Friday, February 5, 2016

The Wonder of Horrible Creepy Things

It's been a fascinating few weeks at The Biblical Museum of Natural History. We've had such a diverse range of visitors. Multiple bar/bat-mitzvah groups from the Flatbush Syrian community, mesorati school groups from local moshavim, a French girl's seminary, a group of secular Israeli teachers, a bunch of American gap-year yeshivos and seminaries, and the usual assortment of local families, visiting relatives, and Anglo tourists. We also hosted a birthday party, and we started a new children's chug, attended by mesorati and dati children aged 5-9. Today's tour was joined by a family who live in Bnei Brak but who are in Beit Shemesh for Shabbos and so came early so that they could visit the museum:

Meanwhile, our collection is continuing to grow, on both a collective and individual level. Here is a picture of our monitor lizard, Bubale, taken last February, alongside a picture taken in November:

And, speaking of comparison photos, here is a fascinating letter that we received from a visitor: "Our visit to the museum was a smashing hit with the kids who loved and regularly speak of it. We are not big animal lovers (my wife is actually afraid of most animals) but this is mostly out of lack of knowledge. One thing I found interesting is in the two pictures attached. This is our little 4-year-old not knowing what a turtle is. The first picture is when her mom told her this was disgusting, the second when I told her it was great. In other words, children are totally shaped by us, and we should be opening their horizons and influencing them positively!"

I'm going to sign off with a photo which I think is amazing, but which will repulse some people. So you have to scroll down to see it. You have been warned!

Click to make the picture much bigger and give yourself nightmares!

To make up for that, here is a picture of one of our hedgehogs, just chillin'

Good Shabbos!


  1. u might want to censor the hedgehog

    1. That IS the censored picture. Email me for the uncensored one.

  2. Us spoiled americans learned about (simple) reptiles in summer camps, etc. Do they not have such things in israel, or are charedi communities not attend camps that have such activities? (Of course, the toddlers don't get that yet, either way.)

    (When i was 12 - 13, my parents sent my younger brother and i to israel (flying as unaccompanied minors, probably can't do that today) to my mother's aunt in BB. I was sent to a local 'kaytanah', but don't think they had any of this. And a couple of times, my mother's aunt took me to the local shuk where she picked out a chicken, went to the shochet, etc. Of course, children today think chicken grow on trees, in shrink wrapped plastic trays, all clean, etc.)

  3. Dear rabbi slifkin,
    It is obvious to me that this was a oversight and completely unintentional.


    When the title of the post is "horrible creepy things"

    You probably should not have the teaser photo be a charedi father holding something out to his daughter.

    I did a double take until I realized you meant the snake.


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