Sunday, November 3, 2013

Mizel Museum by Emily Preussner

 I did not know exactly what to expect when I walked into the Mizel Museum. I knew going into it that it would take a look back at Judaism but never expected the vibrant colors and modern art. I have visited many museums in my lifetime but most of them are the same. The Mizel Museum took me by surprise. It captured my attention and displayed artifacts in such a way that would interest any visitor. The creators and designers definitely took into consideration the guest and wanted to make sure they had a good time while visiting the museum.

The Mizel Museum is a small place with a lot of history about Judaism. It only has four rooms with lots of artifacts and descriptions about what Jewish people went through the last 4,000 years. Next to each artifact, there is a description of what it is and what it is used for. I wish that we were there a little bit longer so I had time to actually take a look at all the artifacts in each room. Looking at those pieces helps people understand the Jewish way of life, not just their religion.

As for the religion, I went into this visit feeling pretty good because I knew some things about it. Judaism and Christians have many connections so I knew some of their beliefs before I read about the religion in the book. I also learned a few things, like the Torah, in my introduction to religion class at Wartburg. When the tour guide talked about the Adam and Eve, Noah’s ark, and the sands of time, I knew what she was talking about. I have read those stories from the Bible so I didn’t feel lost when she was talking. When visiting the Buddhist monastery, it was hard for me to understand their religion since I haven’t been exposed to it.

The lady who gave us a tour was a great speaker and knew a lot about the history of Judaism. She articulated that Judaism is about trying to figure out the answers and interpreting the Torah, which is different from other religions. When I spoke with a Muslim man, he talked about the Qur’an tells them how to live. It has an answer for everything so they do not have to interpret the words. This differs from what the Jewish believe.

Even though there are differences between Judaism and Islam, I noticed some similarities. The main one is the treatment of both religions’ followers. Everyone knows about the Holocaust and how many innocent people were killed because of their religion. They were blamed for the bad economy and people turned against them. They still have a lot of bad publicity but the religion has remained strong. Since 9/11, Muslims have been looked down on. Many people have blamed Muslims for the attacks on America soil. Islam is still trying to fight those critics by educating those to see that it is not a violent religion. Even though the attacks were 12 years ago, Islam is still trying to fight all the negativity that is around the religion. Even with that, Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. 

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