TRAVELERS AND TRAVELS TO EREẒ ISRAEL
- -Jewish Travelers Jews have traveled to see the Holy Land ever since they first settled in the lands of the Diaspora, i.e., travel by Jews to Ereẓ Israel began from the time of the Babylonian Exile and in effect never ceased entirely from then to the present. During the Second Temple period the focus of attraction for pilgrims was the Temple. However, even after the destruction of the Temple, and after most of the people were exiled from its land, the attraction of Ereẓ Israel did not abate. Actual descriptions of the travels by the travelers themselves exist only from the middle of the 12th century. The first known Jewish traveler who left literary evidence about his travels was judah halevi . He left Spain in 1140 but apparently did not reach Ereẓ Israel. The literary evidence which he left expresses the poet's feelings about the adventures which befell him on his travels, rather than the adventures themselves. Its usefulness lies in that it reveals the profound emotional motives operating within the traveler to the Holy Land. The first historical document offering a mostly factually accurate travel description is the itinerary of benjamin of tudela from Spain. He arrived in Ereẓ Israel about 1170. He describes various geographic sites there, as well as the number of Jewish inhabitants he found in each place, the conditions under which they lived, the history of the places, historical identifications, etc. Benjamin arrived before the collapse of crusader rule, and his accounts are an important source of information about the situation of the Jews there during that period. About ten years after the visit of Benjamin of Tudela, pethahiah of regensburg toured the country. He completes the picture of the impoverished situation of the Jewish community at the end of the crusader period, in contrast to the comfortable situation of contemporary Babylonian Jewry under Muslim rule. His main interest was the holy places , and he did not devote much attention to the material conditions of the Jews. Jacob b. Nethanel, who visited the country and Jerusalem, apparently before its conquest by Saladin (1187), was also mainly interested in the holy places and the tombs of the tannaim and amoraim. The situation was different during the travels of Judah Al-Ḥarizi . He arrived in 1218, after the country had been conquered from the crusaders, and after the immigration of 300 rabbis from France and England, some of whom he met in Jerusalem. The Muslim conquest and the immigration eased the conditions of the Jewish community there. Al-Ḥarizi himself attests: "From the day it was conquered by Ishmaelites, it was settled by Israelites." In 1238 a journey was made by R. Jacob, the emissary of R. Jehiel of Paris , but in contrast to Al-Ḥarizi he gives almost no description of the situation of the Jewish community, and concentrates primarily on describing the holy places and the tombs. A special place among the settlers of Ereẓ Israel is held by Naḥmanides (1267), who gives a very somber description of the conditions of the Jews during his stay. He also describes the destruction and desolation which abounded in the country. Naḥmanides' action in renewing the settlement of Jerusalem was an outstanding enterprise. An interesting figure among travelers was Estori ha-Parḥi , who arrived in 1322. Far from being a mere transitory tourist, he delved deep into the study of Ereẓ Israel. He investigated the problem of identifying several places in the country, displaying an outstanding expertise in Jewish literature and foreign languages, and approached his subject scientifically. Nevertheless, love of Ereẓ Israel was not the legacy of Jewish scholars or men of letters alone. Simple people, too, greatly desired to settle there. This is evidenced by the tale about two Spanish Jews who vowed to immigrate in 1317. When their attempts proved unsuccessful, one of them asked R. Asher b. Jehiel if he could break his vow (Resp. Rosh, 8:11). In the course of time common people (usually merchants) came, e.g., Isaac ibn al-Fara of Malaga, Spain, who visited Ereẓ Israel in 1411 and wrote a letter to Simeon b. Zemaḥ Duran in Algiers, describing what he saw there. He also visited the important cities of Syria. In 1443 he sent a list of the locations of the holy graves in Ereẓ Israel, which he took from an ancient book in his possession, to solomon b. simeon duran . The two letters are lost but they were summarized in Abraham Zacuto's Sefer Yuḥasin . In 1473 an anonymous traveler went there from Candia, and numerous others went there from Italy in the second half of the 15th century. The most famous among these were R. Meshullam of Volterra (1481), a wealthy merchant, whose book of travels is very important from a historical point of view, and Obadiah of bertinoro (1488–90), who became one of the greatest rabbis of Ereẓ Israel of his time; three of his letters from there are among the most beautiful in travel literature. In the 16th century a considerable number of Italian Jews traveled to the Holy Land. The book of travels of moses basola (1521–23) is a gem among travel literature. In 1563 the wealthy merchant Elijah of Pesaro settled there, and his book contains a detailed description of the means of travel from Italy to Ereẓ Israel. The description of the economic conditions prevailing there in the 16th century is also detailed and enlightening. This is reflected in a letter from David di Rossi, a merchant who was a fellow-countryman of Elijah, and who journeyed there in 1535. Solomon Shlomil Meinstril from Resnitz, Moravia, arrived in Safed at the end of 1602, and his letters are filled with realistic descriptions of the Safed community, its spiritual life, its economic situation, relations with non-Jews, climate, etc. isaiah horowitz tells about his travels in his letters and describes Safed, where he arrived in 1620, and his visits to the tombs of the ẓaddikim, as well as his journey to Jerusalem. During the 17th and 18th centuries Karaite pilgrims went to Ereẓ Israel from the Crimean Peninsula, after having vowed to undertake the journey. The descriptions of the travels of samuel b. david (1641–42), Moses b. Elijah (1654–55), and benjamin b. elijah (1785–86) are filled with religious fervor and love of the Holy Land. The Karaites used to bestow the title Yerushalmi ("Jerusalemite") on every immigrant, and such an event was a great celebration for the entire community. One of the travelers in the famous group of Judah Ḥasid was Gedaliah of Siemiatycze, from Poland. In his book, Sha'alu Shelom Yerushalayim, he describes the adventures of the travelers, as well as life in Jerusalem. The adventures undergone by Abraham Roiyo and his group (1702) during their travels to Ereẓ Israel, as well as the yeshivah built by him, are described in a letter written by one of the travelers. There is a series of letters and stories about travels to and in Ereẓ Israel in connection with the immigration (1741) of Ḥayyim Attar , author of Or ha-Ḥayyim. In 1746 Abraham Gershom of Kutow, brother-in-law of Israel b. Eliezer Ba'al Shem Tov , immigrated there. He served as the first bridge for the great ḥasidic immigration. As a result, there are numerous travel descriptions written by settlers and travelers who went from eastern Galicia and Volhynia, the provinces where Ḥasidism originated. In 1760 Joseph Sofer journeyed there from Berestzka in Volhynia province. He related in his letter that there was a gradual but regular immigration from Poland. In 1764 two ḥasidic leaders from eastern Galicia, Naḥman of Horodenka and menahem mendel of peremyshlyany , arrived with the groups of ḥasidic immigrants. Information about their journey is given by a Galician Jew, who recounts the stories of his travel to Ereẓ Israel in a book entitled Ahavat Ẓiyyon. In the framework of the ḥasidic immigration, an especially great role was played by the Ḥasidim of Lithuania and Rydzyna, whose leaders describe, among other things, their travels and immigration in their letters (1777), as well as the situation of the Jews of Ereẓ Israel at the time. The most famous traveler was R. Naḥman of Bratslav , who traveled in 1798–99, and who regarded the Holy Land as the center of his ḥasidic teaching. About 30 years after the move by Ḥasidim to settle in Ereẓ Israel, their opponents, the Mitnaggedim, also felt the spiritual need to settle there. The first group of the disciples of R. Elijah, the Gaon of Vilna, traveled there in 1808, and settled in Safed. Two additional groups of R. Elijah's disciples went in 1809. Their letters give expression to the religious yearning of the immigrants, and the great call on Diaspora Jewry to take part in the settlement of the land. Supplementary information about this immigration is given in the book of travels of R. David D'Beth Hillel , who joined the disciples of the Gaon in Safed, in 1815, but did not remain with them long, and left to wander around the country. In 1824 R. David D'Beth Hillel left to tour the world. The description of his travels in Ereẓ Israel is the only one of its kind by a Jew during the first quarter of the 19th century. His diary is also of historical significance, because he is generally precise in the facts which he presents. In 1833 Menahem Mendel of Kamieniec arrived in Ereẓ Israel. He published a small work entitled Korot ha-Ittim in 1840, describing