Lost covering that adorned Theodor Herzl’s coffin rediscovered

The curtain draped the coffin of the modern Zionist visionary when he was buried in Jerusalem in 1949.

By World Israel News Staff 

After 70 years of searching, a curtain which had draped modern Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl’s coffin when he was buried in Jerusalem has been found in a Jewish National Fund (JNF) warehouse in Tel Aviv, reports Israel Hayom.

Herzl is considered the father of modern Zionism. His 1896 book The Jewish State electrified the Jewish world at the time. He later went on to lead the Zionist movement, establishing the Zionist Congress and meeting with world leaders to build support for a Jewish state.

The newspaper reports that after going missing in 1949, the curtain was found this week, as part of the move of JNF, known in Israel as Keren Kayemeth Le’Yisrael (KKL), to a different building where the Museum for the Preservation of Zionist History is also housed.

Herzl's coffin cover

Herzl’s coffin cover. (Wikipedia)

During the cleaning out of the historic building, the curtain was discovered, says Israel Hayom.

Herzl died in Austria in 1904. He had expressed his desire to be buried in the Land of Israel, and in 1949, the year following the establishment of the modern Jewish State, his wish was fulfilled when he was re-interred.

The curtain is colored sky blue and white with the image of a lion embroidered inside a Star of David alongside seven gold stars aligned in a circle symbolizing the insignia which Herzl had envisioned for the flag of the Jewish state and the seven-hour workday which he promoted, says Israel Hayom.

Herzl Coffin cover

The cover that adorned Theodor Herzl’s coffin. (Wikipedia)

“Behold, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, O My people, and I will bring you into the land of Israel,” is the verse from the Book of Ezekiel sewn on the upper part of the curtain. A verse from the Book of Psalms, “Those that sow in tears shall reap in joy,” is included at the bottom.

The Zionist visionary is buried on a Jerusalem mountain which bears his name, Mount Herzl, and is also the resting place of Israeli leaders and the location of Jerusalem’s military cemetery.

JNF CEO Danny Atar says that the curtain will now be placed on display at the organization’s museum in Tel Aviv.