Jerusalem: Epicenter of Faith

History & Heritage, Magazine Features

Even the non-religious feel the spiritual energy of Old Jerusalem, perhaps the holiest place on the planet.

Casual tourists get caught up in the moment as they witness Jews swaying, praying and reading Scripture at the Western Wall. On the hilltop above loom Dome of the Rock and El-Aqsa Mosque, sites of Muslim prayer and pilgrimage. Inside the dimly lit Church of the Holy Sepulcher, a short walk away, devout Christians, many trembling with emotion, rub their hands and faces on the stone where it’s believed Christ’s body was prepared for burial.

Touring Jerusalem, a city sacred to the world’s three great monotheistic religions, is indeed an intense, multi-layered experience. The weight of history and religion lies beyond every turn, feeding the intellect and sustaining the spirit. Sights and smells of Middle Eastern street life assault the senses, injecting a heady dose of exoticism. And there’s always the tension between Jews and Arabs that permeates the region. With so much for the first-time visitor to see and ponder, Jerusalem is almost too rich for the blood.


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