JERUSALEM-the 50 sites you may overlook

In a historic and religious city like Jerusalem there is so much to see no matter how much you tour. When time is a limiting factor, even the most efficient tour guides have to compromise while deciding what to incorporate in the itinerary. Although it depends on the interest of the individual visitor as well, there is still a huge must-see-list in Jerusalem that cannot be avoided. At every stop so much information is thrown on a visitor that sometimes s/he tends to forget the details after leaving the place.

I remember when I first visited the Church of Holy Sepulcher, it appeared to me more like a small museum than a church. I was virtually clueless inside a dark and dull overcrowded massive complex of more than 25 chapels with several curious artifacts and antiques scattered under some dusky arches and dingy columns. It took me at least three visits with a proper map in hand to understand the Church complex. A normal visitor for instance would be satisfied with Golgotha, the ‘Stone of Unction’ and the ‘Holy Sepulcher’, but the oldest part of the complex, viz. the first century tombs inside the Syrian Orthodox Chapel could be easily missed.

In the upcoming posts I plan to upload 50 such sites from Jerusalem that I believe can be easily overlooked or go unnoticed by an average visitor. I am incorporating the following sites from my previous visits, again with no specific order of importance. I am sure that a serious traveler who loves history, traditions and the Bible has noticed or been to most of them.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Tomb of RAMBAM or Moses Maimonides or Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (1137-1204), Tiberias. One of the greatest Jewish scholars and philosophers of all time.

Do refer to the nice wikipedia article on Rambam/Maimmonides:

The following texts are taken from the jewishvituallibrary online site:

Rambam's stature in Judaism is so high that there is even a popular  expression among Jews: “From Moses [of the Torah] to Moses [Maimonides] there was none like Moses.” The spanish born Rabbi was such an eminent scholar in Jewish studies that Abraham Joshua Heschel once wrote, "If one did not know that Maimonides was the name of a man, one would assume it was the name of a university". To this day, Maimonides and the French­ Jewish sage Rashi are the most widely studied Jewish scholars. Maimonides was one of the few Jewish thinkers whose teachings also influenced the non­Jewish world; much of his philosophical writings in the Guide were about God and other theological issues of general, not exclusively Jewish, interest. Thomas Aquinas refers in his writings to “Rabbi Moses,” and shows considerable familiarity with the Guide. In 1985, on the 850th anniversary of Maimonides's birth, Pakistan and Cuba — which do not recognize Israel — were among the co­sponsors of a UNESCO conference in Paris on Maimonides. Vitali Naumkin, a Soviet scholar, observed on this occasion: “;Maimonides is perhaps the only philosopher in the Middle Ages, perhaps even now, who symbolizes a confluence of four cultures: Greco­Roman, Arab, Jewish, and Western.” More remarkably, Abderrahmane Badawi, a Muslim professor from Kuwait University, declared: “I regard him first and foremost as an Arab thinker.” This sentiment was echoed by Saudi Arabian professor Huseyin Atay, who claimed that “if you didn't know he was Jewish, you might easily make the mistake of saying that a Muslim was writing.” That is, if you didn't read any of his Jewish writings. Maimonides scholar Shlomo Pines delivered perhaps the most accurate assessment at the conference: “Maimonides is the most influential Jewish thinker of the Middle Ages, and quite possibly of all time” (Time magazine, December 23, 1985).

No comments:

Post a Comment