The history and breadth of Jewish pilgrimage traditions is rich and varied. Here Gitlitz and Davidson tell the fascinating, and sometimes harrowing, story of Jewish pilgrimage from the beginnings of Judaism to the present time. They trace the history of Jewish pilgrimage and show how the repeated cycles of exile and return to Israel serve the Jews as a kind of pilgrimage in reverse. This lively account is sure to appeal to anyone interested in religious pilgrimage, tourism, and travel.
From Jerusalem and the Mt. of Olives, to the tombs of King David, Rachel, and Joseph, from Galilee to Curacao, Jewish pilgrims seek out spiritual transcendence, a return to their roots, communion with those who have gone before, and connection to their common heritage as they visit holy shrines, important synagogues around the world, Nazi death camps, and the graves of leaders, among other holy places. But what makes these places holy? And what purpose do the pilgrimages serve? How has recent unrest in the Middle East contributed to, or detracted from, modern Jewish pilgrimage and its future? These questions and others are answered in these pages.
About the Author:
David M. Gitlitz is Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Rhode Island. His book Secrecy and Deceit: The Religion of the Crypto-Jews won a National Jewish Book Award.
Linda Kay Davidson is an instructor at the University of Rhode Island and has written four books on aspects of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela that have become standards in the field. Together, Gitlitz and Davidson have co-authored A Drizzle of Honey: The Lives and Recipes of Spain's Secret Jews, which won a National Jewish Book Award as well as the International Association of Culinary Professionals Prize for Scholarship, The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago: The Complete Cultural Handbook, and Pilgrimage from the Ganges to Graceland: An Encyclopedia, selected by Library Journal as a Best Reference Source for 2002.