the terrible sufferings of the Jews of Safed as a result of the fellahin's rebellion against Ibrahim Pasha. He devotes a special chapter to describing daily life in Ereẓ Israel. In 1833 R. Yehoseph Schwarz from Bavaria settled in Ereẓ Israel. He was not an ordinary traveler. Like Estori ha-Parḥi in the 14th century, R. Yehoseph Schwarz devoted all his strength and energy to the study of the country. He covered its length and breadth, dealing with its borders, antiquities, flora, climate, etc. His book, Tevu'ot ha-Areẓ (1845), is the major product of his investigations, and was translated into German and English. In a letter written in 1837, he describes the quality of life in Jerusalem, its holy places, and the climate and productivity of the country. Travel literature and the history of travels in the 19th century accompany the first manifestations of national revival and the renewal of Jewish settlement. moses montefiore and his wife, Judith, made seven trips. She kept a detailed travel diary about her second trip with her husband (1839). Eliezer Halevi, Montefiore's secretary and right-hand man, described in four letters what he had seen in his tour throughout the country, in which he spent two months (1838). The beginning of Zionism may be associated with the activity of jehiel michael pines , who traveled throughout the country in 1878 examining the quality of land suitable for settlement. He tells about these travels in his letter. The historian Ze'ev Jawitz , who immigrated in 1887, tells in his letter about his arrival and his visits to various places. There is also the description by Mordecai b. Hillel, among the first of the Ḥovevei Zion, who visited the new yishuv in 1889. In his book of travels, he describes the situation of the moshavot, as well as the way of life of the old yishuv in Jerusalem. The travels of Zionist leaders Aḥad Ha-Am (1891) and theodor herzl (1898) to Ereẓ Israel exemplify the new trend in travel (see zionism ). (Menahem Schmelzer) -Christian Travelers Numerous travel descriptions were written from the 12th century to modern times by Christian pilgrims who went to Ereẓ Israel to visit the holy places of their faith, and other travelers who wandered through the countries of the East and visited the Holy Land. Among them were some who were not adept at literary expression, whose travels were described by companions or by someone to whom they told their story. Their writings are often nothing more than a list of the Christian holy places visited by pilgrims, the pilgrimage "stations," and the prayers which were to be said at these places. Many of the pilgrim-travelers, however, were priests and intellectuals, who could describe their travels in works which bore a literary character. All such works were called in Latin itineraria. Since many of the pilgrims visited Syria and Egypt as well, their travel books include interesting information about these countries also. These works are important sources not only for the history of Ereẓ Israel, and especially for the study of its topography, but also for the history of Oriental civilization in general, including data about the social and economic conditions. On the other hand, all the itineraries show the authors to be aliens unfamiliar with the way of life of the country, especially with the languages spoken by its inhabitants; they required the mediation of guides and translators, who often misled them. The tendency to believe legends was almost general in the Middle Ages. However, in the course of the generations in which travel descriptions were written by the Christians who went to Ereẓ Israel, the nature of these writings underwent changes according to the national and social origin of their authors, as well as according to their approach to matters relating to the country. A few itineraries from the period preceding the Crusades have been preserved. Most of them were written in Latin by West European priests, and some of them were written in Greek by Byzantine priests. Their character was determined by that of the authors: they concentrate mainly on descriptions of the holy places, the monasteries, etc. The earliest extant itinerary is by an anonymous author called the "Bordeaux Pilgrim," who gives an account of his journey from France, through Italy and the Balkans, to Ereẓ Israel, where he describes, naturally first and foremost, the Christian holy places in Jerusalem. This journey was apparently made in the 330s (333?). About 50 years later an itinerary was written which is attributed to Saint Silvia of Aquitania. The authoress spent three years in the countries of the Orient and, after a lengthy stay in Ereẓ Israel, also visited Syria and