Friday, August 13, 2010

Reflecting on the apocalyptic imagination

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The jets of cooling water are reflected,

and so is the tall basalt wall.
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Since joining James' group at Weekend Reflections, I am glad for all the reflections I can find.

The dome and the wall [but not the Franciscan friar] comprise the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum.
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Underground, beneath the dome and the wall, are fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, a copy of the Great Isaiah scroll, letters written by Bar Kochba, the thousand-year-old Aleppo Codex, and an exhibition of relevant antiquities.
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The dome is shaped like the lids of the jars in which the scrolls were discovered, in caves, in the desert, at Qumran.
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Some collected ideas on the symbolism of the architectural sculpture:

The contrasting elements of white dome and black wall allude to the War Rule scroll.
The Essenes, the sect at Qumran, thought themselves to be the holy elect of Israel, the Sons of Light, who would at the end of time engage in a catastrophic war with the enemies of Israel, the Sons of Darkness.
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The sprayed water represents purity. The monastic Jews of Qumran were frequent mikva-dunkers.
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(The WizeGuide, in contrast, says "[T]he water spraying the dome . . . was merely meant to prevent the disintegration of the white tiles and the glue that keeps them in place . . . .")
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The WizeGuide Jerusalem, Step by Step book also suggests that
"While the striking juxtaposition between these geometric shapes aptly reflects the extremism of the Judean Desert sect, it is also reminiscent of the People of Israel's passage from exile to revival."
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Please enlarge this to see how the Shrine of the Book complex is laid out.
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Shabbat shalom.
And Ramadan kareem to the Muslim blogger-friends.
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25 comments:

Leif Hagen said...

Hi Dina! I missed your blog while my family and I were visiting relatives in Norway and Sweden for a month - we just arrived home last night. See the CDP blogger I met in Norway on my blog today.
BTW, a Norwegian friend of mine is going to Israel soon for a visit.

Rob and Mandy said...

It is a great place. Shabat shalom, Dina!

Jew Wishes said...

What lovely photos, giving us food for reflection.

Malyss said...

What a strange and unusual architecture! but it gives a perfect spot for amazing reflections!

Regina said...

Great reflections Dina!
Happy weekend.

Woody said...

Great reflections and thanks for the explanation of the architectural details, very interesting!!

jeff campbell said...

Interesting structure...nice pics...Peace

Carolyn Ford said...

Your part of the world is so rich in history and amazingly symbolic architecture. How I would love to visit someday. This is a beautiful series of photos!

Nefertiti said...

tres interressant !

Reader Wil said...

Hi, Dina! How interesting that these fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls are kept under the dome. An uncle of mine who studied Hebrew and ancient Greek was very much interested in those scrolls. Very informative post Dina! Thank you!. Shabbat Shalom!

James said...

Very unusual and interesting too. These are very cool reflections. I think the second one is my favorite.

jennyfreckles said...

I didn't have time to visit here when I came to Jerusalem - another reason for wanting to return.

'Tsuki said...

Great pictures, and thanks for the explanations too : your blog is such a great way to visit Israel... Thank you for the sharing.

Rosie said...

I would love to visit there and see the reflections in reality Dina.

Shabat shalom Dina

Birdman said...

I like your reflecting shots.

Cloudia said...

Glad the wall is coming down...glad there is a shrine of the book,
glad you are happy and safe in the sun, Dina


ShAloha Shabbat from Waikiki :)

Comfort Spiral

cieldequimper said...

I always learn so much when I stop by in Jerusalem. And the reflections are great, especially the first one.

Julie said...

Now this very post of yours, Dina, embodies one of the very joys of blogging. I never knew this building existed. I did not know the stories you relate. And whilst there are so many many other things in the world that I do not know of, this building and its contents struck an immediate resonance, for some reason. I am sure I could wander for the entire day in quiet contemplation.

Hels said...

Not too often do I enjoy modern architecture, but the Shrine of the Book is so sleek in shape and so austere in its colours that it stands out stunningly.

Thanks for examining the role of the water. I had never thought of that.

michael said...

That is fascinating how the elements were composed to represent ideas or ideals.

Ann said...

What material is the dome made of?

tapirgal said...

What amazingly rich history.

Yaelian said...

Great pictures Dina:-)

VP said...

I visited the Shrine twice and it is always an amazing place.

Lorac said...

Very interesting blog post Dina. I love the shape of the structures the scrolls are in. Thanks for showing this.