Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Oh what a Beautiful Morning, Oh, What a Beautiful Day

So go the words of the song from the film "Oklahoma" by Rodgers and Hammerstein. In my case, this week I saw a beautiful day when, together with a group of us from the Hafdasah organisation in Haifa, we took a trip to visit the Israel museum. Of course the museum is well known for its exhibition of the Dead Sea scrolls found at Qumran, see for answers to a lot of questions about this subect.

Of particular interest on this visit was the exhibit of the original scroll of the book of Isaiah which was brought out specially for the 60th year anniversary and the visit of George Bush. this original scroll will be removed from public display in the next couple of weeks as its rate of deterioration accelerates when on public show.

Seeing the scrolls written between 150 BCE and 70 CE and the Aleppo Codex (the first bible in book form, written in Tiberius in 10 CE somehow focuses the mind on the current conflict. At that time Islam was nowhere to be found and Jewish life and culture was so well established. Just who has been in these parts from "Time Immemorial" as claimed by Arafat?

The other point of interest was the exhibition of art and judaica artifacts recovered from the Nazis but to whom they belong is still unknown. Our guide was very knowledgeable on these exhibits and the whole visit was fascinating.

The beautiful morning was the morning after the visit to Jerusalem. At 8:30 in the morning we were on the Dado Beach for a walk along the promenade (boardwalk?) and beach. I find that time at the beach is so restful in spite of the fact that there are many people there also to stroll, walk, jog a or just simply stop off at the cafe for coffee or breakfast. The temperature was already in the upper 20's C (upper 80's F) but a brisk walk to breathe in the sea air gives one a great feeling to start the day off.

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