Monday, October 13, 2014

Local Entertainment -- Sukkot 5775

So far this Chol HaMoed we have stuck with local entertainment. Yesterday we went to see the circus at the local mall (Big Fashion). Today we went to the Biblical Museum of Natural History which opened yesterday by Rabbi Slifkin.

Every evening over Chol HaMoed, Big Fashion is having a circus show. The theme yesterday was African Circus. In the middle of the mall on the main floor they section off a section for the show. We got there early enough to get a spot upstairs with a great view.  The area around the performance was fairly crowded (at least 7 people deep) and kids kept creeping further and further inside the circled off area as the show went on.

Waiting for the Circus to Begin

4 guys did all kinds of different acrobatics to different African themed music.  They jumped through hoops, balanced on each other and unbalanced chairs as well as each other. These guys would make awesome wedding shtick.  The show was an hour and we had a great time.

Rabbi Slifkin "Zoo Rabbi" opened up his new museum for tours yesterday. There are still a few exhibits that have not been completed but it did not take away from the tour (except of the fact I would have loved to see the Hyrax which is one of the delayed exhibits).

The tour started with Rabbi Slifkin explaining the purpose of the museum and how he defines what type of animals fall under the scope of the museum.  He then showed a 10 minute video about lions and how they are treated in Tenach. 

When the video ended the curtain was pulled back to reveal the rest of the museum. Rabbi Slifkin then lead the tour through the musuem. There was a mix animals (live and stuffed), other artifacts that you would expect to see in a museum including eggs, animal horns and bones. He brought in a live python for the day to enhance the tour. It was cool as it was the first time I had ever touched a snake. Peri was having a great time with all of the live animals including (turtles, mina birds, gekkos, salamander, rats and albino hedgehog)

He covered the topic of animal names in Tanach including how and why they have changed. For example a 'Tzvi' is usually translated as a deer. It makes more sense if it refferred to a gazelle. He also covered different aspects of kosher animals.


There was also an extensive section on shofars. I didn't know it wasn't possible to make a shofar from a non-kosher animal because they are not hollow. The narwhal horn was also a nice touch.

Overall we enjoyed the museum with only 2 criticisms. The hour long tour cost 110 NIS for the 3 of us. It is a lot of money for only an hour. The Israel Museum would have only cost us 125 NIS.  The Biblical Zoo would have cost us 140 NIS for the day. We wanted to stay longer when the tour was over to look around. We didn't have the opportunity because a new group was coming in and we were hurried out.  Channah also noticed that at points it felt like the tour was being rushed because they were worried about time.

Overall the museum was a nice way to spend an hour, but was on the pricey side in terms of value for your money.  Based on the what was advertised this was the discounted price until the museum is fully functional.

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