Marc Chagall's vibrant stained-glass windows are the jewels in the crown of Hadassah Hospital's huge Ein Kerem campus. When the U.S.-based Hadassah organization began planning this hospital on the western edge of town back in the 1950s, it asked the Russian-born Jewish artist to adorn the small synagogue. Chagall was reportedly so delighted that he created the windows for free: Hadassah only paid for materials and labor. Taking his inspiration from the Bible—Jacob's
deathbed blessings on his sons and, to a lesser extent, Moses' valediction to the tribes of Israel—he created 12 windows in luminous primary colors, with an ark full of characteristically Chagallian beasts and a bag of Jewish and esoteric symbols. The innovative techniques of the Reims glassmakers give the wafer-thin windows an illusion of depth. Recorded explanations in the synagogue are available in several languages. Buses 12, 19, 27 and 42 head to the Ein Kerem campus.
Hadassah Hospital, Henrietta Szold Rd., Jerusalem, 9112000, Israel