Pilgrimage

Since prehistoric times sacred places have exerted a mysterious attraction on billions of people around the world. Ancient legends and modern day reports tell of extraordinary things that have happened to people while visiting these places. Different sacred sites have the power to heal the body, enlighten the mind, increase creativity, develop psychic abilities, and awaken the soul to a knowing of its true purpose in life. Jerusalem, by virtue of the number and diversity of people who have held it sacred, may be considered the most holy city in the world. To the Jewish people it is the Biblical Zion, the City of David, and the site of Solomon’s Temple and the eternal capital of the Israelite nation. To Christians it is where the young Jesus impressed the sages at the Jewish Temple, where he spent the last days of his ministry and where the Last Supper, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection took place. Also greatly venerated by the Muslims, it is where the prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.

The design depicts the people coming to the temple in Jerusalem offering the best of their crop. Musical instruments where played while the pilgrims paraded as was done on the three harvest/pilgrimage festivals of Succoth, Passover and Shavuot.

The parchment which comes with the gift set explains the significance of pilgrimage throughout the generations in each of the three religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

 

Pilgrimage

The design depicts the people coming to the temple in Jerusalem offering the best of their crop. Musical instruments where played while the pilgrims paraded as was done on the three harvest/pilgrimage festivals of Succoth, Passover and Shavuot. Bringing Harvest 3 times a year to the Temple in Jerusalem.

Since prehistoric times sacred places have exerted a mysterious attraction on billions of people around the world. Ancient legends and modern day reports tell of extraordinary things that have happened to people while visiting these places. Different sacred sites have the power to heal the body, enlighten the mind, increase creativity, develop psychic abilities, and awaken the soul to a knowing of its true purpose in life. Jerusalem, by virtue of the number and diversity of people who have held it sacred, may be considered the most holy city in the world. To the Jewish people it is the Biblical Zion, the City of David, and the site of Solomon's Temple and the eternal capital of the Israelite nation. To Christians it is where the young Jesus impressed the sages at the Jewish Temple, where he spent the last days of his ministry and where the Last Supper, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection took place. Also greatly venerated by the Muslims, it is where the prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven. Abraham's journey to the Promised Land was the first religious pilgrimage. Among the places he visited was Salem, the future site of Jerusalem. With the bringing of the Holy Ark to Jerusalem by King David and the erection there of the Temple of the Lord by King Solomon, Jerusalem became the focus of Jewish pilgrims seeking to comply with the Biblical injunction: "Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which He shall choose" [Deuteronomy 16:16]. Through the centuries, Jews dispersed throughout the world have engaged in pilgrimages to their Holy City. Historically, three Jewish festivals are celebrated by making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, to make offerings at the temple. The first of these is "Pesach" or Passover, in the spring, which marks the Jewish exodus from Egypt and freedom from bondage. The second is Shavout or Pentecost. In the summer, which commemorates both the wheat harvest, the offering of first fruits at the temple, and the giving of the law on Mt. Sinai in the desert. The third is "Sukkot" or Feast of Tabernacles, in the fall. The tabernacles or booth refer to the structures where the Israelites lived during their 40-year sojourn in the desert after the exodus from Egypt. Christian pilgrimage received a considerable stimulus in the fourth century when Empress Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine, identified the traditional sites associated with the life and death of Jesus. The sites themselves and the magnificent churches and shrines erected over them have attracted Christian pilgrims in large numbers since that time, as have other holy sites. One of the Five Pillars of the Islamic faith is the hajj, an obligatory pilgrimage to Mecca. Nevertheless, Jerusalem is known in Arabic as el-Quds ("the holy one"), and the city is home to some of the most important Islamic shrines. Among them is the Dome of the Rock, the magnificent mosque sheltering the rock from which Muhammad is believed to have ascended to heaven. The Temple Mount, upon which it stands, along with the great Mosque of el-Aqsa, is reverently called el-Haram esh-Sharif, "The Noble Sanctuary." Early pilgrimages from Europe to Jerusalem were long and difficult journeys. The flow of pilgrims was influenced by many circumstances including travel facilities, wars, epidemics, and political, religious, and economic conditions. Accounts of these journeys are rich sources of information regarding historical events, geography, and various cultures, religious practices, customs, and languages. Pilgrims' itineraries and maps were sometimes distorted by inaccurate observation, hearsay, deliberate exaggeration or fabrication, or religious preconceptions. They nevertheless provide valuable insights into the history and topography of Jerusalem and surrounding regions. Because of Muslim and Jewish prohibitions against "graven images," the majority of maps were by Christian pilgrims.

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