Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Rosh Hashanah Changes the Schedule of Pilgrimage

We were all ready to go out and explore the Israel Museum, the museum to the book (Dead Sea Scrolls), and Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Museum), when our schedule was changed by the fact that most of Jerusalem was shut down because this is still Rosh Hashanah today until 7:00 P.M.
After failing to get a tax quickly, we had to ask if both museums were open, only to find out that one (1) was open: the Israel Museum. So after a lengthy delay of waiting for buses (they don't run today), going to shuttle buses (they only go to Palestinian territories), and waiting for taxis (who liked to charge extra), we made it to a place for lunch, and found a Palestinian taxi who charged a set rate to the Israel Museum.

The Israel Museum had an excellent "floor plan" or city scape of Jerusalem in the 2nd Temple Era (Herod ruled), in which we could see the various places mentioned in the Bible from both Old and New Testament.

In the area of the museum which housed the Dead Sea Scrolls, part of the Isaiah text was on display from the Essenes writing of the Hebrew Texts from before Christ, as well as giving an excellent presentation on the Essenes life.

Attached to the Israel Museum was a great art exhibit as well, with beautiful art from the larger museum that is all under renovation.

We then walked back to the Old City and dawdled among the sellers, especially with Ayman, a wonderful Palestinian Muslim who studied at Northwestern University in Chicago for 2 years. We learned lots about rugs, Suzani fabrics, and jewelry while sipping hot tea. By the time we left, we rushed over to E. Jerusalem for dinner, and then finally made it home by 9:30.

Tomorrow? The Temple Mount, the ruins on the south side of the city, Citadel of David Museum, and Yad Vashem.

Salaam and Shalom,

Buen Camino!