National Library offers visitors a whale of a time
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Belly of the beast

National Library offers visitors a whale of a time

Drop in for a soulful piyyut party and the chance to sit inside an artist’s rendition of a leviathan

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Hadassa Goldvicht's whale installed at the National Library of Israel's new exhibit, which opened September 2019 (Courtesy National Library of Israel)
Hadassa Goldvicht's whale installed at the National Library of Israel's new exhibit, which opened September 2019 (Courtesy National Library of Israel)

Israel’s National Library is offering some soulful sounds over the next couple days with the three-day Piyyut Festival, which began Wednesday and continues through Friday.

The festival, which is held every year between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, features an all-nighter on Thursday, starting with an 8 p.m. performance by Eviatar Banai, and continuing with other musicians and poets.

While at the library, visitors can stop in at the new exhibit “In the Library’s Belly,”  a whale installation by Hadassa Goldvicht, who created the whale for the national institution. The concept is based on her previous work of a life-sized living space created by the artist in 2012 for her spouse and two daughters, alongside several video works.

The whale alludes to the prophet Jonah’s three-day stay inside a fish, a story read in synagogues during late-afternoon services on Yom Kippur.

Like the deep interior of the whale, rare items from the library’s collections are also displayed alongside one of her video installations.

For more information, head to the National Library’s website.

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