Mesopotamia. Her description of her travels is so detailed that it is an invaluable aid for the study of topography. One of the most popular works from that time was the description of the journey undertaken by the French bishop Arculfus, around 670. Arculfus spent nine months in Jerusalem, visiting the shore of the Dead Sea, the northern part of the country, Damascus, and Tyre, and later traveling to Constantinople. He finally arrived in Scotland, where he told the head of an Irish monastery about his travels, and the latter wrote down his story. This work is important in that it is the first (known) work from the period of Muslim rule in Ereẓ Israel and the neighboring countries. A detailed travel book, which gives a lengthy description of the adventures and tribulations of a western pilgrim in the Oriental countries, is the travel description by St. Willibald, who went to Ereẓ Israel in 723. Willibald was an Englishman, but he became bishop of Eichstadt, Germany. Beginning with the First Crusade there was an increasing number of pilgrims who wrote descriptions of their travels. The types of traveler-authors became more variegated, and the establishment of Frankish rule in Ereẓ Israel and a few Syrian provinces resulted in the broadening of the travelers' scope of interests, and they included in their books topics other than just the holy places. Of greatest interest among the works written in the second half of the 12th century are the travel descriptions of Saewulf, who went to Ereẓ Israel while making a sea voyage and visiting Greece and Constantinople (1102–03), and those by the Russian ascetic, Daniel (1106–08), whose work is one of the first written in Russian. From the second half of the 12th century, mention should be made of the travel descriptions of Nicolaeus Saemundarson, the head of a monastery in northern Ireland (1151–54), of Johannes of Wurtzburg (1165), and the description of Ereẓ Israel by Johannes Phocas (1177). The most important among the itineraries of the 13th century are the works by the Germans Wilbrand of Oldenburg (1212) and Thietmar (1217), the book by Sabbas, archbishop of Serbia (1225–27), written in ancient Slavic, and the work by Perdiccas, protonotary of Ephesus (c. 1250). From the end of the century there is a description of the "Holy Land" by Burchardus of Mount Zion (de Monte Sion; 1283), which is not actually an itinerary but rather a work by a monk who lived in Ereẓ Israel for a long time. After the elimination of the last remnant of crusader rule in Jerusalem, i.e., the conquest of Acre in 1291, the pilgrimage movement increased. Many of the visitors and travelers wrote about their travels, and hence a greater number of itineraries is preserved from the 14th century than from earlier periods, and they are more varied. During this period the pilgrims began to write their works in their national languages as well. Of these, special mention should be made of the travel descriptions by the Irish monk Simeon Simeonis (1332); the German priest Ludolf of Suchem, who spent the years 1336–41 in the countries of the Orient and described them in a Latin and German work; the Italian monk Niccolo da Poggibonsi (1345) who wrote in Italian "A Book about the Land Across the Sea"; and the Russian priest Ignatius of Smolensk, who went to Ereẓ Israel at the end of the century and described the Christian holy places in his mother tongue. Of the emissary-spy type was a German nobleman, Wilhelm of Boldensele, who was a member of the Dominican Order and visited Ereẓ Israel (1333) as an emissary of a French cardinal connected with plans for a new Crusade. The detailed itinerary by the monk Giacomo of Verona (1335), written in Latin, is a combined guide for pilgrims and exploration of possibilities of a new Crusade. Itineraries of a completely different type were written by three Florentines, Lionardo Frescobaldi, Simone Sigoli, and Giorgio Gucci, who went to Ereẓ Israel in 1384 by way of Egypt and returned by way of Syria. The three pilgrims were secular and their travel books reflect the secular-commercial approach of the townsmen. They abound in descriptions of the economic and social life and they also contain exact data about expenditures. With the increase in pilgrimages high-ranking noblemen also went to Ereẓ Israel in that generation and their travels were described by their companions. Among these was the future King Henry IV of England (1392/93). Mention should also be made of the travelers during that century who visited in all the Oriental countries and did not go especially to Ereẓ Israel, but in whose travel books the description of Ereẓ Israel plays a major role. Among these were the Italian Odorico