Jerusalem Syndrome: Holy Folks

Have you ever heard of the Jerusalem Syndrome? I hadn’t until yesterday when I was driving from one point to another and heard part of a radio interview with a woman about a book she has written. I can’t remember her name, or the name of the book-it was dark, I was in a hurry and didn’t have time to stop and write her name down, but here’s the scoop. I found it facinating.

Some people, not a lot, just some, go to Jerusalem on a vacation and end up thinking they are Jesus, or John the Baptist or the Virgin Mary. To be a true sufferer of the Jesus Syndrome you need to have had all your mental faculties in order before you forgot you were just little old you.

The syndrome, just in case you’re in Jerusalem and are getting a bit worried, or you are headed to the holy land, manifests this way.

  • First you start feeling anxious and nervous
  • You start visiting holy sights
  • Before you visit holy sights you purify yourself, an elaborate process that involves shaving one’s heard, bathing, and putting on white.

Now, this syndrome is not clear cut in terms of what experts think about it—or when this syndrome was first discovered. I’ve found various articles written about it. Here’s two for you to check out. One is at The Savvy Traveler and the other is an article from a professor in Israel. If you do happen to go to Jerusalem, keep your eyes open. The Jerusalem Syndrome isn’t common, but people do say it happens.