This morning we had to change our plans due to the snow and rain, so we went to the Hadassah Hospital to see the Chagall Windows. These stained glass windows in the synagogue of the hospital are truly magnificent. The windows were commissioned by the hospital foundation and Marc Chagall offered them as his ‘modest gift to the Jewish people who have always dreamt of biblical love, friendship and of peace among all peoples. This is my gift to that people which lived here thousands of years ago among the other Semitic people” (Chagall, 1962).
The huge windows use each of the twelve tribes of Israel as the central motif to tell something of the history and culture of the land. Interwoven into this story is some of Chagall’s personal story. “Each window hints at his love for his people, his identification with the past, his early life in the Russian village of Vitebsk.” (Tourist Brochure:3). He says that ‘all the time I was working I felt my mother and father looking over my shoulder and behind them were Jews, millions of other vanished Jews – of yesterday and a thousand years ago’. I find this a beautiful sentiment, and the windows themselves capture so many themes and images.
We were not able to take photos in the synagogue, so ‘google it’! Here’s the link! http://www.hadassah-med.com/about/art-at-hadassah/chagall-windows
After the windows we went to the Israel Museum. We went there on Sunday, but today had a more leisurely browse around the exhibits. There is a great exhibit of ancient Near East artefacts. I also particularly liked a section on Judaic religious and ritual artefacts, including clothing and tapestries, some very ancient. The clothing and jewellery from different places of Jewish settlement was very interesting. I didn’t take too many photos today.
It’s very cold here at present, though we are getting more rain than snow. The reports suggest that it will snow again tonight and tomorrow. In the morning we go to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – weather permitting.