistence, tolerance, and partnership - for the children and the next generation, who are our future."

 

Photo Credit: Avi Doek

 

 Who We Are 


The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation was founded in 1996 by the Ninth President of Israel and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Shimon Peres. Our mission is to advance his vision for a prosperous Israel within a peaceful Middle East.  

The Peres Center is a leading non-profit and non-government organization focused on developing and implementing unique and cutting-edge programs. We work to build a stronger and more peaceful society in Israel and the region. We serve hundreds of thousands of participants of all ages, religions, genders and cultural backgrounds. Our focus includes advancing economic opportunity and inclusivity, delivering lifesaving medical treatment and community healthcare, and teaching youth leadership and peace education.

Our Approach: Sports in the Service of Peace

President Shimon Peres saw the impact of conflict on youth in the region and the susceptibility to develop negative perceptions of "the other". He witnessed the power that sport has to unite youth from diverse cultures and backgrounds, and to instill the values of teamwork and common goals through shared struggles and victories.
The award-winning Twinned Peace Sports Schools ("TPSS") program was thus founded in 2002, and is now the longest running peace education through sports program in the Middle East.

This program brings together hundreds of children every year from different communities across Israel and the West Bank. Through TPSS the children participate in bi-weekly trainings focused on improving soccer skills and peace education. They join soccer trainings and cultural activities with new friends from "the other side." Participants also learn basic words in their counterparts' language to communicate during joint activities.
The capstone event of the year is the "Mini Mondial", where all program participants come together for a day of peace building and a soccer tournament.

Our Impact

Founded in 2002, the Twinned Peace Sports Schools is the longest running peace education through sport program in the Middle East and has engaged over 20,000 boys and girls; Israeli and Palestinian, Jewish and Arab.
The program was developed with the goal of bringing youth together to mitigate fears, break down emotional barriers, and provide new generations with the necessary tools to become constructive and influential leaders within their communities and the region.

In 2017
-74% of program participants agreed they have a better understanding of the other.
-86% of girls participating in the program reported feeling more self-confident and enhanced feelings of empowerment as females who play soccer.

             International Awards and Recognition

  • Beyond Sport - Leadership in Sport Award, 2016
  • Beyond Sport - Shortlisted, Best Project for Peace and Reconciliation, 2015
  • German Football Ambassador Award, 2015
  • Peace and Sport, Monaco - Best NGO, 2011
  • Streetfootballworld Network Board Member, 2005-2010
  • Wingate Award - Best NGO in the Field of Peace and Sport, 2010
  • The Global Sports Forum Barcelona - Best Project, 2010
  • Beyond Sport - Shortlisted, Best Project for Peace and Reconciliation, 2009

Strategic Partners

We are deeply grateful for our partners USAID, Denmark, Finland, Australia, as well as Adidas, FIFA, Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, streetfootballworld, and Beyond Sport.

 

 

 

 

The Dead Sea Scrolls at Seventy – "Clear a Path in the Wilderness"   70 Years of the State of Israel, 70 Years of Scrolls’ Discoveries

 Next week we will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the most important archaeological find of the twentieth century, at a path-breaking international conference at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Israel Museum. For 2,000 years, the Judean Desert kept its secrets hidden. With the discovery of the Scrolls on the eve of the establishment of the State of Israel, a window opened onto a trove of rich and varied literature from the end of the Second Temple period.

 

Researchers from all over the world and experts in many fields of knowledge, including archeology, Bible, Jewish thought, ancient Jewish law (halacha), the New Testament, sociology, geology, and other sciences, will gather to discuss different aspects of the Judean Desert where the Scrolls were unearthed, both as the physical site of desert communities and as the symbolic place where biblical events and stories are set. The inter-disciplinary exchange and inter-institutional collaboration at this wide-ranging conference will allow for further significant progress in the study of the Second Temple period, the maturation of Judaism, and the beginning of Christianity.

The conference is organized jointly by the Hebrew University’s Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature, the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Shrine of the Book in the Israel Museum, the University of Vienna, and New York University.

The morning of the third day of the conference (Tuesday, May 1), to be held at the Israel Museum, will be devoted mainly to presenting the archaeological investigations that have been carried out in the Judean Desert in recent years, including the search for more scrolls and artefacts, and the pursuit of robbers seeking to plunder the finds, whose value is priceless.

On May 1 in the evening, beginning at 19:00, the Museum will host a program of lectures in Hebrew, open to the public. It will moderated by Prof. Esther Chazon, director of the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature at the Hebrew University. The first lecture – “From the Desert to the Forefront of Science: Documentation, Conservation and Accessibility of the Dead Sea Scrolls,” which will be given by Pnina Shor, curator and director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Project at the Israel Antiquities Authority, will also present new discoveries in the study of the scrolls. The lectures will be accompanied by simultaneous English translation.

Esther Chazon, director of the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Related Literature: “The Dead Sea Scrolls reveal a lost Jewish library from ancient times that opens a window onto Jewish life and thought during the Second Temple period. The conference, which will take place next week in Jerusalem, will be unprecedented in its integration of different fields of knowledge. The Dead Sea Scrolls are the most important archaeological find of the 20th century and their story, from their discovery and identification on November 29, 1948 until the completion of their publication in the 21st century, is an inseparable part of the story of the State of Israel. The cooperation we will see at the conference next week and the interface between archeology and analysis of the written material, maximize the information recovered from antiquity and its accessibility to the general public”.

 

Dr. Adolfo Roitman, curator of the Dead Sea Scrolls and director of the Shrine of the Book, “On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the discovery of the scrolls and on the background of the conference, the museum is celebrating with two new exhibitions – “Genesis Retold: An Exceptional Dead Sea Scroll” (Curators: Adolfo Roitman and Hagit Maoz) in the Shrine of the Book, and “The Faces behind the Scrolls” (Curator: Rotem Arieli) in the Dorot Foundation Dead Sea Scrolls Information and Study Center. In addition to these, and in honor of the conference session to be held at the museum on May 1, 2018, the exhibition “Sara in the Eyes of the Beholder: the Story Retold by the Dead Sea Scrolls” will be opened in the Youth Wing (Curators: Eli Bruderman and Eldad Shaaltiel) with works prepared by art students. The three exhibitions shed light on the scrolls from new and surprising angles and have the power to arouse renewed public interest in these national treasures”.

Pnina Shor, curator and head of the Dead Sea Scrolls Project at the Israel Antiquities Authority: “On the 70th anniversary of the discovery of the scrolls, we can state with satisfaction that we are working not only to preserve the scrolls for future generations, but are also making them accessible through the most advanced means in the world to both the public and scholars. The cutting-edge technologies employed by the Israel Antiquities Authority today provide endless new directions for research on the scrolls, so that the secrets of the most important archaeological find of the 20th century continue to be revealed to us. We hope that by the time of the 80th anniversary of the discovery of the scrolls other scrolls will be discovered in the Judean Desert, and that with the help of new technologies we will be able to conserve them in the best possible manner, explore and discover more significant layers in this enormous and dramatic cultural asset that was entrusted to us for safekeeping”.

 

Photo  Israel Antiquities Authority / Shai Halevi