Bethlehem, Palestinian National Authority (PA)

Grotto of the Nativity (Place Where Jesus Was Born)  - Bethlehem, Palestinian National Authority (PA)
Grotto of the Nativity (Place Where Jesus Was Born)
- Bethlehem, Palestinian National Authority (PA)
Christian Monks at Manger Square  - Bethlehem, Palestinian Authority (PA)
Christian Monks at Manger Square
- Bethlehem, Palestinian Authority (PA)
Soug (Market) - Bethlehem,  Palestinian National Authority (PA)
Soug (Market) - Bethlehem,
Palestinian National Authority (PA)
Pat at Chapel of the Manger   Touching Where Jesus Was Born   - Bethlehem, Palestinian Authority (PA)
Pat at Chapel of the Manger
Touching Where Jesus Was Born
- Bethlehem, Palestinian Authority (PA)
Wayne Entering the Door of Humility - Bethlehem, Palestinian Authority (PA)
Wayne Entering the Door of Humility
- Bethlehem, Palestinian Authority (PA)

Bethlehem, Palestinian National Authority (PA) (5/19/2010)

Bethlehem is the birthplace of Jesus! Only 6 miles from Jerusalem but a world away.

Bethlehem is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world dating back to the 14th century BC. Now Bethlehem is predominately Muslim (formally Christian) due to the recent influx of Arab Palestinian refugees. The Palestinian National Authority (PA) has governed Bethlehem since 1995. 

From Jerusalem, we went through the Israeli border checkpoint where an Israeli soldier with a large machine gun comes on the bus. If you over 50 you don't have to get off the bus - there are some advantages of age.

Pat at Milk Grotto Chapel   - Bethlehem, Palestinian Authority (PA)
Pat at Milk Grotto Chapel
- Bethlehem, Palestinian Authority (PA)

We walked through the memorable Bethlehem Souq (marketplace) to Manger Square (Bab id-Deir) to visit the impressive Church of Nativity (see photos). 

In 325, Bethlehem's Church of Nativity was built where it is believed Jesus over a grotto (or cave) called the Holy Crypt. Passing through the low Door of Humility (see photo), a smile and “good morning” from Pat to a priest got us past the hour wait line to the back way.

At the Grotto of the Nativity in Bethlehem, we touched the spot where it is believed that Jesus was born marked by a 14-pointed silver star with a hole in the middle so we could touch the ground (see photo).  
















Bethlehem Palestinian National Authortity PA
Bethlehem, Palestinian National Authortity (PA)
We also touched the place of Jesus’ manger (the famous Christmas scene) at the Chapel of the Manger (see photo). Then we visited Bethlehem's Milk Grotto Chapel where it is believed that Jesus’ family hid in Bethlehem on their escape to Egypt and still believed to enhance fertility. Legend has it that a drop of Mary’s milk fell to the ground here while feeding baby Jesus and it turned the whole place white.

Regional Map of Bethlehem
Regional Map of Bethlehem
Back in Jerusalem, we first went to the Jewish Western (Wailing) Wall to observe Jews celebrating the Shevuot holiday and it was packed with believers. After returning to Jerusalem from Bethlehem we went to the Christian Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Muslim Temple Mount all in one day! We covered all bases and said prayers for all our family and friends… so you are in good graces, at least for the moment. 

Permits have become increasingly rare regulating travel for Bethlehem’s Palestinian residents from the West Bank into now Israeli-controlled Jerusalem.

See our other two blog posts (Israel Jerusalem Religious and Israel Jerusalem the city) for much more about amazing Jerusalem.

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1 comment:

  1. The Low Door of Humility.. I didn't know the small door has a name. And it matches the purpose so well.

    ReplyDelete

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