Monday, August 7, 2006

Landmark III: Jerusalem

Currently home to the three warmongering (i.e., monotheistic) Mesopotamian religions, Jerusalem was depicted as the center of the world on medieval maps. This city has been destroyed twenty times. A Kabbalist legend says that YHWH created ten blessings and ten curses. To Jerusalem, He gave nine of the blessings and nine of the curses, spreading the remainders to the rest of the world.

Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Dome of the Rock - the entire history and culture of Jerusalem revolves around Mt. Moriah and its rocks. It is the site of Abraham's (almost) sacrifice of Isaac, of Jesus' ministry and crucifixion, and of Mohammed's ascent into Heaven. It is also the site of not only the petty antagonisms of these three religions against one another but also the various wars waged amongst members of their various sects: Orthodox Christians against Catholic, Ethiopian against Armenian, Orthodox Jews against Reform, and perhaps to a lesser extent Shi'ites against Sunnis.

The Western teleological worldview sees the end of time and of history beginning here (despite St. John's revelation that Mt. Megiddo, i.e., Armageddon, plays a significant role). Daily there are corpses flown in to be buried on the slopes of the city. Much like the Ganges River - the most sacred (and therefore polluted) site to Hindus - Jerusalem will continue to be piled high with dead bodies long after the next millenial event.

I imagine the Jebusites laughing in their Jebusite heaven.

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