Swords into Plowshares, The Isaiah Scroll and Its Message of Peace
Closes September 16
Studying Art in the Museum
for adults and children at beginning and advanced levels
Secrets and Ties
Wondrous Connections in the Israel Museum Collections
The galleries in the main building are currently closed to the public
due to the comprehensive program of renewal at the Israel Museum.
Signs of Life: Animating Ticho House
Until September 26
The Shrine of the Book
Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period
Youth Wing
Campus Renewal Project

The Qumran Community

---A Collective Economy

“Riches they despise, and their community of goods is truly admirable” (Josephus, Jewish War II, viii, 3)


The pottery workshop, pieces of fabric and spindles, and the remains of baskets, mats, and rope found in the archeological excavations of the site indicate that the sectarians also produced pottery, textiles, and woven goods. We may assume that they used these products themselves, but they also may have sold some of them in markets.

Both the scrolls and classical sources report that the members of the Community were not permitted to retain personal property, but rather shared all their possessions, as indicated, for example, by the passage: “When he has completed one year within the Community . . . his property and earnings shall be handed over to the Bursar of the Congregation” (Community Rule VI, 18–19). Some of the finds unearthed at the site have therefore been interpreted in this light: a hoard of silver, possibly containing the coins deposited by new members with the collective at the end of their first year of candidacy; and an ostracon (inscribed pottery shard) discovered a few years ago near the central building, whose inscription – according to one reading – may attest to the practice of handing over the candidate’s possessions to the Community.

Archaeology Wing
Judaica and Jewish Ethnography
Art Wing
Youth Wing
Art Garden
Shrine of the Book
Ticho House
Rockefeller Museum
Sadna design בניית אתריםבניית אתרים