At any rate, there are lots of warnings about as to tourists being hassled there, and safest route either going up or going down —— but maybe you’ve already checked this.
Half way down we saw a sign for Path of Cohanim, which relates to Steve’s last name, so we took that. It took us along the graves down to the main road. I can’t find out what this path is, but Cohen’s have special rules about being in graveyards so maybe it is to do with that.
This coming week is going to be quite hot.. one of the first of our Spring season "Hamsins" - hot dry air. So make sure you stay hydrated!
The Cohanim, the Biblical priestly class.... if you are a social anthropologist or a fan of Tony Hillerman’s mystery novels set among the Navajo, you might see analogies here related to the idea of corpse contamination.That's right - there are usually special paths for "Cohanim" (priests), to prevent the possibility, even remote, that they come in contact with corpses. Usually they will also not attend funerals (unless of very close relatives) because of this, and might even have problems with hospitals and museums.
Leviticus 21:1 :
The LORD said to Moses: Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: None shall defile himself for any [dead] person among his kin...
Today when we went into the Tomb of Mary, Steve was wearing his Tilley hat and the priest (?) trying to control the crowd made him take it off. If he was wearing a kippa would he have had to take it off?
With all the religions here, and all their rules, it gets confusing.
So wonderful, Pauline and Steve! Josette and I greatly enjoy reading these travel posts!
We used to spend some of the summers with the boys in Jerusalem, renting a large room with full board at a convent happy to host children too! A magical garden, a quiet refuge from the lively and active crowds, and yet in the heart of this extraordinary city.
What I always carried back with me from Jerusalem, and still do, is the light! The sun and the reflections off the Jerusalem stone create, at least for me, a unique "colour of the light". Something similar, while the quality of the "colour" is different, I always felt in Firenze too, when up, in Piazzale Michelangelo...
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