Forum: Arts / Religion

Christians/Jews - a very holy place?
By x_Nic_xmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Aug 31, 2008 06:30 AM
Edited by x_Nic_x (180714) on 2008-08-31 06:31:13

Calling all Christians and Jewish people!

I wasn't raised in a religious family, and I don't know an awful lot about religion. However, I need to know something for a project I'm doing, and I thought I'd turn to any religious DDNers who could help me out.

Does anyone know a supremely holy place on the Earth, relating to Christianity or Judaism? Preferably not relating to something to do with Jesus, if you're Christian. A bit like how Muslims often go on pilgrimages to Mecca - it's their holy place. Is there one for Christians? A famously holy cathedral, perhaps? Or simply a natural place?

I'm sorry if my question seems strange, but I would be so grateful if anyone could help me out. Thanks in advance!

8 Replies to Christians/Jews - a very holy place?

re: Christians/Jews - a very holy place?
By VelvetRagamuffinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Aug 31, 2008 06:38 AM
Just Google the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. If that doesn't count, I don't know what does.
re: Christians/Jews - a very holy place?
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Aug 31, 2008 07:56 AM
Edited by Chaconne (182529) on 2008-08-31 08:23:25 left something out
x_Nic_x wrote:

Calling all Christians and Jewish people!

I wasn't raised in a religious family, and I don't know an awful lot about religion. However, I need to know something for a project I'm doing, and I thought I'd turn to any religious DDNers who could help me out.

Does anyone know a supremely holy place on the Earth, relating to Christianity or Judaism? Preferably not relating to something to do with Jesus, if you're Christian. A bit like how Muslims often go on pilgrimages to Mecca - it's their holy place. Is there one for Christians? A famously holy cathedral, perhaps? Or simply a natural place?

I'm sorry if my question seems strange, but I would be so grateful if anyone could help me out. Thanks in advance!


Well for the Jews, it is the City of Jerusalem and particularly the Wailing Wall. The Wailing Wall is the remaining relic of the Temple there from Biblical times, but which was mostly destroyed near the end of the first Century AD (or CE) by the Romans when they brutally put down a Jewish revolt in ca. 70 AD. Jerusalem is also holy to the Christians as the scene of Christ's Crucifixion, one week after his triumphal entry into the city. Much of His ministry was there.

Jerusalem is also sacred to the Moslems and the Dome of the Rock, an ornnate temple with a golden dome, is by Islamic tradition the spot where Muhammad ascended into Heaven and the Dome of the Rock commemorates that event. The Dome is probably the most visible landmark in Jerusalem today.

Moslems are obliged to do a pilgrimage [Hajj] to the Holy City of Mecca in Saudi Arabia at least once in a lifetime. Mecca was the city were Muhammad lived. There is an ancient structure there, a huge black square structure called the Kaabah which according to tradition dates back to the Patriarch Abraham. Abraham is the partriarch of both the Jews, through his son Issac, son of his wife Sarah; and, also to the Moslems through his son Ishmael, son of Hagar. Also sacred to Moslems is the city of Medina, also in Saudi Arabia, where Muhammad fled when the Animist (e.g. those who worshiped nature and Pagan Gods)people of Mecca tried to kill Muhammad for the introduction this "new" religion.

Christianity, and the Roman Catholic Church in particular, consider Rome to be special for that is where Jesus' follower Peter set up a church and was himself crucified (according to tradition on the site of St. Peter's Cathedral) and was also one of the important locations in the ministry of the Apostle Paul. Christians in the Orthodox or Eastern tradition also put some emphasis in present day Istanbul, formerly Byzantium and later Constantinople where the Emperor Constantine ruled. Constantine was the first major ruler to adopt Christianity and impose it upon his subjects.

The God of the Jews, Christians AND the Moslems is the same entity, personage, spirit, whatever you wish to call Him. Each of those religions and the many offshoots and sects within each of those religions puts its own spin on how this Supreme Being is viewed, but there is pretty much common agreement among them that the entity most of us, in English, call "God" is one and the same. [Allah, the name Westerners usually associate with the Islamic God, is simply Arabic for "THE God" as opposed to "a god." The "AL" of Allah is the definite article equating to "THE" in English. "the "lah" in the English transliteration of the Arabic word for "god", lower case, any god.]

