Jewish Pilgrimage

Updated: Mar 26

Judaism is an oldest Abrahamic religions and history goes back to the Adam (PBUH) who was the first human being and the first Prophet of Humanity. Since then many prophets came; including Prophet Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad (Peace be up on them all) and delivered the divine messages to world Humanity. Jewish, Christians and Muslims are the people of Abrahamic faith who all agree and believes in the Prophet Abraham (PBUH) who has established the foundation of Monotheist faith.


Briefly, Prophet Abraham raised in the family and village where most people including his own family were idol worshippers. Prophet Abraham (PBUH) was thrown into the fire by the people of communities and by his own family, due to his rejections and reasoning on idol worships. The entire life of Prophet Abraham (PBUH) has packed with struggles and trials. God almighty tested him many times, and one of the most famous tests that Prophet Abraham (PBUH) was prescribed to sacrifice his dear son. Beloved Prophet Abraham's sacrifice has been one of the holiest events in the history and became the part of Jewish and Muslims traditions in the Pilgrimage. Jewish visit Jerusalem to fulfill the spiritual and religious obligations, while Muslims travel to Mecca for accomplishing one of the Pillars of Islam.


TEMPLE OF MOUNT


For Jewish it is called Har HaMoriyah (Mount Moriah) and Har HaBayit (Temple Mount), and to a Muslim, it is called as Haram al Sharif (the Sacred Noble Sanctuary) which is considered as a third holiest place after a city of Mecca & Madina. Due to the centuries conflicts for the ownership of the temple, three separate entries and regions prescribed for each faith pilgrims and visitors. The Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a trust that was established in 1187 to manage the Islamic structures in Jerusalem.


This is a most sacred place for Jewish, Christians, and Muslims as there have been extensive religious records hidden in this spiritual location.

FIRST TEMPLE


This temple is located in Jerusalem and was captured by Prophet and King David (also called as Dawood) around three thousands years ago, and later, Prophet and King Solomon (also called as Sulaiman) rebuilt the first temple, and that's why it is also referred to as Solomon Temple. Every Israeli male has the religious duty to visit temple three times a year on three festivals to obtain divine blessings of God almighty. There is an exception to the religious duty is for minors, women, the blind, the lame, the aged, and one who is ill physically or mentally.

PESACH (PASSOVER)


This festival is tied to the events that took place among Jewish people in the ancient time. The festival is reflections on to commemorate connections of Jewish in the land of Egypt. It is observed for eight days throughout the world and seven days in Israel, starting on the 15th Nissan. The four days in the mid are referred to as Chol Hamoed (‘weekdays of the festival’).

SHAVUOT


This festival is celebrated for two days outside Israel. Jewish living inside Israel, celebrate only for one day. The name Shavuot means ‘weeks’ because it occurs seven weeks after the 2nd day of Pesach (Passover). It happens on the 6th day of Sivan. The Torah was given to the Jewish people on Shavuot.

SUKKOT


This festival is celebrated to rejuvenate the history of the emigration of Jewish people to the temporary dwellings while they lived in the desert before entering the Promised Land. Sukkot is called as "Festival of Tabernacles." and "Feast of Booths". Sukkah means temporary hut dwell in holidays and some customs such as buying of Lulav and etrog and shake them daily throughout the festivals.

SECOND TEMPLE


There is a long string of controversy about constructing the second temple among the Jewish group. Some Jewish from the rabbinic period believed that there is a divine power arises from the place where the Template was to build, while other Jewish did not agree on the concept as they were adamant on the facing Jerusalem temple while praying. After a lengthy discussion, the second temple constructed in 520 BCE with the contribution of Jewish community throughout the world. Initially, the Sacrificial offerings were allowed but later replaced with the daily prayer. The temple and sacrifices were part of Hebrews customs.

MOUNT MORIAH


According to Jewish tradition, all of the creation has the origin from Jerusalem. The key events believed to have taken place is in Mount Moriah, where Prophet Abraham (PBUH) showed he was prepared to sacrifice his son, and so, the site became the part Pilgrimage visit.

WESTERN WALL (KOTEL HA-MA'ARAVI)



Rome destroyed the Second Temple, and only portion remains were the Wall. The Western Wall has been the Pilgrimage place for Jewish people since centuries, and Jewish come to pray and requesting expiation of sins through praising God almighty. In the Western Wall, Jewish spend time in writing a prayer and putting inside cracks of the wall. Jewish believes that God almighty actually respond to their request for God made at this sacred location. Prayers are being collected twice a year and then get buried on the Mountain of the Olives. Jewish people pray facing Western Wall (what similar to Muslim prays facing Kabah at Mecca). Though the intent is not to pray the Western Wall or Kabah, simply it is a direction where God almighty commanded to pray as narrated in scriptures Old testament and Holy Quran.



Jewish pilgrimage

REFERENCES

  1. Jewish Encyclopedia

  2. Bible Odyssey

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