Monday, November 1, 2021

The Inauguration - At Last!

After extensive Covid-related delays, I'm thrilled to announce that the official Inauguration Ceremony of the new Biblical Museum of Natural History is taking place later this month! This celebrates our move to our spectacular new home, the result of unimaginable hard work and overcoming challenges, and the efforts and support of many different people. And the results speak for themselves! The new facility is breathtaking, and the many thousands of visitors who have already experienced it give rave reviews. The growth this last year has been extraordinary - not just in terms of numbers of visitors, but also in terms of the many different programs and collaborative partnerships that we have launched.

The ceremony is honoring Mr. Lee Samson, the Chairman of the Board of the Torah and Nature Foundation, which oversees the museum's operation, on the occasion of his 75th birthday. A related event, livestreamed to people unable to physically attend the inauguration, will take place in December.

For obvious logistical reasons, invitations are necessarily limited. Aside from various guests from the fields of government, education, tourism, culture and wildlife conservation, we are honored to invite our museum patrons. Those of you who are already patrons should have received the invitation with the details of the event. Information about becoming a patron can be found at this link.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us in various ways - and if you're able to make a donation to the museum in honor of this very special event, that would be greatly appreciated. We are, thank God, making tremendous accomplishments in inspiring and educating the full spectrum of society about Torah and nature - it's an amazing thing to be a part of! 

Support the Biblical Museum of Natural History


  1. Mazal tov! May you go from strength to strength.

  2. History has taught, that those who built Holocaust memorials and museums have little to do with Judaism.
    Judaism is not a spectacle to peer at from behind glass, it's a living experience, nay - it's a way of life!
    Imagine what the Jewish people would look like today, had the leaders of the Jewish people been busy with museums and memorials!
    Sadly, the less affiliated build museums and the chareidim worship memorials of Tzaddikim.

    1. Good evening, Reb Dovidel.

      The real Hat tips said headpiece to the Rabbi Dr and wishes him Mazel Tov

    2. I'm not sure you grasp the concept that museums are educational institutions.

    3. To the real Hat:
      Love trolling here, but no, I'm not R' Dovidel. I'm a US based troll.

    4. Spoken by someone who has never been to the museum. Lots of Talmud Torah on a visit there. [Not that I agree with the premise.]

    5. @David Oshie, what premise don't you agree with?

    6. If you look at these articles written by Reb Dovidel that begin with an atypically positioned comma. Statistically significant? Certainly not a smoking gun. I haven't studied a control group of opening sentences: I'm a mere talking hat.

      The 'nay' was also something I had seen nary elsewhere:

    7. What have you done that is even vaguely comparable? To Rav S: Continue to thrive and teach.

  3. Nonsense. Chareidim have also put up Holocaust memorials.

    1. [commenting on Avraham who is arguing with the fake "The Hat" above as this is a continuation of the conversation though I am agreeing with Avraham]
      I would also put forth the idea that museums are a "modern" invention, really only becoming big in the past century. Therefore, it is true that for the longest time, Jews did not make museums. This is, of course, irrelevant - there is no reason not to do so just because they never existed before.

      There is definitely a role for an institution that teaches things organized in a different way. Sure, we may have heard a word or two about Jewish history, but seeing it in front of you - whether in the Jewish Museum, the Holocaust Museum, the Tenement Museum, or Giv'at HaTachmoshet - is always going to be a richer experience. The same for learning the things that Rabbi Slifkin's museum has to show us. I am happy that I got to try out the collection of shofars in the old building before we were worried about Covid transmissibility!

      And so now we have Jewish museums, at least in the US and in Israel. I guess (according the fake Hat above) that administering the Kotel tunnels is a segula for losing one's affiliation with religious observance.

      Perhaps Chareidim are less prone to make museums just as they are less likely to go to medical school. But some do, and they respect those who do (at least, when they need a doctor).

      And we all know that come Chol HaMoed, they ALL partake in the museums!

    2. Museums have been around for centuries. Even the Romans had museumes.

  4. Mazel tov! Whenever I'm in Israel I will pay a visit to the museum.

  5. Mazal Tov,

    Recently took my son and his friends to the museum on a Bar Mitzva trip, they all had a wonderful educational experience.

    Keep up the great work Rav Natan, at a Brit we say "זה הקטן - גדול יהיה" my Bracha to you and the museum is "זה גדול - קטן יהיה" as your big museum will hopefully soon be too small for the expanded exhibitions and large number of people coming to visit.

  6. Mazal tov!
    Genuinely can't wait to visit the museum in person when I'm next in Israel.

  7. Mazal tov, you should only grow from success to success!
    I'd love to visit next time I'm in Israel (though with the current rules, it's still a long way off).

  8. Freelance Kiruv ManiacNovember 2, 2021 at 9:48 PM

    After embarrassing myself over many years by advocating suicide for gay men, obsessing for hundreds of hours later at night over Slifkin when I should have been spending time with my wife and children, describing myself as a "maniac" and "Jekyll", cosplaying as a heretic, insulting women, and looking at inappropriate sites, I have come to the conclusion that trolling on the internet is not going to be the actualisation of my human potential that I thought it would be.

    In fact I have come to realise that I am in the grip of a harmful addiction.

    I have struggled for years against the reality that I am never going to be the charismatic leader I thought I would become when I was fifteen. My thoughts are never going to be remotely relevant to public discourse. Trolling has been my escape from that reality, but the only person I was really fooling was myself.

    I have promised my long suffering wife and children that I will begin my rehabilitation as a human being by beginning a correspondence course in book-keeping.

    Dovid, the Hat's ventriloquist

    1. FKM - if you are being serious here then good for you. Make the world a better place by being more understanding and accepting of good people who don't align with your life philosophy.

    2. Congrats Rabbi S - this accomplishment is a result of working long and hard for many years to gain credibility as the "zoo rabbi" and you should be proud (but not TOO much as Mishlei constantly warns!)

  9. Its a shame this event was delayed due to Covid.
    You see in a breaking new study trialed by hundreds of thousands over a 1 year period, evidence suggests that what science had believed to stop the spread of the virus is now known to be wrong.
    Since June 2020 hundreds of thousands of chassidim in USA, UK and Australia have not been wearing masks, neither have they practiced social distancing.
    There has not been a noticeable flare up or mortality rate in their
    community as a result.
    But the study offers further disturbing reading as during this time period the chassidim have actually been sharing their mikva towels and shmaltz herring at squishy kiddushim without a noticable flare up.
    In fact in the USA the chassidim seem to have a mortality rate far less than the general population
    So perhaps waiting for Covid to calm down before you decided on the inauguration was in vain.
    Sometimes the Chassidim do seem to get it right.

  10. Congratulations on the official museum opening. My wife and I visited the old museum and very much enjoyed what we heard and saw. I'm now waiting for a grandchild to come visit us here in Israel so that we can go to the new museum.


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