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The Holy Land Experience: The Wilderness Tabernacle

 

Rating: * * * *
Type: Stage show with special effects
Time: 25 minutes
Short Take: Interesting evocation

Of all the attractions at The Holy Land Experience, this is the most theme-park-like. In a darkened theater, we see a dramatized re-creation of the tabernacle God commanded Moses to build in the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt. As a voice-over narrator tells the history of the tabernacle, an actor representing Aaron, the very first High Priest, mimes the rituals and sacrifices being described. Because the Bible (Exodus, Chapter 36ff) gives fairly complete instructions for building the tabernacle, the re-creation is remarkably evocative.

The presentation progresses from the sacrificial altar and bronze laver (or purification bath) outside into the tabernacle itself, where the Arc of the Covenant resided and into which the High Priest entered just once a year. The presentation ends with a "Shekinah Glory" special effect that is straight out of Raiders of the Lost Ark. All in all, I found this show a fascinating use of theme park show biz to teach a religious and archaeological lesson.

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