There aren't many cities in the world that capture the imagination the way Jerusalem does. The first-time visitor to Jerusalem feels the pull of the city in two ways. One, it's the city of our ancestors, King David, King Solomon, and the seat of the biblical kingdom of Israel. Two, it's the natural capitol of the newborn state of Israel, after a nearly two-thousand year-old hiatus. The wonder of being here, though, for most people does more than stir our intellectual curiosity. It tweeks our intellectual faculties and our Chabad (chochma, bina and da'at). But, then it pulls at our heart strings, as well. What is it about the city that not only our ancestors, but also we ourselves, are attracted to, from as far away as United States, from Australia, indeed the entire globe?

How we answer that question determines what kind of effect our visit will have on us for the entire rest of our lives. For one person, it's a visit to the Kotel, or Western Wall, which touches us. For another, it will be sitting at a sidewalk cafe on Ben-Yehuda. In either case, the epiphany will leave us as different people. One person may end up in one of the city's many yeshivas. The other may not feel any immediate reaction, but will suddenly wake up after returning home, with an inexplicable yearning for the city. In either case, we are discovering a piece of ourselves when coming to Jerusalem´┐Ż

There's a Jerusalem in every Jewish person's heart, just as there's a piece of Israel in every Jewish heart. It's starts with the Chabad (intellectual faculties) inside, but the Jerusalem in the heart is the part of us that wants to find spiritual expression in everyday life. Because that discovery can happen in an infinite variety of circumstances, we have tried to list some of the hotels, tourist attractions, museums and yeshivas in the city of Jerusalem. The list cannot possibly be complete. However, we hope that by listing many of them, we will guide at least some people to their spiritual destination´┐Ż

In addition, many people need or desire to pursue their dreams in other parts of Israel. For them, we have tried to provide a list of Jewish resources for the Jewish student, traveler or tourist wherever he or she might find themselves in the entire country. Interspersed with addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses, we have appended short explanations of various topics in Judaism. They are intended to illuminate the path for the new beginner or journeyperson who is bewildered or even overwhelmed by the variety and choices that he finds himself facing in Israel. Hopefully, we'll succeed in mapping a spiritual path for whoever is journeying. If we do, we've succeeded in our goals. Since it is a work in progress, we're open to feedback, at jerconn@netvision.net.il.

 

History of Jerusalem  The Kotel  The Temple  Tefillin  The Old City  New City