jerusalem

Outracing Ignorance:Preserving Manuscripts Threatened by War and Cultural Trafficking

Columba Stewart, OSB, is a Benedictine monk of Saint John’s Abbey and Executive Director of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (HMML) at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, MN. HMML began as a project in 1965 to microfilm monastic manuscripts in Cold War Europe. Since then the project has spread to libraries in Ethiopia, the Middle East, South India, and the Timbuktu region of Mali. HMML digitized manuscripts in Syria from 2005-2012 and has been active in Iraq since 2009, working in many areas since devastated by civil war and the forces of the Islamic State. In current projects, HMML is digitizing the major Islamic manuscript collections of the Old City of Jerusalem and family libraries rescued from Timbuktu. This presentation will introduce the various manuscript cultures represented in HMML’s projects, survey recent threats to them, and describe HMML’s efforts to ensure that the contents of these irreplaceable witnesses to centuries of thought and history will not be lost forever.

Co-Sponsored by the Cottrill-Rolfes Chair of Catholic Studies

Date: 
Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
Location: 
Marksbury Building theater, 329 Rose Street

This Year in Jerusalem: The Pleasures of Passover in the “Promised Land”

Passover has always been one of my favorite Jewish holidays. I remember going to my Bubbie’s (grandmother’s) house as a kid, and looking forward to eating the smorgasboard of sugary treats that she would have—my favorites were the red and yellow, candied half fruit slices.

Passover fruit slices

Photo credit

It’s Not a State Emergency, It’s the Jerusalem Marathon

It's a bird, it's a plane, no...it's a marathon....

In Israel, there are usually two times when traffic comes to a standstill and the roads are eerily quiet. One is Yom Kippur (or Day of Atonement) the Jewish holiday that brings an end to the “Days of Awe” at the beginning of the Jewish New Year.  Yom Kippur is a serious holiday, with most observant Jews spending the day in synagogue, fasting and praying that God will hear their prayers of atonement and inscribe them in the Book of Life for the coming year. Everything shuts down in W. Jerusalem, not a shop is open, nor a car to be found on the street. It’s quite something to experience; the only point of comparison that comes to mind is the quiet that descends upon American cities on Christmas day when pretty much everything, except some ethnic restaurants and movie theatres, closes. Of course it’s not quite the right comparison because Yom Kippur is a solemn time for reflection, and Christmas is a grand celebration (consumer and otherwise), but it’s the best I can muster.  Yet another difference, while observant Jews fast and pray, secular Jews bike in the streets.

Jerusalem Cold and the Dirty Laundry Blues

Though the title of this post might make a good name for a band, it accurately reflects the sentiment of the last week.The Kotel/Al Aqsa in Snow 2008

(Photo credit Ynet, by means of snow in Jerusalem 2008 blog post)

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