Saturday, March 24, 2018

Going to a museum with an archeologist is like...

We head over to the nearby archeological museum, hurrying down a long hallway, passing a Rodin sculpture, and a grouping of Philistine sarcophagi, large ones with obvious Egyptian influence. 

Pierre de Wiessant,by Rodin
Palestinian coffins

In contrast to our Palestinian guide’s words, Yossi tells us there is no archeological connection between the Philistines and the Palestinians. Do they claim it anyway so they can justify their right to the land, I wonder?
We have only a short time here, but Yossi says it’s better than nothing. Had he not said to us earlier, “Guys, listen. Going to a museum with an archeologist is like going shopping with your wife. It’s going to take a while and there is nothing you can do about it.”?
Not quite true, I grouse, my feathers ruffled. But I will soon realize that I'd like to spend all day here. Instead, we immediately head for the highlights, passing a large group seated and listening to some expert speak. Some of them glare at us.

The group that resented our intrusion.

We Canadians hesitate to filter through the group, but Yossi loudly announces that we have paid our money and have as much right to pass through this section as they do to sit here. We stop and several of our group step over a line on the floor and set off an alarm. Needless to say, our presence is greeted by the crowd with scorn. 
Do you remember me mentioning in a previous blog that the men who removed the ceiling to lower their invalid friend down to Jesus probably insulted the crowd listening to Him? Here is a modern day version of that.
Our group moves past flint knives and at 6,000 years, the oldest metal artifacts, En Gedi copper. We stop at a small engraving with the earliest mention of King David - archeology's only extra-biblical proof he existed. 
Finally, we reach a section I consider the highlight of the museum. A heel bone with a crucifixion nail through it, Caiaphas’s ossuary, and Herod’s sarcophagus.
Not the best photo, but it's a crucified heelbone

Caiaphus's ossuary

Herod's coffin

To me, they are the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory and Venus de Milo of the archeological world, adding to the extra-biblical proof of the New Testament’s words. I leave, grateful to have seen those things in person.

Earlier, we had learned that the reason there is a crescent moon on mosques is because the days were hot and often, people worked and traveled by night. Therefore, the moon was important to them. And since the ancient peoples of the middle east slept through the heat of the day, their day started at sundown. Hence, the way Genesis records that the Jewish day started in the evening, “And the evening and the morning were the first day.” Gen 1:5.

After a quick rush through the museum, Yossi returns to one of his homework questions. Why is the Star of David on the flag? Several people have answered, but they're wrong. I question Yossi’s suggestion of using the Internet. What if it’s false? How are we supposed to know? 

After a while, Yossi admits that the answer is at the Holocaust museum, which we visit next. It’s a sobering experience, especially the Children’s Memorial, a hall filled with mirrors and lit with only two candles. Our guide tells us the Holocaust started in 1933, not 1939, as most, even Jews believe.  

Yossi plays for us there, the Holocaust Anthem, and it's hauntingly beautiful.

At the Holocaust Memorial

We return to our homework, but Yossi still does not confirm our answers. Has the Star of David been placed on the Israeli flag as a reminder of what happened to the Jews? Still unsure, we return to the Old City Market. 

To spices, snacks and shopping!

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I shouldn't have left her alone!

That crazy Georgina has done it again!  I left her alone for a few minutes, and now another one of her books is free ! Get it here! ...