Mysteries of Israel | sufi and interfaith tours

Islamic and Interfaith Themes Tours


Sufi and interfaith tours in jerusalem - one day excursions upon request
The city of Jerusalem can become a place of interfaith dialogue and peace, instead of a reason for conflict. The basis for interfaith dialogue is getting to know the others’ beliefs and traditions. Jerusalem is a holy city for Islam and has served as a center for Islamic mystics throughout the ages.


1. Horizontal and vertical journeys – Sufi Islamic mysticism
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.


2. The Color Tour
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 Temple Institute in the Jewish quarter and some of the most known synagogues there.

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. We will finish with a panoramic view of Jerusalem that combines all colors, religions, buildings and people.


3. From where comes my help? – Messianic traditions in the Mount of Olives
According to all 3 western religions, the promised messiah will come to Jerusalem at the end of times, from the Mount of Olives, to the east of Jerusalem. This mountain has therefore become sacred, with many Jewish, Muslim and Christian traditions relating to the coming of Jesus to Jerusalem and his ascension to heaven after the resurrection.

We will visit the site that Christians and Muslims believe to be the place of the ascension of Jesus – the same place that Jews believe to be the site of the ascension to heaven of the Jewish divine spirit, which left the Temple before its destruction. We will see a sacred Sufi shrine and some additional churches on the Mount, enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the city, and start walking down, following in the footsteps of Jesus as he entered Jerusalem. We will visit some Jewish graveyards and the tomb of the last three biblical prophets.
In the valley of Kidron we will visit the tomb of the Virgin Mary, All Nations Church and the tomb of Avshalom, son of David. We will then have a break for quiet tea and meditation, in a nearby olive grove.


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