de Pordenone (1320), the Englishman John of Mandeville (c. 1336), and the Italian Giovanni de Marignola (1350). The 15th century was the classic period of Christian pilgrimage to Ereẓ Israel in the sense that the pilgrimage movement was more intense, its forms were more crystallized, and the composition of the pilgrims in terms of their origins was more variegated than in any preceding period. The proportion of priests was smaller than formerly while the proportion of the bourgeois was larger. The variety of pilgrims is reflected by the variety of itineraries preserved from that century. Some travelers did not take the short sea-route from Italy to the shores of Ereẓ Israel, but wandered in many countries on the way to and from Ereẓ Israel, since their entire purpose was to gather information about the strength of the armies and fortifications in the Holy Land itself and its neighboring countries. There are many itineraries of noblemen from various countries who went to Ereẓ Israel during the 15th century and whose travels are described by their companions. Especially characteristic of the pilgrimages of that time was the broad participation of the urban laymen. These bourgeois came from various countries. However, the most important itineraries in terms of their comprehensiveness and the value of their information about the contemporary social scene in Ereẓ Israel were still those written by priests. Among the itineraries of churchmen of the 15th century, especially significant are the works of the Italians Santo Brasca (1480) and Pietro Casola (1494), and of the Germans Bernhard of Breidenbach and Felix Fabri, who went to Ereẓ Israel in 1483. Both Bernhard of Breidenbach, who was a priest in Mainz, and Felix Fabri, who was a Dominican monk in Ulm, wrote travel books. Their works, especially that by Fabri, are, on the one hand, travel descriptions, and, on the other, studies in the history of Ereẓ Israel, its settlement, and the holy places. Naturally, in many of the descriptions of travels, which were written in the course of hundreds of years, there is also information about the meetings between the pilgrims and Jews in various places and especially about the places of origin of these Jews. Although most of the authors display a marked orthodoxy and even extreme religious zealousness, with regard to this matter they were simply reporting. Of greater historical significance are the Christian itineraries from the 16th century on, which mainly describe the population in general and the Christians in particular. However, the Jewish population was increasing in Safed and later in Jerusalem, Tiberias, and Hebron, and the Christian travelers, now mostly coming from the various German countries, from Spain, and later from France and England as well, did not miss the opportunity to describe their meetings with the Jews. They also tell about religious discussions conducted between themselves and the Jews, with whom they found a common tongue (German, Spanish) and whose houses often provided clean and secure inns, and polite hospitality (in places where there were no monasteries or inns for pilgrims). These travel books, especially because they were numerous and sometimes contained contradictory views, serve as a primary source for the history of the Jews of Ereẓ Israel during the Ottoman period, since most of them perhaps quite unintentionally gave expression to a completely objective picture. The many travel books, amounting to about 120 in all, which were written by Christian travelers in the course of 400 years (16th–19th centuries) add up to a considerable historical treasure. It is impossible to review here all the Christian travel books published during this period, particularly since many of them merely parrot the words of their predecessors. However, some of them should be mentioned: the travel book of the Franciscan monk from Portugal, Pantaleao de Aveiro, Itinerario da Terra Sancta (c. 1565, publ. 1927); of the French Franciscan monk Jaques Goujon, Histoire et Voyage de la Terre Sainte (Lyons, 1571); of John Sanderson, who was in Ereẓ Israel in 1601, The Travels of John Sanderson, 1584 – 1602 (publ. 1931); of George Sandys, A Relation of a Journey, A Description of the Holy Land of the Jewes (London5, 1652); and especially the description by the monk-missionary Eugéne Roger (c. 1630), La Terre Sainte (1664). The learned Dutchman Olaf Dapper collected much information which he found in works by preceding scholars, added his own eyewitness accounts, and wrote a complete description of Ereẓ Israel, first published in Amsterdam in 1681, and later in German translation in Nuremberg, 1688–89, Asia, oder genaue und gruendliche Beschreibung