The Israel Museum in Jerusalem is my home museum. Located only ~15 minutes walk from my parents’ house in Rehavia, down Ramban street and across the Monastery valley, it has always been part of the very familiar view I’ve come across many times while walking my dog or wondering around the neighborhood. Perhaps since it was so close, it has remained so far, as I’ve always felt that it was there for my to visit if I wanted to, so I very rarely took up the opportunity often offered to me by my parents to go visit.
But with age comes wisdom, and with distance comes stronger passion to explore, and so in recent years that I’ve lived away from Israel I’ve probably visited this museum more times than during all my childhood years put together.
It’s really a top-notch museum, one of the best in Israel, some would say it’s among the top museums in the world in some fields (like history of Mesopotamia), but to me the recent visit was for a very specific exhibition held about Herodium – the recent discovery of Herod’s burial grounds just south of Jerusalem, not too far away from Bethlehem.
Now, if you’re wondering why not just go visit the main site, there are two main reasons – the one has to do with political sensitivities of this particular finding being located in the occupied territories, and the second practical – most of the excavations were brought in to the Israel Museum for a temporary display in a well constructed exhibition. Ah, yes, and it’s closer to my parents’ house.
But, alas, there is no photography allowed at the exhibition, so all I can show you is someone else’s video of the exhibition :
But, fear not, still have something to show. The Israel Museum has a few other highlights worth seeing…
The second temple model…
Some contemporary art, both in public and indoors…
The the Shrine of the Book which houses the dead sea scrolls…
And much much more.
I’d say it’s one of Jerusalem’s must visits, with or without the Herod exhibition.
More on the Herod exhibition :
- Herod the Great Exhibition in the Israel Museum
- Herod the Great exhibition to open at the Israel Museum
- Israel’s largest-ever archaeological exhibit shines light on King Herod
- King Herod reigns at Israel Museum