The Biblical Museum of Natural History

The Biblical Museum of Natural History A hands-on museum of Torah and natural history for visitors of all ages, showcasing the animals, birds, reptiles & insects of the Bible and the Talmud
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The Biblical Museum of Natural History is a unique institution that is part zoo, part natural history museum, and part Jewish education center. It showcases the mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects of Scripture, as well as related zoological topics from the Talmud. The large species are exhibited as taxidermy specimens, while live exhibits are maintained for smaller species, and there are also a large number of biological artifacts of religious significance. Through the exhibits, visitors learn how to identify the animals of Scripture, the symbolism of animals in Scripture and Midrash, lessons in Jewish values, law and history, and the natural history of the Land of Israel. "The Biblical Museum of Natural History connected us both to Nature and to Tanach (and Chazal) in ways our modern lives often don't allow. The tour also reminds us of the rich wildlife that used to roam Israel-- even as we celebrate the country's renewal and resettlement, a museum like this reminds us of a lost world, in which daily life could involve encounters with lions, bears, jackals, leopards, and more. It's Torah, it's Nature, it's an enjoyable, informative, and illuminating experience for family members of all ages!" - Rabbi Gidon Rothstein מוזיאון הטבע התנ"כי הינו מוסד ייחודי שהוא בחלקו גן חיות, חלקו מוזיאון טבע, וגם מרכז חינוכי ייחודי. המוזיאון מציג את היונקים, ציפורים, זוחלים, דו-חיים, וחרקים המופיעים בתנ"ך, וכן את הנושאים הזואולוגיים המקבילים מן התלמוד. בעלי חיים גדולים מוצגים כפוחלצים, ובעלי חיים קטנים יותר מוצגים חיים. כמו כן ישנם גם ממצאים מן החי בעלי משמעות דתית. דרך המוצגים, לומדים המבקרים לזהות את חיות התנ"ך, הסמליות שבחיות התנ"ך והמדרש, תובנות בערכים, משפט והיסטוריה יהודיים- וכן בהיסטוריית הטבע של ארץ ישראל. מוזיאון הטבע התנ"כי מקבל מבקרים בתיאום מראש. סיור מודרך בין המוצגים תהיה חוויה נפלאה ומעניינת!

Mission: Throughout history, the natural world has filled people with great awe and wonder. While today’s world frequently places barriers between us and nature, for our predecessors in Biblical times the encounter with nature was very real and direct, an integral and inescapable part of everyday life. The narratives of the Torah reflect that reality and abound with references to the animal kingdom as well as other features of the natural world. By experiencing what these verses refer to, first-hand and in the flesh, not only do we open up a window to life in Biblical times, but we are able to unlock much of the beauty, meaning and symbolism embedded within Scripture, Midrash and Talmud. We also gain a deeper appreciation for the land of Israel, whose flora, fauna and landscapes served as the inspirational backdrop for so much of the Biblical narrative. The goal of the Biblical Museum of Natural History is to take us beyond the text, beyond the classroom, offering an interactive, hands-on experience of the natural world of the Bible, in order to make the Biblical texts and Torah tradition come alive. The Museum collection, which includes both live and non-live (taxidermy) exhibits, explained in colorful detail via our personal guided tours, provides an educational encounter that is designed to inspire and educate visitors, young and old, for generations to come.

Operating as usual

We need a name for him! Any ideas? (And don't forget that you can visit the museum in the quiet time before Sukkot - eit...
06/09/2020

We need a name for him! Any ideas? (And don't forget that you can visit the museum in the quiet time before Sukkot - either in person, or via a live online tour! See www.BiblicalNaturalHistory.org or write to [email protected] for details.)

We have a name for our beautiful new albino Burmese python, in the Somer Family Serpentarium! She has been named Shayna,...
03/09/2020

We have a name for our beautiful new albino Burmese python, in the Somer Family Serpentarium! She has been named Shayna, which is Yiddish for "Beauty," and which entirely not uncoincidentally is also the name of Shayna Somer! (Mazal tov to museum visitor Rina Maoz-Breuer, who gave birth very shortly after this photo was taken, perhaps also not uncoincidentally!)

