Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.”
At last we are in Jerusalem! As much as I had enjoyed the trip up to this point, it wasn’t until our arrival in Jerusalem that I really felt as though I was in the Holy Land. I don’t know for sure, but I think that deep inside every Christian, Muslim and Jew there is a tug toward Jerusalem. For Muslims the tug may not be as strong as it is for Mecca, but Jerusalem is the epicenter for all three monotheistic faiths which are all intertwined together in the one true God. Jerusalem is like the crossroads for faith – the source – and it is from there that we all branch off into our various beliefs about that faith.
The old walled city is divided into four quarters which are the Jewish, Muslin, Christian and Armenian quarters. Jerusalem is one of the core issues in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. During the 1948 war, West Jerusalem was among the areas captured and later annexed by Israel, while East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was captured by Jordan. Israel captured East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed it. Currently, Israel claims Jerusalem to be the country’s “undivided capital”. However, the international community rejected the annexation as illegal and regards East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory held by Israel under military occupation. Jerusalem is not recognized by the international community as Israel’s capital, and within Jerusalem there are no foreign embassies.
The Scriptural history of Jerusalem begins when Abraham meets “Melchizedek” about 2000 BC. In Genesis 22:1-19, Abraham takes his son Isaac to Mt. Moriah to sacrifice him. It is believed that Mt. Moriah is where the Temple was built. The actual name “Jerusalem” first appears in the Book of Joshua, and ironically has come to mean “The City of Peace”. David conquered Jerusalem by defeating the Jebusites in 1052 BCE, nearly 3000 years ago. Throughout its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. No other city on earth has been as fought over as this “City of Peace”.
The pictures that I am showing here are the first glimpses that I had of the city. We began our exploration on the outskirts of town overlooking the city. There are three very impressive places of worship in the photos; one is the Dome of the Rock, another is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the third is the Church of Mary Magdalene. My personal favorite is the Church of Mary Magdalene, but unfortunately I was only able to capture one photo. This particular day was dreary and overcast which did not make for the world’s best photos, but I had to work with what I had since that was my one and only opportunity. Anyway, click on the album cover to see them:
|The City of Jerusalem|