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October 30, 2014 10:15 am

When in Israel, Visit the Farkash Gallery and Menachem Begin Heritage Center

avatar by Ronn Torossian

Former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Photo: Wiki Commons.

As a regular visitor to Israel, I recently found myself without plans for a full day and wanted to see something different. Hence I found two amazing locations that should be regular stops for Israelis and tourists alike.

The Farkash Gallery, located in the Old City of Jaffa, is simply an amazing breathtaking place. The experience can best be explained as a mixture of history and shopping – the venue was founded in 1948, and houses the largest collection in the world of Israeli posters. From 1930s posters of the Jewish underground to military posters, busts of Zionist heroes and awe-inspiring photos of Israel, it’s all there and amazingly unique. I have spent hours poring through original letters of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, and it was fascinating to see Israeli history almost as if standing in a time capsule.

One unique book that is featured there, “Revolution or Terror,” was printed after the 9/11 WTC attacks and features a collection of terror propaganda for review – it also includes a unique foreword from Prime Minister Netanyahu. It’s a great place – although you may end up spending more time (and money) here than you intended.

The Menachem Begin Heritage Center is similarly a venue that will leave one inspired, as it provides a unique insight into one of Israel’s most important leaders without whom the State of Israel would not have existed. The museum highlights Begin’s strength, foresight, and lifelong devotion to the Jewish people – from touching personal correspondence to quotes that highlight his understanding of Jewish history. (Next to a photo of his parents who were killed in the Holocaust that remained on his desk throughout his life, one sees a quote that defined Begin’s insight into the Jewish experience, “No I will not abandon the shadows; they are with me till my last day on Earth.”)

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The museum allows one to sit on couches that were in Begin’s home throughout his life, and see the books that lined his home. Through these, one can better understand the essence of who Menachem Begin was. Begin gave a great quote when asked what kind of Prime Minister he would be: “I will be a good Jewish Prime Minister.” The museum also shows Begin’s deep knowledge and passion for the Torah and Jewish people.  It’s a very fitting tribute for a man who exhibited selfless devotion for the Jewish people.

Ronn Torossian – unfortunately – has returned to New York.

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