If you live locally, and have young children, this is perfect for you!
02/09/2020

If you live locally, and have young children, this is perfect for you!

Now that the kids are back at school, and the parents are back at work, it's a great time to organize a corporate tour o...
01/09/2020

Now that the kids are back at school, and the parents are back at work, it's a great time to organize a corporate tour of the museum! It will definitely be your team's most fun and rewarding day out. (And if you're not in Israel, we can also arrange a live online tour!) Call 073-213-1662 or email [email protected] to arrange your tour!

This is our beautiful new twelve-foot albino Burmese python! She is joining our other spectacular snakes in the Somer Fa...
30/08/2020

This is our beautiful new twelve-foot albino Burmese python! She is joining our other spectacular snakes in the Somer Family Serpentarium. What do you think we should name her?

Wherever you are in the world, you can visit our amazing Russak Family Hall of Shofars! We offer live online programs fo...
28/08/2020

Wherever you are in the world, you can visit our amazing Russak Family Hall of Shofars! We offer live online programs for schools, synagogues and communities around the world. For more details about our different programs, see www.BiblicalNaturalHistory.org/live

Here is a tiny but beautiful new snake in our Somer Family Serpentarium. It's a Ruthven's kingsnake. The red, black and ...
24/08/2020

Here is a tiny but beautiful new snake in our Somer Family Serpentarium. It's a Ruthven's kingsnake. The red, black and yellow stripes look very similar to stripes of the deadly venomous coral snake, but they are arranged in a different order. The key to remembering which is deadly and which is harmless is a rhyme about the order of colors: "Red and yellow can kill a fellow, but red and black, venom lack." This kingsnake is a gentle and stunning reptile, and our visitors love holding it!

EVENING TOURS AT THE NEW MUSEUM! Join us at 8pm on Tuesday evening for a tour of the museum, led by director Rabbi Dr. N...
19/08/2020

EVENING TOURS AT THE NEW MUSEUM!
Join us at 8pm on Tuesday evening for a tour of the museum, led by director Rabbi Dr. Natan Slifkin, with a special focus on the new Russak Family Hall of Shofars! Number of participants strictly limited - write to [email protected] or call 073-213-1662 to reserve your spot!

An article by museum director Rabbi Dr. Natan Slifkin about resolving a difficult challenge raised by the laws of kosher...
14/08/2020
The Challenge of Eagles and Hoopoes

An article by museum director Rabbi Dr. Natan Slifkin about resolving a difficult challenge raised by the laws of kosher birds.

There's a Torah-science challenge that you've never heard of. In fact, I think that nobody has ever thought of it before. But it's been both...

This is what happens when you come to the Biblical Museum of Natural History wearing a Spider-man T-shirt!
10/08/2020

This is what happens when you come to the Biblical Museum of Natural History wearing a Spider-man T-shirt!

It's been amazing to welcome our first visitors to the new museum! This picture definitely needs a caption - any ideas?
06/08/2020

It's been amazing to welcome our first visitors to the new museum! This picture definitely needs a caption - any ideas?

Summer season at the NEW museum has begun! Book your tour by calling 073-213-1662 or email office@tevatanachi.org.
05/08/2020

Summer season at the NEW museum has begun! Book your tour by calling 073-213-1662 or email [email protected].

03/08/2020
02/08/2020
26/07/2020
23/07/2020
Today is World Snake Day! In the new Somer Family Serpentarium, we exhibit a diverse range of snakes, from our tiny but ...
16/07/2020

Today is World Snake Day! In the new Somer Family Serpentarium, we exhibit a diverse range of snakes, from our tiny but beautiful tree python, to our fourteen-foot python named Cuddles! Exclusive, corona-safe preview tours of the museum are available for Friends and Patrons - if you're in the US, you can sponsor your family here for a visit (and even join them online for the tour!)

