Seeing Jerusalem is not impossible this holiday season

Pilgrimage is a spiritual study of transformation in the presence of God. It is a religious journey in which believers leave their homes to pray, touch and be in union with their God – and Jerusalem has been a place of pilgrimage since the First Temple was built there. the 1000 BCE by King Solomon.

He was ordered to travel to Jerusalem on the three major Jewish festivals, Sukkot, Shavuot and Passover.

Archaeologists and Biblical scholars have found evidence of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims – known in Hebrew as the second century. olei regel (lit. those who march on foot) – they visited Jerusalem this Christmas.

Jerusalem is also sacred to Christians. It was in Jerusalem that Jesus condemned the priests of the Temple for corruption and it was in Jerusalem, according to the New Testament, that Jesus was crucified at Golgotha.

In the 4th century CE, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was built at the site named Golgotha ​​by Helena, mother of the Roman emperor Constantine. Today, the church serves as the premier Christian pilgrimage site in Jerusalem.

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A holy fire ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem A holy fire ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem

The feast of the Holy Fire is held at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem during Easter 2018

(Photo: AFP)

A pilgrimage movement was established shortly after Queen Helena built the Holy Sepulcher and other churches in the Holy Land. At first, pilgrimage was an unorganized movement of people with a personal issue, walking in the footsteps of Jesus and the sacred sites.

It is a spiritual study with the aim of touching and feeling, and interacting with Jesus, where He performed the miracles and indeed, where the crucifixion and miracle of the resurrection took place. .

Ramadan 2021 takes place between April 12 and May 13 making this year special when all three monotheistic religions celebrate important festivals – Ramadan, Passover and Easter – nearby. So Jerusalem will be at the spiritual peak from March to May.

Ramadan begins at the break of day each day with an appointment held until sunset and then iftar, the evening meal where Muslims break their fast daily, with sweet food and drinks served.

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Woman praying in East Jerusalem during Ramadan Woman praying in East Jerusalem during Ramadan

Muslim woman with coronavirus protective gear praying in Jerusalem during Ramadan 2020

(Photo: AFP)

According to Muslim tradition, it was during Ramadan that the first version of the Quran was given to Mohammed. This is the holy month in the annual cycle of religious life where believers take time to meditate and draw close to God, and one in which many Muslims come to pray. in Jerusalem.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, this year is unprecedented in the history of pilgrimage and travel to the Holy Land. With a total ban on international travel to Israel, meaningful travel for some is a substitute for physical travel.

Pilgrimage is about emotions and the relationship with God so that VR can create a strong view of the sacred sites and along with the scriptures and good guidance can be an appropriate choice for a spiritual journey.

Israel is still closed for international travel and Jerusalem will not be a pilgrimage site for Easter and Easter, but there are a number of well-meaning options for a VR experience in Jerusalem over these holidays.

Live shinty

The West Wall is the center to pass at Easter. Also known as the Wailing Wall, this remnant of the Second Temple is the closest place to Holy of Holies where I can pray.

At normal times, the West Wall is crowded every year with Israelis and Jewish visitors from all over the world.

This year, the best way to get close to the site is to use the virtual services of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.

The virtual note is a very practical service – filled with online forms that are printed and placed between the large stones of the Wall.

The Christian Media Center based in Jerusalem aims to be a communication tool for Christians around the world, bringing events, entertainment and liturgical celebrations.

The center will also use live streaming at Easter and will host the important festivals.

Online virtual tours

Amit Musai realized a year ago that a quick change was needed to meet the demand for Israeli tours for travelers who could no longer physically reach.

So Amazing Jerusalem started creating online VR guided tours. The tech structure for the VR tours has already been created by Google and so with a few changes adding online live interactive guides an online series of live VR tours has been created, bringing especially for Passover and Easter.

(Virtual Tours of Jerusalem)

This technology will continue to work even after the tourists return to Israel.

There are three reasons for this: an existing application for online tours, a preparation tool for groups planning to come to Israel and also as a guidance tool for groups visiting Israel and the sites.

The Tower of David Museum has a large selection of meaningful tours and also offers a Visit VR headset.

(Virtual tour of David’s Tower)

This intriguing production will allow you to be immersed in Jerusalem, bringing an intense audio-visual experience from the comfort of your ears to celebrating Passover, Ramadan, the Holy Fire and much more.

Uri Sharon is a tourism professional with a master’s degree in tourism development and design from Haifa University. He is the founder and editor and has many years of experience in digital and offline marketing, e-commerce, integrated media design and public relations. The main focus of his writing is digital trends in travel and hospitality