Jon
re: Christians/Jews - a very holy place?
By dreamyangel
On Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:33 AM
I am Christian and we call places like Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth (among others) the Holy Land because that is where Christ lived, taught, performed miracles, was crucified and reserected for our salvation. We don't believe the actual ground is Holy but it is where Christ walked so it is a special place for us to visit. We can go there and walk where he walked and see the actual places where Jesus's works took place.

We look at Jerusalem as a 'holy place' because Jesus did a lot of teaching there. He also was crucified on nearby Golgotha (also known as Mount Calvary).

Bethlehem was Jesus's birthplace which began the process of our salvation so that is also a place of great importance. Nazareth was where Jesus grew up so it is a place of value as well.

I am not Catholic but as Chaconne said, Rome and the Vatican are looked at as not so much holy but of more value than other most other places. It does have quite a history. I went on vaction to Italy and it was amazing to see the tomb of St. Peter.

I'm not sure if this matters to you but Christians also look at the Ark of the Covenant as rather sacred. Nobody knows its location but it is rumored to be somewhere in Africa. Many people have searched for it but its true location is not currently known. The Ark holds the stones on which are written the Ten Commandments. Again, it's not holy but has great value in history.
re: Christians/Jews - a very holy place?
By fairy_dustmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Sep 01, 2008 02:30 PM
I don't know much about other Christian denominations' holy places, but for Catholicism, Vatican City is a big one. There are also a lot of other pilgrimage sites and cities/towns that are important places in Roman Catholic history.

Many are associated with apparitions of Mary (such as Fatima in Portugal, Lourdes in France, etc), famous pilgrimage sites (Santiago de Compostela, El Rocio in Spain, though El Rocio isn't very well-known outside Spain), birthplaces of saints (St Francis and St Clare were both from Assisi), etc.
re: Christians/Jews - a very holy place?
By x_Nic_xmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Sep 02, 2008 02:00 AM
Thanks all for your responses. You've all helped a lot!
re: Christians/Jews - a very holy place?
By SiyoNqobamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Sep 02, 2008 07:30 PM
Preferably not relating to something to do with Jesus, if you're Christian.


Are you serious?! You know what the whole focus of Christianity is, right?
re: Christians/Jews - a very holy place?
By MrsFinnigan
On Wed Sep 03, 2008 08:06 PM
SiyoNqoba wrote:

Preferably not relating to something to do with Jesus, if you're Christian.


Are you serious?! You know what the whole focus of Christianity is, right?


Exactly what I was going to say. Mecca is sacred to Muslims because that's where Muhammad smashed the pagan idols and converted the Kaaba to the worship of Allah. The Wailing Wall is sacred to Jews because that's where the Temple was built. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem is sacred to Christians because that's built over the cave where Jesus, according to tradition, was buried and where he rose from the dead.

You're not going to find any one main sacred place of any religion that doesn't have to do with its central figure or something that is or once was central to its worship. St. Peter's Basilica, Constantinople, Wittenburg cathedral (for the Protestants), that's all peripheral. All the places of primary importance in Christianity have to do with Jesus.
re: Christians/Jews - a very holy place?
By JwshIrshdancer
On Sat Sep 20, 2008 02:34 AM
As a Jew, Israel itself is a holy place. It took us a few thousand years, but we finally have a country to call our own (even though there's lots of discussions on this and the conflict and all). As has been said before the Wailing Wall is probably the most famous holy place for Jews. It is a retaining wall left over from the Second Temple Destruction in 70 CE (common era, AD is going out of style). You'll see many pictures of ultra-Orthodox Jews praying at the wall, where men and women pray separately. The men are very recognizable as the ultra-religious ones where black hats and are considered Hasidish Jews. Many Jews that go to Israel stick prayers in the wall to send up to G-d.

Other Jewish holy places include the city of Sefad, which is the center of Kabbalah or Jewish mysticism.

I still have yet to get to Israel, but I've been told my so many Jews, when you touch foot on soil, knowing that it belongs to your people, that it's the most wonderful feeling in the world.

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