Mazal tov! Our dwarf hamsters have been having lots of babies lately. In related good news, Israeli researchers have cre...
12/07/2020

Mazal tov! Our dwarf hamsters have been having lots of babies lately. In related good news, Israeli researchers have created a Covid-19 vaccine that shows positive results in hamsters. We are please that there will be a way to protect our hamsters against coronavirus! Meanwhile, in other related news, tests on hamsters showed that wearing masks reduces transmission of Covid-19 from both symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers. So get those masks on your hamsters now!

In all the Bible, there are only two cases where individual animals actually have personalities: the primordial serpent,...
03/07/2020

In all the Bible, there are only two cases where individual animals actually have personalities: the primordial serpent, and Bilaam's ass. Both of them express personalities that encapsulate the nature of their species. Snakes are predators, they attack via wily ambush rather than simple pursuit, and they are able to inflict extraordinary damage. Donkeys are the quintessential beast of burden; reliable, overworked, and underappreciated. These two animals provide both ends of the spectrum – animal as mortal enemy of man, and animal as devoted servant. The personification of animals in Scripture, brief and limited as it is, vividly illustrates the full range of the animal kingdom’s relationship with us.

Check out the article about the museum in The Jerusalem Post - and note that we ARE already able to offer exclusive priv...
26/06/2020
Delayed by a plague of biblical proportions

Check out the article about the museum in The Jerusalem Post - and note that we ARE already able to offer exclusive private preview tours to Friends & Patrons of the Museum (see www.biblicalnaturalhistory.org/support for details of how to join), as well as for certain special private programs such as family bar/bat mitzvas! Write to [email protected] for details.

Awaiting the opening of Beit Shemesh’s Biblical Museum of Natural History.

EXCITING NEWS!!!Our incredible new building is not yet open to the general public. BUT we are able to offer exclusive pr...
22/06/2020

EXCITING NEWS!!!
Our incredible new building is not yet open to the general public. BUT we are able to offer exclusive private preview tours to Friends & Patrons of the Museum (see www.biblicalnaturalhistory.org/support for details of how to join), as well as for certain special private programs, such as this family barmitzvah! Write to [email protected] for details. And if you're not in Israel, we can arrange a private live online tour!

21/06/2020
RETURN OF THE RE'EMThe Biblical re'em is described as a huge cattle-like creature with magnificent, upwards-pointing hor...
19/06/2020

RETURN OF THE RE'EM

The Biblical re'em is described as a huge cattle-like creature with magnificent, upwards-pointing horns. This is the aurochs - the wild ancestor of domestic cattle. It's challenging to display one in a museum, because they have been extinct for four hundred years! But thanks to artist Tom Hammond we are able to display this amazing life-size reproduction of a re'em. Meanwhile, here's a riddle: During the course of Shabbat, how many times do we mention the re'em? (And watch out next week, when we will be making a very special announcement!)

Meet Watts the Matamata and other extraordinary creatures tomorrow (Sunday) at 6pm Israel time, in our live online tour ...
30/05/2020

Meet Watts the Matamata and other extraordinary creatures tomorrow (Sunday) at 6pm Israel time, in our live online tour of our Hall of Wonders! Learn more and sign up at www.BiblicalNaturalHistory.org/live

28/05/2020
There's more to nature than animals! Here is surely one of the most astonishing photos ever taken. This is a photo of th...
27/05/2020

There's more to nature than animals! Here is surely one of the most astonishing photos ever taken. This is a photo of the Earth (the tiny white dot slightly left of center) and the moon (the even tinier white dot just above it), taken through the rings of Saturn (the broad yellow bands) by the Cassini spacecraft, eight hundred million miles away! "When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and stars that You established—what is a human, that You are mindful of him; the son of man, that You care about him?" (Psalms 8:4-5)

This is our albino pygmy hedgehog, Sonic! Meet him and other small animals of the Torah this Sunday in our live online t...
21/05/2020

This is our albino pygmy hedgehog, Sonic! Meet him and other small animals of the Torah this Sunday in our live online tour of our Hall Of Small Animals and Serpentarium! www.BiblicalNaturalHistory.org/live

