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Saturday, April 19, 2014


On a recent trip to Israel I finally managed to travel to Jerusalem and Bethlehem. I would not call myself a religious person, but have always wanted to walk in these two cities to better understand the historic and religious importance.

Jerusalem was fascinating, divided into four quarters: Jewish, Christian, Armenian and Muslim. As you walk from one area to another you may get the strange sensation of being in Hollywood, moving from one movie set to another. The attire is so very different among the quarters, and so in contrast to what we were wearing, I could not help but feel a certain sense of unreality.
The wall layers tell the age
of the building

Sometimes you discover a wall
beneath the existing street old enough
to be mentioned in the Bible

The Jewish quarter is almost completely rebuilt following the Jordanian occupation of 1948-1967. It is such a newly built city, but only on the surface - the roots run very deep.

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The Western wall, divided to spearate men from women, (because God can't listen to men and women together?) is crowded with those offering their prayers.

 I left one of my own!

Site of the crucifixion
believe it or not

The Christian quarter seems to have lots of churches and important sites including the site of the Crucifixion and the tomb of Jesus at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It is rather strange to have imagines the site on a hillside surrounded by olive tress, and then realise it is now within city walls and has a church built on top of it.
Tomb of Jesus
The Armenian quarter makes up about one-sixth of the total area of Jerusalem and was established 301 BC. It appeared the most private of the quarters, with everything happening behind closed gates and walls. I did not take any photos.

The Muslim quarter is bustling apparently much as it was when Jesus carried his cross through the same streets on his way to die. But today it feels like many other market areas with typical tourist goods, beautiful leather crafts, and sometimes questionable silver and gold items. On the Saturday we visited this was of course the most lively part of the city.

Having just returned from Jordan, Jerusalem was clearly another very important chapter in the history book for me to study.

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