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
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.
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!
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 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 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 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. 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 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!
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 [email protected].
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 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, 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.
"Tripping Kosher" produced this great video about our Feast of Exotic Curiosities in Los Angeles last year!
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.
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!
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 of our Hall of Wonders! Learn more and sign up at www.BiblicalNaturalHistory.org/live
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 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 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" 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'.
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! 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 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
Corner Hoshen And Topaz
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רחוב הצבע 5, Beit-Shemesh
5 Rechov Ha-Tzaba, Jerusalem
5 Rechov Ha-Tzaba, Jerusalem
גבעת גל, Kiryat Arba
Klil Ha'Horesh 1, Jerusalem
יד לשריון, Nahshon
יד לשריון - פארק לטרון, Jerusalem
לטרון, Canada Park
מיני ישראל, Nahshon
Mini Israel Park, Nahshon
Ma'ale HaHamisha St ,11, Abu Ghosh
מבוא הרועים 13, Har Adar