There is a Midrash which suggests that the Tzephardea of the second Egyptian plague was named after its symbiotic relati...
20/05/2020

There is a Midrash which suggests that the Tzephardea of the second Egyptian plague was named after its symbiotic relationship with a "tzippor-da," an intelligent bird. Some have suggested that the tzephardea was therefore a crocodile, named after its renowned relationship with a bird that enters its mouth to clean it from meat that is stuck between its teeth. Alas, no such behavior has ever actually been documented. However, it gave us great inspiration for setting up this photo! Meet our live and non-live exhibits in our online tours; for details, see www.BiblicalNaturalHistory.org/live

One of the most beautiful reptiles in our collection is this tree python! She hangs over a branch in our "Garden of Eden...
19/05/2020

One of the most beautiful reptiles in our collection is this tree python! She hangs over a branch in our "Garden of Eden" exhibit in the Somer Family Serpentarium. (We're still trying to come up with a suitable name for her - do you have any ideas?) You can meet her and many other fascinating live creatures in this Sunday's live online tour, "Reptiles and Creepy-Crawlies"! See details and signup at www.BiblicalNaturalHistory.org/live

וְכָל מַעְשַׂר בָּקָר וָצֹאן כֹּל אֲשֶׁר יַעֲבֹר תַּחַת הַשָּׁבֶט הָעֲשִׂירִי יִהְיֶה קֹּדֶשׁ לה'.
15/05/2020

וְכָל מַעְשַׂר בָּקָר וָצֹאן כֹּל אֲשֶׁר יַעֲבֹר תַּחַת הַשָּׁבֶט הָעֲשִׂירִי יִהְיֶה קֹּדֶשׁ לה'.

Who is the King of Birds, and why? Which bird made a lot of Jews enormously rich, and then devastatingly poor? And why d...
14/05/2020

Who is the King of Birds, and why? Which bird made a lot of Jews enormously rich, and then devastatingly poor? And why did one of the greatest Rishonim (medieval rabbinic scholars) go hunting with hawks? Join museum director Rabbi Dr. Natan Slifkin live from the museum this Sunday evening at 6pm Israel time, for our "World of Birds" online tour! See more details at www.BiblicalNaturalHistory.org/live, and purchase your ticket at https://www.biblicalnaturalhistory.org/shop/page/2/

Today at 6pm Israel time, join us for the next session of our in-depth tours at the Biblical Museum of Natural History! ...
03/05/2020

Today at 6pm Israel time, join us for the next session of our in-depth tours at the Biblical Museum of Natural History! The tour will take place in our Hall of Kosher Classification, and we'll be learning about the law of kosher mammals, birds, fish and insects! Learn more at www.BiblicalNaturalHistory.org/live

This Sunday, join us for the next session of our in-depth tours at the Biblical Museum of Natural History! The tour will...
01/05/2020

This Sunday, join us for the next session of our in-depth tours at the Biblical Museum of Natural History! The tour will take place in our Hall of Kosher Classification, and we'll be learning about the law of kosher mammals, birds, fish and insects! Learn more at www.BiblicalNaturalHistory.org/live

Address

Corner Hoshen And Topaz
Bet Shemesh
9906118

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 12:00
Sunday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

073‑213‑1662

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Comments

Thanks for a wonderful morning! Our family loved the tour and petting zoo and easily could have spent longer there!
This museum is the best kept secret in the country.. fabulous experience and incredible value... take your family first chance you can!!
This museum, tucked away in the industrial area of Beit Shemesh, is an absolute TREASURE of a find!! You and your family are in for a wonderful and educational couple of hours... A TOTAL HANDS-ON experience with fabulous Torah facts by Rabbi Dr. Natan Slifkin.. an expert on the animals of the Bible, their names, symbolism and more!! He is entertaining, knowledgeable, personable and engaging.... we learned SO MUCH and had a SPECTACULAR TIME. HIGHLY HIGHLY recommended!!! this place has got to be one of the best attraction values in Israel!! no boring museum dusty display cases here!! PHENOMENAL FOR ALL AGES!!
I just want to see more videos. Freaking hilarious!