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Sightseeing in the Parsha - Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

Not many years after the creation of the universe, the world is at a dead end. God cannot let the world continue as it is, and there must be a significant change. God puts a few of every animal into the ark, thus preventing the total destruction of creation and enabling us to continue living in the amazing and diverse world we inhabit. The question is – what was so terrible about the people’s behavior that made it necessary to bring a flood and to destroy almost everything?

The Midrash describes that the sin of man at that time was the thought that he could use his power and intelligence to alter the rules and boundaries of nature. Excessive use of force and knowledge corrupt the morals which are at the root of the world, and eventually this can destroy the world completely. God gives us another chance with Noah and the ark, and thus the world continued to exist.

Throughout the past two hundred years, the world has experienced an unprecedented development of knowledge and industrial capability, and once again the world has begun using force and knowledge excessively while blurring lines which this can cause the extinction of animals, plants and resources which cannot withstand the excessive power of man. There are organizations which were founded to restrain mankind and to protect nature from extinction. One of these organizations is the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo.

The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo is currently housed in a beautiful valley in southwest Jerusalem, and covers a large area of over 60 acres. The zoo has a system of ponds, a large lake and waterfalls which connect them. There are extensive laws and plenty of beautiful shady spots overlooking the water. The lake is artificial and its water is purified and recycled. The zoo is built on two levels which are lined with displays of animals, and there is a circular path around the zoo. There are many paths which cross between the levels and there are additional displays there.

The zoo presents many different animal families: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects and mollusks. There are about 250 species from all over the world, representing different and varied habitats. There is a permanent exhibit which is a recreation of Noah’s Ark, a memorial of the ark Noah was commanded to build and through which the world was saved from complete destruction.

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