Mysteries of Israel | spiritual Jerusalem 8-12/9

spiritual Jerusalem 8-12/9

In our Jerusalem tour we offer you the unique experience of getting to know Jerusalem from an inside view. We experience the different spiritual traditions that exist in Jerusalem today, and try to weave them together from a holistic point of view, seeing Jerusalem as a temple and prayer place for all nations and religions.

Zeev Ben Arie, the developer of this program, was raised in Jerusalem by a mother who was an archeologist and a father who was a geography professor and an expert on Jerusalem. His 30 years of guiding in Jerusalem, combined with many years of personal spiritual questing, have provided Zeev with a unique vantage point from which to uncover the true meaning behind the name "Jerusalem."

itinerary:

Day 1. Temple and Kabala mysteries
On this day we will learn a bit of Kabala - the Jewish mystic tradition. We will walk in the footsteps of Kabala sages and development and get to know the secret language of Kabala as it appears in Jewish art, letters, synagogues and yeshivas. We will learn the history of the Jewish Temple and its kabalistic interpretations as a representation of the spiritual body of man and the universe.  A temple is a place where chaos turns into cosmos (order) - the foundation rock of the world. The building of the Jewish Temple was the founding act of Jewish ritual, and at its time was the most impressive building in the world, full of magic and secrets.

We will start our tour by going up the Temple Mount, where the Jewish Temple stood for a thousand years, the most important and impressive building in the entire ancient world. Today it’s the site of yet another impressive building – the Dome of the Rock. We will discuss the reasons for building the Temple in this exact spot and the consequences of this act. Afterwards we will visit the impressive archeological excavations of the southern and western walls of the Temple Mount, and see models and presentations of the Temple in ancient times. We will tell the history of the Temple from its building, through the different phases of its existence, to its destruction. We will continue by going to the Jewish quarter of the Old City and visiting the Temple Institute, where the Temple comes to life again through the reconstruction of its utensils, clothes and objects.

Kabala is the Jewish mystical tradition. It started to appear in messianic circles more than 2,000 years ago and was based on secret interpretation of the Bible and the prophets’ visions. The secrets of Kabala appear in the topography of Jerusalem, in the Temple’s dimensions and utensils, and in the story of Jewish history in Jerusalem. We will relate to all of these subjects and more during our tour.

in the afternonn we will walk the streets of the Jewish quarter, encountering the many synagogues and kabalistic artists. Then we will concentrate on three figures who lived in Jerusalem and had key roles to play in Jewish mysticism. The first is Nahmanides, who established the Jewish quarter in the 13th century. The second is the divine Ari, who was born in Jerusalem in the 16th century and made Kabala what it is. The third is Rabbi Shalom Sha'arabi from Yemen, who was the head of the first kabalistic yeshiva in the 18th century.

We will continue on to David's tomb on Mount Zion. King David, who founded the city, is the representation of the divine spirit called shekhina in Kabala.

Day 2. christian and Holy Grail mysteries
The search for the Holy Grail is an inner search for a higher human existence, spirituality and possibility. Jesus enabled this possibility, and Israel is the place where Jesus manifested himself. The life of Jesus is a mystery, and the traditions and relics that he left behind unfold that mystery. The secrets hidden in the architecture and art of the many churches of Jerusalem reveal esoteric traditions, such as those of the Templars, the Freemasons, the Order of the Rose and others.

We will start our tour by visiting the holiest place in the world for most Christians: the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the place where Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected. We will look at three sacred objects: a sword created over 900 years ago, a lance that became the spear of destiny, and a stone cup that stands for the Holy Grail. We will learn of the Holy Grail traditions and the appearance of the search for the Holy Grail in crusader times

The knights of the Middle Ages made an oath to protect the weak and oppressed against the strong and unjust. This ideal ruled Europe for nearly a thousand years. The crusades to Israel were the epitome of efforts to fulfill the chivalric ideal. Here, in the Holy Land, the legend of St. George and the dragon was created. Here, in the Holy Land, religious knighthood orders were founded, like the famed Templars. It was in the circles of the Templars in England, France and Germany that the legends of the roundtable appeared and developed

As we walk through the streets of Jerusalem, we will visit churches, old ruins and fortifications, and see the chivalric ideas and spirit come to life. The program will include sites that relate to the Hospital order, the Templar order and the Teutonic order, as well as to the Santa Anna Complex and Church – the best preserved crusaders remains in Jerusalem.

.After a lunch break in one of the many restaurants of Jerusalem, we will walk the Via Dolorosa and go towards the Armenian quarter to see some of the more ancient churches and communities of Christians in Israel. The churches of the Syrians, Armenians, Maronites (Lebanese), Copts (Egyptian) and Ethiopians, are all visited in this tour, each a whole world unto itself, and together preserving the ancient Gnostic mystic tradition of Christianity.

We will start by hearing Aramaic singing in the Syrian church that dates from the 1st century! According to the Syrians this is the house of the Apostle Mark and the first church in history. From there we will go to the Maronite church, with its beautiful view of Jerusalem and an interesting story of the beginning of the Maronites. We will continue on to the Coptic and Ethiopian complexes near the Holy Sepulcher, where we will hear about the Gnostics of Egypt and the Ark of the Covenant in Ethiopia. We will finish by going to the Armenian quarter, where we will acquaint ourselves with traditional Armenian ceramic making, participate in Armenian prayer in the St. James Cathedral and hear about Armenian heritage and culture.

