Scroll of Fire Memorial
The Scroll of Fire monument (in Hebrew: מגילת האש) is a significant sculpture located in the Jerusalem mountains depicting a large twisted scroll representing the tumultuous history of the Jewish people, marked by both suffering and resilience.
History of the Monument
After establishing the state of Israel, it was decided to forest the mountains of Jerusalem with 6 million trees in memory of the 6 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. The project, known as the Martyr’s Forest, was comprised of 4.5 million pine trees representing the adult victims and 1.5 million cypress trees representing the Jewish Children who the Nazis and their collaborators killed.
The Scroll of Fire memorial was inaugurated in 1971 atop a hill in the forest. It is the work of Warsaw-born artist Nathan Rappaport, whose memorials of the Holocaust are a central theme in his work. The monument is 26 feet high and made of rusted bronze. It is shaped like two intertwined scrolls, one representing the Holocaust and the second dedicated to the struggle for a Jewish state, the state of Israel. Reliefs on their outer face depict detailed scenes of both events. At first, you can spot people in concentration camps, Janusz Korczak and his orphaned children, fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto, and survivors immigrating to Israel.
On the second Scroll, the images include an Israeli soldier heading to defend the country, a man blowing the Shofar at the Western Wall, a young child holding fruit of the land, a group of people dancing hora, and an imaginary procession of Jews carrying the Temple’s Menorah back from the arch of Titus to Jerusalem.
By shaped like scrolls, the monument alludes to the Jewish Bible, suggesting these events are no less epic. It also relates to the Jews being the people of the book. The scrolls also form two memorial rooms, one for the victims of the Holocaust and the other for the casualties in the struggle for a Jewish state.
Touring the Scroll of Fire Memorial
The Scroll of Fire memorial is perched on a hilltop in Jerusalem mountains, near the village of Kesalon. It is best reached through the scenic 395 road from Beth Shemesh. Aside the monument the site provides stunning views of the Shephelah and the coastal plain.