Spiritual Retreats Jerusalem, Israel

With over 5,000 years of history, this enclosed city is the sacred homeland to the three of the world’s most vast monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Encompassing all three religions, this city is sacred to more than a third of the entire world’s population. Thus, this destination holds the key to one of the most major sites of pilgrimage for all three religions.

 

Sacred under the Jewish belief, Jerusalem is the site of the historic Temple ruined by the Romans in 70 AD, which is remembered by the standing Western Wall, the holiest of Jewish sites.

Christians are tied to the city as it was the site of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, and Muslims hold Jerusalem sacred as the site of the Prophet Muhammad’s journey to heaven.

Unfortunately, this sacred place is among one of the most widely debated destinations with the most religio-political tension over the important piece of land. However, Jerusalem has become a popular destination for religious and non-religious travellers alike, due to the historical and spiritual importance of the framework and land.

Among the hundred different religious sites within Jerusalem, also stands the Israel Museum, a world-class structure outlined in outstanding architecture.

The most popular and known artefact within the museum is the Shrine of the Book, which was designed to resemble the jar covering in which the infamous Dead Sea Scrolls were first discovered. The main attraction in turn would be the Scrolls themselves, which below the dome contain a replic of the Great Isaiah Scroll, sewn-together on a piece of parchment stretching out to 7 meters (23 feet) long. Written in 100 BC, this document dates back to 1,000 years older than the oldest biblical manuscript available before, highlighting the sacred atmosphere this historic city brings.

 

he 'Western Wall" or 'Wailing Wall" as it is also known sits in the midst of the Old City of Jerusalem. It is the section of the Western supporting wall of the Temple Mount which has remained intact since the destruction of the Second Jerusalem Temple (70 C.E.).

The 'Western Wall" has become the most sacred spot in Jewish religious and national importance and tradition by virtue of its proximity to the Western Wall of the Holy of Holies in the Temple, from which, it is beleived, the Divine Presence never departed.

It has become a center of mourning over the destruction of the Temple and Israel's exile, and with the memory of Israel's former glory and the hope for its restoration. Because of the mourning, it became known in European languages as the 'Wailing Wall'.

From December 1947, after bloody incidents with the Arabs, Jews were no longer able to approach the Wall. After the capitulation of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City in May 1948, Jews were prevented for 19 years from even looking at the Wall from afar, in spite of a paragraph in the cease-fire agreement granting freedom of access to the holy places.

The Wall was liberated during the Six-Day war on June 7, 1967; by Israel's parachutists breaking through the 'bloody gate" which the mufti had opened. The Moghrabi quarter was demolished, and on the first day of Shavuot, 250,000 Jews swarmed to the place. The buildings against the Wall southward were removed. The cleared area in front of the Western Wall was then leveled and changed into a paved open space. The lower square near the Wall is the prayer area. The surface of the wall, from the pavement and up to a person's height, also differs in color and feel since it is polished by the human hands that touched it during prayers throughout the centuries.