By Jackie Feldman

For lots of Evangelical Christians, a visit to the Holy Land is an essential component of practising their religion. Arriving in teams, every one of these pilgrims are guided via Jewish Israeli travel publications. For greater than 3 a long time, Jackie Feldman—born into an Orthodox Jewish relations in ny, now an Israeli citizen, pupil, and certified guide—has been prime excursions, reading Biblical landscapes, and fielding questions about faith and present politics. during this publication, he attracts on pilgrimage and tourism reviews, his personal reports, and interviews with different publications, Palestinian drivers and go back and forth brokers, and Christian pastors to ascertain the complicated interactions by which courses and travelers "co-produce" the Bible Land. He uncovers the implicit politics of go back and forth brochures and spiritual souvenirs. Feldman asks what it potential while Jewish-Israeli courses get stuck up of their personal performances or perform Christian rituals, and displays on how his interactions with Christian travelers have replaced his figuring out of himself and his perspectives of faith.

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Extra resources for A Jewish Guide in the Holy Land: How Christian Pilgrims Made Me Israeli

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21 “Sacred places. ”23 At sacred places, the disciplinary power of sacred texts mediate the experience of pilgrims in ways different from those experienced by the prototypical “native” at home. Moreover, the itinerary and the frame of the group tour foster a semiotic mode of looking. 25 Though it is not the pilgrims’ home, the life-world of their homes or the idealized “home” of religious visions may infuse the unfamiliar with an uncanny sense of familiarity. Alternatively, it may lead to disappointment or even rage, when the imagined “home” and the actual world at the site of pilgrimage do not properly align.

Guiding made familiar places strange, even as I tried to make them familiar to Christians. Thus, guide and pilgrim are both on a voyage in which each learns about his own world through dynamic encounter with the other, as mediated by the land and the biblical text. 16 It is a place that creates desire and sometimes, transformation. I consider the Holy Land an “abundant site,” drawing on Robert Orsi’s definition of “abundant events”: events that “cannot be completely accounted for by social and cultural codes, that go beyond authorized limits .

Nothing is the way it seems” (interview, June 2001). How do Jewish guides enable Protestant pilgrims to see the Bible Land? What is effaced from view? What makes these ways of seeing natural and comfortable for all participants? In this chapter, I will show how Jewish-Israeli tour guides and Protestant pastors and pilgrims become coproducers of a mutually satisfying performance that transforms the often-contested terrain of IsraelPalestine into Bible Land. Through listening to guides’ narrations of biblical sites as they view them and move through them, visitors are constituted as pilgrims and assert a claim to the landscape, and the guide is granted placemaking authority as biblical witness, native, and professional.

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