Humility Personified Israel

Asia | | June 14, 2009 at 12:46 pm




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holy sepulchreNone can match the wonderful amalgamation of contemporary interest, sanctity and affluent past than Israel has to offer. A visit to Israel is unfinished without experiencing the magnificent Jerusalem and Bethlehem, the famed duo that commemorate the origin of Christ and the dawn of Christianity.

Consecrated by the world’s trio religions of Jewish, Christianity and Muslims, Jerusalem the enthralling city with its wide array of memorials, awe-inspiring scenic locales and splendid gold hued granite makes it the superlative global pilgrimage cum travel site.

The key landmark of Jerusalem is the Via Dolorosa, the holy path that Christ undertook on his final journey to Golgotha, where he was crucified. Via Dolorosa also called the Path of 14 Stations is the most beaten tracks in Jerusalem which countless followers tread on a daily basis to pay homage. One can find several memorabilia selling shops lining the sides of this path.

Atop the final five stations lies the Holy Sepulchre Church which has an austere, plain setting which is the complete contrast to the significance of this place where an elegant stone block stands signifying the precise place where Christ was put to rest after his demise. One heaves a sigh of inevitable anguish and rupture that surmounts one and all as one reminisces the events that lead to Christ’s end.

The charming appeal of Bethlehem proffers ultimate relief and placidness to the somnolent pilgrim. The legendary Church of Nativity located in central Manger Square, Bethlehem, the birth place of Christ, is the penultimate pilgrimage paradise for Christians. With confounding perplexity regarding its actual developer, this primeval stone construction has undergone numerous restorations after bearing the brunt from several lines of rulers who controlled Bethlehem.

The Church has three low-heighted foyers in different sizes. The initial main foyer was developed during the Turkish era as an animal shed. The Church that houses the stable where Christ was born has three different sections made by diverse rulers, with the third section, also known as the Catholic Church, where midnight mass during Christmas is broadcasted globally. The church has a humble ambience with no frills architecture. On the eve of Christmas, the miniature statue of Christ is moved from here to the cave, where one can find elaborate silver-gold altar where the mesmerising hymns echo creating an ethereal atmosphere.

The daunting statuette of St. Jerome, a favoured pilgrim spot where his remnants lie, stands tall in the patio of the church, to venerate his mighty endeavour to decipher the Bible from Greek to Hebrew and then in Latin.

A visit to this ever-inspiring country of Israel is bound to leave one and all in immense awe and tranquillity.

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