During the tour we will discuss the Gnostic mystic Christian tradition as it appears in Gnostic gospels, such as the Gospel of Thomas, found in Nag Hammadi in Egypt. We will learn how this tradition spread from Egypt to Syria, Lebanon, Ethiopia and Armenia, eventually appearing in Europe in the great Cathar movement of southern France, in the 13th century.

Day 3. Feminine and Sufi Islamic traditions in Jerusalem
This day consists of 2 themes: the first - Islamic Mysticism will be dealt with in the morning. the second - Feminine Worship will be dealt with in the afternoon.


Jerusalem is the site of Muhammad’s ascent to heaven during his miraculous night journey. This ascension is considered by Sufi mystics to be the change from the horizontal journey, coming to Jerusalem, to the vertical journey, meeting God, and they believe it to be the cornerstone of spiritual quest. Therefore Jerusalem became, over the centuries, a center of Islamic mystics. More than 70 “Zawiya” (Sufi centers) were active here during the Islamic periods, where the required spiritual transformation took place, from one kind of journey, horizontal, to another – that of meeting God. Some of these centers are still active today.

We will start our journey by visiting the Dome of the Rock, the site from where Muhammad made his night ascent to heaven and the third holiest place for Muslims in the world. Many traditions have grown around the site, relating to the night journey and to other Koran passages as well. Leaving these sacred grounds, we will walk the streets of Jerusalem and see the remains of the ancient Sufi centers, following in the footsteps of famous mystics and sages who lived in Jerusalem and learning from their words of wisdom, which are still relevant today.

In the afternoon we will continue to the Rockefeller museum, a “sermon in stone” and one of the most important archeological museums in Israel. The museum contains many statues and figures of the Goddess, dating from 60,000 years ago. We will speak about the ancient Canaanite belief in the Goddess and how this was transferred to the Israelites. 

From there we will walk in the footsteps of Mother Mary, visiting her birthplace and tomb, both built by Melisinda, a queen of Jerusalem from the Middle Ages. We will also see the Russian Church of Mary Magdalene and speak about the different Marys. On the way we will meet another unknown Mary from Egypt. To the south of the Mount of Olives is the place where the wives of King Solomon built shrines for the Goddess; we will visit this special place, located across from the Dome of the Rock and within a beautiful pine forest.

 Day 4. Holy man, woman, and saints - from all religions
Christian monks, Jewish rabbis and Sufi mystics, all looking for the same thing - union with God - are the essence of Jerusalem. It is not the stones, but the men and women, who lived, loved, prayed and believed here, that made this city what it is.Our tour will introduce us to some of the most interesting figures in history, in a weave of all religions that shows all humankind to be one.

We will meet Ephraim the Syrian, the sun of the Syrians, who composed beautiful music in the 4th century, still sung today in Aramaic in the Syrian church. A few meters away lies the birth place of the most important Jewish mystic, the divine Rabbi Luria, who lived in the 16th century and made Kabala what it is. We will visit his house, which is a museum today. In the Muslim quarter we will meet Bistami, the first man to reach the station of “Fana” – dying completely in God.

We will follow in the footsteps of other remarkable figures, such as: Rabaa el Adwiya – the poet of love; Mary the Egyptian; Rabbi Shalom Sha'arabi; Mary Alphonsin; Ratisbon, who had appearances of Mary, and more…We will go up the Mt. of Olives to the resting place of three great historical heroines: the Jewish prophetess, Hulda; the Christian nun, Pelegia; and the Muslim poet of love, Rabia - all memorialized in the same place. Then we will visit the nearby Carmelite nunnery, whose members follow the way of Teresa of Avila – a remarkable woman from history.  

 Day 5. Symbolism and colors
In all religions, light symbolizes divinity and darkness the material world. The light divides itself into many colors that symbolize the different aspects of divinity. Though the ages, religious art forms like icon painting and mystic theories like Kabala relate to the different meaning of colors.

We will start our tour with the meaning of color in Judaism: How does it relate to the ten spheres of kabala? What was the meaning of color in Temple worship? What was the meaning of color in the synagogue? We will visit the Jewish quarter and see some of the most known synagogues there. We will also open up the meaning of Judaic symbols, like the Star of David, by visiting some of the Judaica shops and the Habad Center in Jerusalem.

Afterwards we will continue on to see some of the most colorful and beautiful churches in Jerusalem: the Latin Patriarch, the Greek Catholic, Petro's Galikantus and more. We will explain the Christian liturgy and iconography in relation to color and symbol. Following this, will be visit Muslim Madrasa and look at the Dome of the Rock, the most impressive-ever built Muslim monument, with amazing colors and artwork. We will explain the meaning of colors in Islamic Sufi mysticism and its use in meditation, and explore the meaning of the building’s architecture and symbols.

We will continue with a visit to the YMCA building in West Jerusalem. A true “sermon in stone,” it is full of statues, symbols, artifacts and colors, all based upon the Freemasons’ and other esoteric traditions. We will finish our tour by ascending the tower of the YMCA for a panoramic view of Jerusalem that combines all colors, religions, buildings and people. This day can be completed by visiting the Israeli and Bible Lands museums

 Price - 800$

 

What's included
4 nights in special guesthouse in Jerusalem
H B  dinners and big Israeli breakfast
entrance fees to all sights
religious exposure and meetings
professional guidance of zeev ben arie
transportation by foot all days

Not Included:
International flights, Participants are responsible for their own air travel to/from Israel 
guide/driver gratuities
lunches'
Medical insurance
all that is not included

  

Mysteries of Israel | 1-700-50-9992 | 054-4751080 | rhazy@zvia.org.il | office: Tarbuyot.olami@gmail.com