des gantzen Syrien und Palestins. This is not an original work but it includes considerable geographic-historical material. The broad travel memoirs of L. de Arvieux, who served as French consul and ambassador in Algeria and Tunisia (1664–65) and later as special ambassador to the sultan in Constantinople (1672–73), and finally as consul with broad authority in Aleppo (1682–88), adapted De la Roque, Voyage dans la Palestine (Amsterdam, 1718). The Dutchman Cornellius le Bruya undertook a comprehensive tour of Asia Minor, the Aegean Isles, Egypt, Syria, and Ereẓ Israel at the end of the century. His work, which includes numerous illustrations (about 200 copper engravings), was published in Dutch, translated into French and from French into English: A Voyage to the Levant, etc. (London, 1702). Of lasting scholarly worth is the work by Thomas Shaw, Travels or Observations relating to several parts of Barbary and the Levant (Oxford, 1738). Among the numerous travelers of the 18th century special mention should also be made of Richard Pococke (1738), A Description of the East II/1 (London, 1745); Frederick Hasselquirst (1751), Voyages and Travels in the Levant (London, 1766); and especially the Frenchman C.-J. Volney, Travels etc. (1783–85; London, 1788), who visited the countries of the Orient at a young age and who in his travel description offers a brilliant analysis of the political situation and of the strategic plans already formulated at that time, ten years before Napoleon prepared to conquer Egypt. After Napoleon's campaign of conquest in the area, and despite his failure, there was an increasing number of Christian travelers who went to Ereẓ Israel not necessarily from purely religious motives. There were among them important scholars such as Edward Robinson, E. Picrotti, C.R. Conder, and many others who opened up Ereẓ Israel for Muslim scholarship and who cannot be regarded as traveler-tourists in the accepted sense. The travel works devoted to describing the Ottoman Empire, Egypt, and North Africa, often contain descriptions dealing with Ereẓ Israel which mention Jews as well. -Muslim Travelers Throughout the Middle Ages and in modern times numerous Muslims have gone to jerusalem to pray at the mosque on the Temple Mount, which is considered one of the holy places of islam . These pilgrims also came from many countries. However, despite the richness of Arabic literature, almost no books are devoted solely to descriptions of these travels. It should be pointed out that also in relation to travels to Mecca no literary branch developed similar to the descriptions of Christian travels to Ereẓ Israel. A book describing travels to Ereẓ Israel and Mecca was written by the Spanish judge Abū al-Baqāʾ Khālid b. ʿIsā al-Balawī, who set out in 1336. This work, however, is in part a copy of itineraries by earlier writer-travelers. The mystic 'Abd al-Ghanī b. Ismā ʿil al-Nābulusī, who lived in damascus , wrote a description of a journey to Jerusalem at the end of the 17th century. However, these works did not become well known in Arabic literature, and if one were interested in a description of Ereẓ Israel one would have to resort to works describing long journeys and general works on geography. Especially interesting among these itineraries are the Persian work Sefer Nāmeh ("The Book of Travel") by Nasir-i Khosrau, who visited Ereẓ Israel in 1047; the Arabic work Riḥla ("The Journey"), by Abu al-Ḥusayn Muhammad ibn Jubayr, who visited Ereẓ Israel in 1184; and the work by the world traveler Ibn Baṭṭūṭa, who visited Ereẓ Israel in 1326–30, on his long journey in Eastern Asia from which he returned in 1348. The descriptions of Ereẓ Israel included in the works of Arabic geographers of the classical school were also the product of personal observations and investigations. These geographers, the most important of whom lived in the tenth century, based their works on firsthand research in various countries to which they traveled. The three outstanding representatives of this school were al-Iṣṭakhrī (c. 950), Ibn Ḥawqal al-Nasībī (977), and Muhammad b. Aḥmad, called al-Maqdisī (the Jerusalemite, who wrote in 985). The Muslims also composed itineraries for pilgrims, similar to the itineraries written by Christian clerics for the pilgrims who came to worship at the holy places. The most famous, Kitāb al-Ishārāt ilā ma ʿrifat al-Ziyārāt ("Guide for the Places of Pilgrimage"), written by Ali b. Abī Bakr Al-Harawī (d. 1214), includes the vast material he collected on long journeys. The work is not limited to a description of the Muslim holy places in Ereẓ Israel, but lists holy places in other countries as well. Such itineraries generally