Friday, August 08, 2008

The Isaiah Scroll Moves People to Tears

(I took this shot of the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem last February)

"Some Israelis have described being moved almost to tears by a rare viewing of the Great Isaiah Scroll, the best preserved and most complete Dead Sea biblical scroll, on special exhibit this summer at the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum for the first time in 40 years."

So begins the nytimes article on the Isaiah scroll display happening this summer in Jerusalem. When I was there in February we visited this phenomenal museum. The "Shrine of the Book" is designed to represent the cover of the canisters that contained the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The nytimes article especially talks about the concern some Jews have about the growing disconnect modern Hebrew and ancient, biblical Hebrew. "In a country suffused with religious and historical symbolism, the linguistic link to the past has always evoked feelings of national identity, vindication and pride. Any erosion is bound to stir unease. “The Bible,” said [Hebrew language expert Ruvik] Rosenthal, “is first of all our connection to the land.”"