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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Weeds

In 1901, Dwight L. Elmendorf set out to visit Palestine and document it with photographs (his "only weapon," as he put it.) He published the pictures in a 1912 book called "A Camera Crusade Through the Holy Land."

The photographs are quite good, but two are of particular interest.

The first is of the "Mosque of Omar," the Dome of the Rock:
And another is of the "Wailing Place of the Jews":
Notice the huge amount of weeds poking through the stones in the "third holiest place in Islam." It is desolate, and it looks like it was rarely visited.

Compare the floor of the Temple Mount - where Jews wouldn't visit because of its holiness - with the smooth floor in front of the Kotel.

In 1901, it was clear which people venerated Jerusalem and which people ignored it.