Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world. The land of Israel is often considered a dream vacation by people of all races, ages and religions. This is mostly because of the three monotheistic religions that are centered in Jerusalem – Christianity, Islam and Judaism. A place of culture and worship, Jerusalem is often referred to as the Holy City. A city of great wonder, significance and intrigue, it holds cultural, spiritual and historical meaning for many people.
1. Jerusalemis one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. People continue to flock to the gates of the city even though it has seen some difficult times. Modern Jerusalem borders the older Jerusalem which is also surrounded by four walls.
2. The Al Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site for Islam while the Temple Mount is also recognized as a major holy site. Important Jewish landmarks such as the Western Wall and Old Jerusalem are the focus of tours to the region.
People of all ages will enjoy the many building, monuments and general culture of the area.
3. The Hebrew Bible mentions Jerusalem 669 times. It is never mentioned, however, in the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible. While there has never been a clear reason as to why it was not mentioned, it is probably because much of the Bible is written in chronological order. It was likely not mentioned because the city had not yet been captured from the enemies of the Israelites. It is rumored that it was not mentioned in order to protect the city from enemy invasion. Jewish people have always loved and shown allegiance to their mother land, even during times of captivity.
4. The Jerusalem temple is the central location of Judaism. The city is governed by the Sanhedrin and the offices of the officials are located inside the temple. In most instances, religion and politics were considered one, rather than separate entities. Passover, Sukkot, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are important Jewish holy days and festivals that center around the temple in Jerusalem.
5. The Western Wall is in the midst of the Old City of Jerusalem. It is considered one of the holiest places by Jews even today. Although it can’t be definitely proven, this area is thought to have been built in 19 BC by Herod the Great as an extension of the Second Temple. It is located inside the temple which also houses the Holy of Holies. The people of Israel often used this wall, also called the Wailing Wall, as a place to pray and cry over their needs. People of all races and cultures gather there to pray, often repeating Psalm 79 while remembering all that the Jewish people have endured throughout the centuries.
Visiting the beautiful city of Jerusalem is an experience one will never regret. One thinks back to a time in history long, long ago – a time and place that “once were.” The inspiration, excitement and culture experienced in Jerusalem are ones that will last a lifetime.