07 June 2015

Hobnobbing in the Holy Land: The Israel Museum

Our first day in Jerusalem was rainy. We took the bus from Arlozorov Bus Station in Tel Aviv, and an hour later, we were in Jerusalem. We easily found our hotel, and after that, we opted to go to a museum because the weather wasn't cooperative. So we decided to go to the Israel Museum, which was definitely a museum to be visited.

This museum is famous for hosting the Dead Sea Scrolls. The scrolls are housed in an urn-shaped building which is climate-controlled. The scrolls have religious, historical, and linguistic significance, since they are the second-oldest manuscripts of works that are included in the Bible.

Aside from the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Israel Museum also has a very intricate replica of Jerusalem during the Second Temple Period. The pictures above show you how detailed this replica is. I spent a few minutes contemplating this exhibit.

They also have some interesting artwork outside in the sculpture garden.

However, what I like the most about this museum is its archaeological and historical displays. Unlike the other museums I have visited in Tel Aviv, this museum takes as a focal point the land, not the people, in Israel. It takes as a centerpiece the land of Israel, and this museum documents what has happened in the land from long ago until now. Instead of focusing on a particular ethnic group, it tells the story of the land instead, giving details on what types of peoples have inhabited this land. I love this perspective, as the museum is not picking one particular ethnic group as privileged, and instead taking the land as its focal point and perspective. To be honest, I didn't expect that.

Overall, I had a great time and learned a lot in this museum. I definitely recommend it to any visitor who is potentially thinking of visiting Jerusalem.


  1. That does sound like a great museum and is unexpected in a way. Looking at all these wonderful ancient art pieces in this museum I am reminded of the terrible destruction of archeological treasures that is happening in Iraq and Syria under the hands of ISIS.

    1. Vagabonde,

      Yes, indeed it was an unexpected find. I was glad to see it present history in a more independent, neutral, and scientific way.