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Revisiting the Israel Museum
October 24, 2013

City elections over, Chanukah still a few weeks away, and perfect weather: It's the perfect to time to enjoy all that the Israel Museum has to offer.

Most tourists make a stop here for the obligatory viewing of the Dead Sea Scrolls. If they’re lucky, they’ll take a walk around the model of Jerusalem in Temple times. But this venerable institution has so much more to offer!

The King Herod exhibit is still drawing crowds at the Israel Museum. I was there last week and it really is an impressive exhibition. “Herod the Great: The King’s Final Journey” is open to the public until January 4, 2014. This is the world’s first exhibition dedicated to one of the most controversial figures in Biblical history, whose tomb was discovered only in 2007. James Snyder, director of the Israel Museum, called it the most complex archaeological exhibition the museum has ever undertaken, moving 30 tons of materials from the original site at Herodion to the museum in Jerusalem. You can get a sneak peak of it here.

There’s no additional cost for the exhibit beyond the museum’s price of admission. Make sure you pick up the free audio-tour headsets at the entrance – they’ll make not only the King Herod exhibit come alive, but also all the other stunning collections at the museum.

Art aficionados who haven’t made it to the Uffizi Gallery in Italy can also take the slight detour to a gallery two halls over from the exhibit to check out Botticelli’s masterpiece, “The Annunciation of San Martino Alla Scala.” The piece is on loan to Israel from Italy until January 11, 2013. As someone with a degree in art history, I can’t help but question the wisdom of moving an already badly damaged, 532-year-old delicate fresco around the world. (It was in China, recently, too.) But since it’s here – stop by and enjoy it while we have it!

On your way to the Botticelli, you’ll traverse the gallery hosting an exhibition of Fauve and Expressionists called “Color Gone Wild.” Matisse, Kandinsky, Derain ... It’s fabulous and deserves a visit in its own right, so take your time there as well.

The Israel Museum is open Sun, Mon, Wed, Thurs. 10:00-17:00; Tuesdays 16:00-21:00. Children aged 5-17 get free admission on Tuesdays.

Book your ticket to the Israel Museum online here and avoid the lines.

You can also take advantage of the gorgeous fall weather we’re having to take a guided walking tour of Jerusalem or to organize a group scavenger hunt with your family or friends (in English, Spanish, French or Hebrew!).

To help you explore Jerusalem during fall, our e-guidebook, Introduction to Jerusalem, is on sale until Chanukah for only $1.99. Can’t beat that, since it's normally $5.99, so grab your copy and let’s discover the Holy City together!

Remember that you can always send your prayers to the Western Wall through our site. (Your prayers are strictly confidential and are deleted from our system as soon as they are delivered to the Wall.)

This is a free service that we consider a privilege to provide. Jewish tradition, however, teaches that prayer and charity, together, have the power to change Divine decrees. So please consider super-charging your prayer with a donation to our charity fund for disabled children in Jerusalem. Your donation, however small, will help provide much needed services, therapy and medications for severely disabled children in Jerusalem, as well as food to help them enjoy the upcoming holiday.

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We hope to see you soon in our favorite city. May you have a wonderful holiday!

Blessings from Jerusalem,
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