Israel National Library Reveals Hidden Treasures

The National Library of Israel is located on the

Hebrew University Givat Ram campus,

Israel National Library

but how many have been inside,

gone up the stairs,

stained glass windows in Israel National Kibrary

 and seen its magnificent stained glass windows?

Until recently only a small select group of scholars,

 as few as 100 per year.

Last year, however, the number of visitors was up to 30,000.

inside National Library

How many went behind these closed doors?

On a recent press tour of the library, in the restoration room,

old paper needing repait

we saw an old page of text,

material to fix old books

and the materials used to repair delicate treasures,

image very old book in National Library

and old volumes from the past.

image digital screen with researcher reading

In the digital lab, modern technology is used to store

and analyze volume after volume.

We saw a few of the oldest hidden treasures:

very old illustrated megilah

this Megillat Esther, from 18th century Amsterdam;

very old text

Passover haggadah, 15th century Spain;

genizia item at National Library of IIsrael

a letter from the Afghan geniza, 11-12th century Persia;

letter by Martin Buber

Martin Buber’s original draft of “Ich und Du” “I and Thou;”

letter by Isaac Newton in Israel Library

a manuscript written by Isaac Newton;

image ancient manuscript

and this Kufic Quran from the 9th century.

While these invaluable treasures are locked up,

image people using library computers

the digital music room is open to the public and used daily.

The National Library is to have a new home,

where the public will be welcomed for free,

and the hidden treasures are to be displayed.

sign on site of new National Library of Israel

The location

New Israel National Library what will it look like

for the new building is not far away.

land where Israel National Library is to be built

It is to be across from the Knesset,

near the Israel Museum and Bloomfield Science Museum.

Construction will begin next year

on this site that was cleared of huge trees

which were replanted near the Jerusalem Zoo.

international book fair sign in Hebrew

Meanwhile, the Jerusalem International Book Fair 

is to be held from February 8- 12.

Books, books, and more books and more…

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

UN may close for a snow day, but

image for Holocaust Remembrance

 flames are on government buildings in Jerusalem, Israel,

and many remember every day.

Jerusalem Special Visitors

The world seems upside down like Chelm these days,

and if it was not so serious, it would be funny.

This week saw a large delegation from Japan,

led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visiting Jerusalem, Israel.

image Canada and Israel together

Foreign Minister John Baird of Canada signed the official guest book

at Beit HaNasi, the Israeli President’s residence, while Reuven Rivlin watched.

image US senators visit Jerusalem, israel

Then in the afternoon a group of US Senators led by John McCain,

dropped by for a photo op and to chat with the President.

So much for isolation and BDS, all affirmed their support for Israel.

But government officials and their noisy motorcades

were not the only ones who filled the streets this week.

kossel on Friday am

Extended families gathered to celebrate,

Kossle plaza

and thousands have come daily to the Kotel, the Western Wall.

Kossel plaza

Birthright tour groups

Kosel plaza photo

from around the world posed for group photos.

Mount of Olives cemetery view

Tour buses lined up along the road to Har Hazaytim,

the Mount of Olives cemetery.

And at the same time as rabbis in Belgium

were being notified that their synagogues should be closed on Shabbat

for the first time since World War II,

because their safety could not be guaranteed by the police,

Palestinian kids

these Muslim boys were walking through the Jewish Quarter

in the Old City to go to Friday prayers.

Muslim going to prayer

Any doubts? Notice the prayer rug in hand,

so much for apartheid and oppression.

Muslim family going to prayers on Friday

These boys may have taken a second look,

but the man was wearing a long skirt,

as this Muslim family proceeded to prayers on Temple Mount.

And while Muslims of all ages attend regularly on Friday,

(as long as there are no calls for violence)

this group we passed did stand out,

tour group from Turkey

their bags had the name of a Turkish tour company.

Seems not everyone in Turkey is boycotting Israel.

Hope they get to see the real Jerusalem streets,

and take back the truth,

what is really happening.

Shabbat Shalom

At the Kotel, Western Wall, early Friday morning,

Shabbat shalom poster

not just on holidays, the Birkat Kohanim, Priestly Blessing,

knew this photo had to be the greeting this week.

שבת שלום

Shabbat shalom.