Sing: This Little Light of Mine, UMH 585
Shrine of the Book
The building’s white-tiled dome is shaped like the lid of the first jar in which the Dead Sea Scrolls were found at Qumran. In contrast nearby stands a black basalt wall. The black-white imagery symbolizes the theme of one of the scrolls – The War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness. The rest of the structure, two-thirds of it below ground level, recalls the caves in which the scrolls were found.
The Shrine of the Book holds all seven of the scrolls found in what is called Cave 1 at Qumran. A facsimile of the scroll of Isaiah, arranged around a huge elevated spindle, provides a dramatic centerpiece in the exhibition hall under the dome. Also in the collection is the Temple Scroll, the best preserved of the Qumran scrolls. At more than 26 feet long, it is the longest of the Qumran manuscripts. The Community Rule is the rule book for the group that wrote or copied the library of scrolls – believed to be a group of Essenes, a strict Jewish sect, who lived an austere lifestyle in their remote desert surroundings.
The Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Archeology Wing
The museum’s permanent exhibition of archeology is devoted to the ancient land of Israel – home to peoples of different cultures and faiths for thousands of years. Presenting some 6,000 finds, mainly from archeological excavations in Israel, the Bronfman Archeology Wing tells a unique story arranged in seven chronological chapters, shedding light on momentous historical events, cultural achievements, and technological advances, while revealing the everyday lives of the peoples of the region from the Stone Age through the Ottoman Period.
This was a really wonderful display of ancient artifacts that we did not have enough time to enjoy. We had to move quickly from one highlight to another. Perhaps I can visit again when I have more time to muse.