Museum of the Bible presents “Acts of Worship: Objects of Ritual,” a six-month exhibit exploring the three major cultural demographics within the Jewish faith.
Scripture is central to the Jewish world, shaping the way in which the religiously observant engage with text and demonstrate reverence through worship. Much like the Christian world, the cultures of faith within Judaism are manifold and vary from one tradition to another. Such nuances are often best understood through the examination of realia, or material culture, along with the behavioral characteristic that make these varying forms of worship distinct.
This exhibit has been curated to showcase how Jewish material culture, or judaica, is employed in specific rituals within three major groups: Ashkenazi (European), Sepharadi (Spanish and North African) and Mizrahi (Middle Eastern). The aesthetics of the objects in each grouping are the result of the environments and communities from which they originate. Their utility is informed by the regard with which the scriptures are treated. While beautiful, as works of art, these items were created with the intention and purpose of employment through demonstration of faith. They are implements of prayer, grievance, celebration, and remembrance. Though inanimate in nature, they take on breath and life in ritual.
Museum of the Bible invites all people to engage with the Bible through museum exhibits and scholarly pursuits. The 430,000-square-foot museum dedicated to the history, narrative and impact of the Bible will open in 2017 three blocks from the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. As of 2014, its traveling exhibits have visited five US cities and three other countries. The museum supports academic research through its Green Scholars Initiative and through development of a high school Bible curriculum for domestic and international use. For more information, visit www.museumoftheBible.org.
The exhibit is housed in the Creation Museum’s former collections area, right next to the attractive Palm Plaza, with no additional cost to guests.