Museum of Proverbs.. Documentation of the life of a Palestinian Christian

The Museum of Proverbs documents the ancient Palestinian life in all its details, with a tale of 38 proverbs mentioned by the Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him, in the Holy Bible.

Ramallah – In an old house, the people of the village of Taybeh, located to the east of Ramallah, tried to re-enact ancient Palestinian life and present it to visitors to the town through Christian eyes.

In this house, they collected tools that are directly related to the details of the lives of the Palestinians and are closely related to the land, which the Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him, mentioned in the Bible and related to his teachings in what is known as “proverbs” in the Christian religion.

The front wall of the house is made of old stone and bears ancient symbols referred to by a coastal bond during his explanation of the history of the house (the island)

A tale of 38 proverbs

In this house, whose area does not exceed 90 square meters, the people of the village summarize for the visitors the story of the old Palestinian life in all its details, which is also linked to 38 proverbs mentioned by the Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him, in the Bible, which makes him “a representative of the Palestinian Christian life par excellence” as well as He tells Al Jazeera Net, the pastor of the Church of the Good, Father Bashar Fawadila.

This is what the life of the residents of the village was like, when “Jesus, peace be upon him,” sought refuge in it after the rise of “Eleazar from the dead, as mentioned in the Gospel of St. John. From that day the Jews decided to kill Jesus, so he no longer wandered among them openly, but went to a city called Ephraim, which is located On a spot near the wilderness, where he resided with his disciples,” according to Father Fadila.

Wheat caches as seen from the front of the house, and some tools and clothes (Al-Jazeera)

ancient Ephraim

Ephraim is the old name for Thebes. Its construction dates back to ancient times, according to excavations. It was historically known for its strategic importance, which is located on the road between the cities of Nablus and Jerusalem. Currently, it is the only village in Palestine inhabited by Christians only, and their number is estimated at 1,400 Palestinians.

During Al Jazeera Net’s visit to the house, the researcher in the history of the village accompanied us, a coastal document, explaining the history and privacy of the house, as the stones of its front facade date back to the Byzantine period and were engraved with 5 religious symbols at that time, and no modifications were made to it since its construction 350 years ago.

The living room in the house, which reflects the life of the old Palestinian (Al-Jazeera)

The house is located in the square of the Latin Church, in the center of the town, and its story begins with the “threshold” that was built to suit the rural lifestyle of the Palestinians at the time. While the door was sealed from the air and cold, a small opening was built in its threshold so that small animals could enter and exit without having to House owners to open the door.

From the threshold, through a narrow corridor that leads to the four rooms of the house, two rooms in the lower part are reserved for animals. The one near the door has a low ceiling and people cannot stand in it, and it is intended for small animals.

On the upper floor, there is the main room, which we have reached, going up 3 steps of great stone, now supported by iron columns. It is the living room with all the details of the word. Shelves of mud and straw were fixed on the front wall, and used to put cooking utensils, and a place to fold the bed made of straw during the day. On another wall hung the tools for plowing the land that the owners of the house used to cultivate and cultivate their land.

Grain bunkers as seen from above (Island)

In the third wall, which is the separation between the living room and the inner room, 5 caches of mud and straw were built (places built longitudinally in the wall) to store grains that the family uses throughout the year such as wheat, lentils, barley, etc., and through a small opening at the bottom of each of them, the lady of the house can take what It is enough to feed her family, and then she grinds it, if it is wheat, using a grinder (hand-made stone grinder) placed under these bunkers, to prepare bread on the stove installed in the corner of the room.

Behind these hideouts there is an inner room, very narrow, which was reserved for women to hide in when there were male guests in the houses.

One of the grain caches in the House of Proverbs (Al Jazeera)

During the restoration, no electric lighting was placed in the entire house, but rather oil lamps, in reference to the teachings of Jesus, peace be upon him, that “a person should not leave his light hidden under a bushel.”

In the roof of the house, a skylight “hole in the roof” opens in the summer to let in light and air, and closes in the winter.

On the lower floor of the hidden room is the fourth room, which is prepared for cows and horses, and in this room women usually give birth to their babies because it is warm and out of sight, and this room usually has an uneven floor. Show the rocks on which the house is built. Which was linked to religious teachings, “that a person builds his house in caves or on rocks to protect it from storms.”

Coastal support: The reason for this house’s resilience so far is that it was built on the rock (the island)

The building is as solid as a rock

Sahelia told Al Jazeera Net that the reason for the steadfastness of this house so far is that it was built on the rock, where its owners lived in until the beginning of the seventies, and after the death of its residents, the church decided to buy it and annex it to it to be a model for the ancient Palestinian life on the one hand, and on the other hand linked it to the context of the “parables” he said Christ, hence the name “Museum of Proverbs”.

According to Saheleh, the model of this house is present in all the ancient Palestinian communities, of which Taybeh is a part, which makes it a museum that represents ancient Palestinian life in all its details.

The “Museum of Proverbs” is one of the landmarks that visitors to the village and tourists visit from all over the world, because of its historical and religious value as well.

According to Father Fawadila, all Christians of the world “sanctify the proverbs” that are mentioned in the text of the Holy Bible, but in “Thebes” and through this house, “religious interpretations of these proverbs are presented using tools that were present when Christ visited the village and stayed there.”

He pointed out that more than 150 thousand visitors flock to this place annually, as it is a holy place, along with researchers and scholars of ancient Palestinian life.

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