The Bible Lands Museum invites the public to get a whiff of the perfumes of Arabia as it reopens on Tuesday under the Purple Badge guidelines. Yemen, one of the furthest lands described in the bible and associated with the legendary Queen of Sheba is at the focus of Yemen: From Sheba to Jerusalem, a unique cultural journey encompassing Jewish kingdoms, music and learning.
One of the pictures in the exhibition is of an elder Yemeni Jewish man reading a bible upside down. The reason is cultural: Due to lack of printed copies children would often huddle around one book to study the holy tradition. As a result, many Yemeni children sent to traditional schools would learn how to write Hebrew script even when it is upside down.
"It comes from the love of the bible," museum director Amanda Weiss said, "if there is only one book and we all need to study it we'll find a way to study it together."
The perfumes of Arabia, mentioned in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, are also present in the exhibition, because the valuable commodities established trade routes from Yemen to other countries and were often used by Yemenite Jews in their own prayers.
Special guided tours in Hebrew and other languages are offered without extra charge if visitors pre-register for them. Children are allowed to visit the exhibitions for free on Wednesdays after 3:30 p.m. Additionally, each Wednesday a Zoom lecture is held on a different topic, with this week's lecture by Dr. Eyal Miron about Jerusalem in the Persian era.
Visitors can also enjoy an intimate peek at jewelry currently on display made by the father of museum co-founder Batya Borowski. Borowski created the museum alongside her husband Eli, who passed away in 2003. His priceless collection served as the foundation of the treasures now available to the public and at this exhibition.
For more details about the exhibition and to register for tours, please see here.