Museum and me – Berlinian impressions 2


The human being always directs his most attention to things familiar, known and/or dear to him. A connection is the most important thing. No matter where or how. It’s part of his behaviour.

That’s what I’ve learned the last days.

As for museum (museums – hardly an acceptable plural), in Berlin I used the opportunity to enter one or two – after a long time of observing solely “wild life”.

The first day I’ve spent at the Jewish Museum, the whole daytime until dawn. (Not a very smart decision because afterwards I had to discover the “rest” during twilight and cold darkness.) The Jewish Museum, I must acknowledge, is full of everything. It’s really crowded with objects worthy of seeing them. It’s full of photos, items and – description plates. Perhaps the second most important thing in a museum.

On my feelings I had during my Jewish Museum visit – and afterwards while visiting other galeries – I understood what characterizes my behaviour at “cultural sights” the most:

I basically go to a museum or an exhibition to look for things I know or have seen, things I’ve already liked most. You understand? I believe most people visit these places in order to find something new, to see things they’d never find anywhere else. Or if to a concert, then to hear music one would not normally come across.

But me, I get most delighted when stumbling upon something good, old, familiar. I cannot go visit museum or listen to musicians playing something I’ve never heard of. A slight conservatism of a strange direction. I’m not sure whether this is the purpose of a concert or an exhibition. Yet in cases of pleasure of this sort, I don’t like taking risks. Because I don’t like the feeling of being disappointed, of having wasted my time.

It’s as if I was meeting old friends instead of trying to find new ones.

So now, back to the keyword –  what does a Jew look for in a Jewish Museum?

I believe, he would look for items he’d be able to feel connected to.  To be honest, more or less I went through and learned about Ashkenazi Jewish history already years ago. If then I get to a museum of exactly this culture, I don’t know how to react.

And so I was wandering around and what caused my real interest?

When I found stories telling of Jewish youth of today and how they maintain their lives. When I saw posters and photos from the beginnings of Jewish resettlement in the HolyLand.

But here comes the real highlight of the visit:

In the special exhibition on Kosher food and food rituals in other cultures (amusing and really entertaining topic, very well presented!!) I ran into a recording of Jewish food blessings.

By a Yemenite rabbi!!

Nothing could erase my smile afterwards.

(For people who don’t know my Yemenite story, just take it for granted that anything Yemenite wams my heart 24 hours a day.)

And then as the top of the whole adventure, I got to see a episode of one of the funniest TV series ever. “Avoda Aravit”, Arab Labour.

Israeli series in Hebrew. In the museum.

What does one want more?!

Except for, well, reading from an old Torah scroll in another exhibition in another museum.

You see, my guideline sounds something like

“To go out in order to go in” or “to leave in order to return”.

Funny thing. My mother educated me culturally since year 1 and before.

And I go there in order to return to my own “kitchen and sewing box”.

But at least, I have fun!

Sometimes there’s no need at all to bite the bullet. 🙂



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