contained sayings attributed to muhammad about the holiness of Jerusalem and especially about the mosque of the Dome of the Rock, as well as reviews of the history of Jerusalem. More numerous were the works containing only sayings about the holiness of Jerusalem and especially of the mosques on the Temple Mount. Such works on the "praises of Jerusalem" became characteristic of the Muslim literature of Ereẓ Israel. In the second half of the 11th century Abu 'l-Ma ʿalī al-Musharraf b. al-Murajja (d. 1099), a Jerusalemite, composed such a work, entitled Faḍāʾil Bayt al-Maqdis wa al-Shām ("The Qualities of Jerusalem and Damascus"). Al-Qāsim ibn ʿAsākir (d. 1203) wrote a work about the al-Aqṣa Mosque, and his relative, Niẓām al-Dīn (d. 1274), wrote Faḍāʾil al-Quds ("The Qualities of Jerusalem"). While the manuscripts of these writings have not been found, there are extant manuscripts of a book praising Jerusalem which was written by the Baghdad historian, Abu al-Faraj ibn al-Jawzī (d. 1200). In the 14th century Burhān al-dīn Ibrāhīm ibn al-Firkāh, a teacher in Damascus (d. 1329), wrote Bāʿith al-Nufūs ilā Ziyārāt al-Quds al-Maḥrūs ("He who Stirs his Soul to Visit Preserved Jerusalem"). In 1351 in Jerusalem itself, Shihāb al-dīn Aḥmad b. Muhammad b. Ibrāhīm ibn Hilāl wrote a similar book entitled Muthīr al-Gharām ilā Ziyārāt al-Quds wa al-Shām ("The Arouser of Desire to Visit Jerusalem and Damascus"). In the mid-14th century the Hebronite preacher Isḥāq b. Ibrāhīm al-Tadmurī wrote about the cave of machpelah as a place of pilgrimage. In 1470 the Egyptian Shams al-Dīn al-Suyūtī wrote in Jerusalem about the "Outer Mosque." These works were preserved and published, and some of them were even translated into English. The most important of these books is the comprehensive work about Jerusalem and Hebron written in 1494/95 by the Jerusalemite judge Mujīr al-Dīn al-ʿ Ulaymī entitled al-Uns al-Jalīl bi-Taʿrīkh al-Quds wa al-Khalīl ("A Weighty Discussion of the History of Jerusalem and the City of the Friend (Abraham) – Hebron"). This work contains all the sayings about the holiness of Jerusalem attributed to the prophet of Islam, as well as a detailed description of the holy city and the other towns of Ereẓ Israel (the book was printed in Cairo in 1293 A.H.). Works about Jerusalem continued to be written during the period of Ottomon rule. In the mid-17th century a judge from Medina, Nāṣir al-dīn Muhammad b. Khiḍr al-Rūmī al-Jalālī, wrote a book entitled Al-Mustaqṣā fi Faḍl al-Ziyārāt bi al-Masjid al-Aqṣā ("The Book Concerning the Right to Visit the Outer Mosque"). This work differs from the traditional type of the Muslim "praises of Jerusalem" in that it contains a detailed guide for pilgrims. In summation, the Arabic writings about Ereẓ Israel, most of which contain "praises of Jerusalem," generally lack factual-documentary content. In contrast, the descriptions of the Turkish traveler Evliya Çelebi, who visited Ereẓ Israel twice (first in 1649 and then in 1660–61), are of great significance. He was an experienced statesman-scholar, whose sharp eyes observed the situation of the population, the administrative division of the country, the changes which had occurred during the time between his two visits, and the amount of taxes collected. He paid attention to the Jewish populations of all the countries he visited. Of special importance in connection with the situation of Ereẓ Israel is his recounting of the mass exodus of the jews of safed , which took place in his time, and the mention of the custom of pilgrimage to Meron, which in his time was not yet celebrated on Lag ba-Omer. Evliya Çelebi, however, was the last Muslim traveler to devote part of his work to Ereẓ Israel. (Eliyahu Ashtor) -BIBLIOGRAPHY: R. Roehricht, Bibliotheca Geographica Palaestinae (1890); idem and H. Meisner, Deutsche Pilgerreisen nach dem heiligen Lande (1880); H. Michelant and G. Raynava, Itinéraires à Jerusalem et Descriptions de la Terre Sainte (1882); Reysbuch des heyligen Lands (Frankfurt on the Main, 1584); Th. Wright, Early Travels in Palestine (1848); Palestine Pilgrims' Text Society Library, 1–13 (1890–97); S.P. Khitrowo, Itinéraires Russes en Orient (1889); I. Ben-Zvi, Ereẓ Yisrael vi-Yshuvah bi-Ymei ha-Shilton ha-Ottomani (19672); M. Ish-Shalom, Masei Noẓerim le-Ereẓ Yisrael (1965); E.L. Sukenik, in: KS, 7 (1930/31), 99–101; M. Narkiss, in: Ommanut, 2 (1941), 7–10; Z. Vilnay, Maẓẓevot Kodesh be-Ereẓ Yisra'el (19632); P. Thomsen, Die Palaestina-Literatur, 7 vols. (1908–60), passim; T. Tobler, Bibliographia geographica Palaestinae (Ger., 1867, 1875); T. Kollek and M. Perlman, Pilgrims to the Holy Land (1970).
Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.