Throughout history, the natural world has filled people with awe and wonder. While today’s world frequently places barriers between us and nature, for our predecessors in Biblical times the encounter with nature was very real and direct, an integral part of everyday life. The narratives of the Torah reflect that reality and abound with references to the animal kingdom as well as other features of the natural world.
By experiencing what these verses refer to, first-hand and in the flesh, not only do we open up a window to life in Biblical times, but we are also able to unlock much of the beauty, meaning and symbolism embedded within Scripture, Midrash and Talmud. We also gain a deeper appreciation for the land of Israel, whose flora, fauna and landscapes served as the inspirational backdrop for so much of the Biblical narrative.
The Biblical Museum of Natural History takes you beyond the text, beyond the classroom, offering an interactive, hands-on experience of the natural world of the Bible, in order to make the Biblical texts and Torah tradition come alive. The Museum collection, which includes both live and non-live (taxidermy) exhibits, explained in colorful detail via our personal guided tours, provides an educational encounter that is designed to inspire and educate visitors young and old.
The Biblical Museum of Natural History was established in Beit Shemesh in 2014, and moved to its new home in Har Tuv in 2020. It is the brainchild of Rabbi Dr. Natan Slifkin, resulting from his lifelong passion for the animal kingdom, and decades of study and teaching about Biblical natural history. Click here to learn more about Rabbi Dr. Slifkin’s work and animal experiences.
"How can I make the Torah come alive for my students?”
“Educators of all sectors of the Jewish people struggle with this question. Our sacred texts no longer speak to all those whom we strive to teach. The world we live in is very different from the world of nature which was the context of much of the Bible and Talmud. The Biblical Museum of Natural History is designed to respond to this question. It allows students of Torah, of all ages and of all backgrounds, to learn about the context of our Torah. Through the creative use of modern techniques and exciting modalities, it makes the Torah come alive.”
– Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Executive Vice President, Emeritus, Orthodox Union,
and Board Member, The Biblical Museum of Natural History
Reviews & Media
RABBI GIDON ROTHSTEIN
The Biblical Museum of Natural History connected us both to Nature and to Tanach (and Chazal) in ways our modern lives often don’t allow. The tour also reminds us of the rich wildlife that used to roam Israel—even as we celebrate the country’s renewal and resettlement, a museum like this reminds us of a lost world, in which daily life could involve encounters with lions, bears, jackals, leopards, and more. It’s Torah, it’s Nature, it’s an enjoyable, informative, and illuminating experience for family members of all ages!
The Torah and Nature Foundation
The Biblical Museum of Natural History was established by, and operates under the auspices of, The Torah and Nature Foundation and Keren Torah V’Teva.
The Torah and Nature Foundation is registered in the United States as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Its parallel entity in Israel, Keren Torah V’Teva (The Torah and Nature Foundation), is registered in Israel as a paragraph 46(a) charitable organization.
Board of Directors
Chairman: Mr. Lee Samson
Directors: Rabbi Yitzchak Adlerstein
Dr. Chaim Gelbfish
Dr. Charles Hall
Mr. Ron Hersh
Mr. Daniel Samson
Dr. Steven Weiss
Rabbi Dr. Natan Slifkin
Rabbinic Advisory Board:
Rabbi Yosef Carmel
Rabbi Menachem Copperman
Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb
Rabbi Dr. Ari Zivotofsky
Scientific Advisory Board:
Dr. Zohar Amar (Biblical zoology and botany)
Dr. Malkie Spodek (Entomology)
Yakira Gerszberg (Icthyology)