Israel at World Expo Shanghai 2010

ONE may never understand Israel without knowing the Jewish perspective of the structure of the world. And next May, Israel will make a journey of faith to World Expo Shanghai to demonstrate the exciting, innovating and calming aspect of the Jewish spirit that enables its people to seek a better life through innovation in the desert.

The futuristic Israel Pavilion will be composed of two curvilinear shapes, hugging each other in peace and harmony. Made half of raw stone and half of state-of-the-art glass structures, the main body of Israel Pavilion will offer a combined experience of the past and the future with its harmonious shape of opposites.

“Israelis like to use stone in their houses, which embody solidity, earth and roots, while the use of glass stands for an open future,” said Haim Dotan, the chief designer of Israel Pavilion.

Not only that, the shape of the hugging curvilinear forms resembles the ancient Chinese symbol for tai chi, a state of the undifferentiated absolute and infinite potential, to mark the friendship between Jews and Chinese. The two structures will curve around each other and stretch to the sky like there is no ending, representing the inexhaustable human creativity of the Israeli people.

The pavilion will have three sections apart from the two main parts mentioned. Visitors will be welcomed in from a garden named “Enlighten Garden,” or “Whispering Garden,” adjacent to the major structures of the pavilion.

Fifty-four orange trees, one of Israel’s symbolic characteristics, will be scattered in the garden. The trees will not only provide shade over visitors’ heads, but will also “whisper” in their ear and tell stories about Israeli agricultural innovations and environmental protection techniques.

Then visitors can enter “The Hall of Light”- the glass covered structure for a journey across the landscape of the nation. The hall will present major tourism attractions, as well as deliver a historical depiction of the state of Israel and its rich Jewish heritage with a visual projection on the 15-meter-high glass wall.

“By walking cross the Hall of Light, people will learn that Israelis are a people who wrote the whole Bible, who changed modern physics by the effort of Einstein, and who invented many cutting-edge technologies in a country with no natural resources but our brain,” said the Israeli commissioner general, Yaffa Ben-Ari.

Every night the glass facade of the pavilion will display introduction videos of tourist attractions around the nation and especially the unsurpassed splendor of the capital city of Jerusalem.

Indeed, of all the regions the Hall of Innovation covers in natural stone, its symbollic connection with earth will be the most active.

The pavilion’s builder has staged the climax of the tour to finish in the hall, a sacred experience that could ensure an unforgettable journey for visitors, said Yaffa.

In the hall with a capacity for 300 people, light balls will fall from the sky and intelligible human figures will be seen inside.

The figures will talk to the visitors in both Hebrew and Chinese, telling them about the most thrilling breakthroughs Israeli people have made in science, medicine, energy and communication.

Yet these are only ushers of the real show which will be a 10-minute 360-degree multimedia experience whose content is currently a secret.

As for the construction, every thing is on schedule. The pavilion will be finished by the end of this year when internal decoration will start.

The “Disneyland type pavilion,” as Yaffa said, is planned to be left intact in Shanghai to mark the friendship between China and Israel.

A Jewish folk story tells of a man walking through the woods at night who came to a house. He looked in through the window and was scared by people having strange contortions and convulsions.

But the man was deaf – he didn’t hear the music and he didn’t know they were dancing.

The music of Israel is their 4,000 years of history and their willingness to innovate for a better life.

People in China used to see Israel as a war-torn nation with nothing more illusive than peace, and Israel Pavilion is going to change that image by playing the music at the World Expo next year.

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