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The Lending of the Cross - Israel

How quickly and well structured an entire nation can be vaccinated has been impressively demonstrated by Israel, and it quickly finds its way back to normality... Well, normal...?


The nicknames given to the small state already give an idea of how extraordinary Israel is: "The Promised Land", "The Holy Land", "The land flowing with milk and honey". Everyone knows that Israel is not a vacation spot like any other. Human history was written here. In Jerusalem for example. Three world religions are fighting for their place here. Unfortunately, as a "non-Muslim" you are not allowed to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque. But even the neighboring Dome of the Rock is a gem decorated with millions of mosaic stones from the outside. It is from here that the Prophet Mohammed is said to have ascended to heaven on his horse Buraq. The Wailing Wall is surprisingly close by, where devout Jews pray and in whose cracks they stick small pieces of paper with their wishes to God. While many Muslims wear headscarves and prayer caps one floor up, the orthodox Jewish women at the foot of the Temple Mount hide their hair under a wig or a hairnet. The men have sidelocks and wear dark hats. The Schtreimel, a kind of fur hat with a wide fur rim, is particularly impressive.


If you are interested in the strict Jewish life, our guides will also accompany you to Mea She'arim, one of the oldest districts of Jerusalem, for a visit and dinner with an ultra-Orthodox family. I am always so grateful for such real encounters.


A visit to the cross lender Mazan Kanaan is incredibly interesting and, to be honest, totally absurd. At the edge of the Via Dolorosa he hands out crosses to Christian pilgrims. The believers shoulder their wooden load, which can weigh up to 45 kilos, and walk along the Passion of Christ singing, sweating and praying. Mazan has been lending the crosses in the 5th generation. The Canaans are Muslims and were entrusted with this task around 100 years ago so that there should be no dispute over this privilege between the different Christian communities. A clever solution! Incidentally, the key to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of the holiest sites in Christianity, is also kept by two Muslim families. This prevents possible claims of ownership by the various denominations.

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