Pursuant to a presumed correspondence between good works and divine rewards, bad works and divine punishments, the Hebrews made a deal for Israel with their god. Isreal is both ideal and real estate. Evidentally the Israelites violated the contract, for they lost physical possession of the Holy Land for centuries. Yet Zion was never forgotten, and provisions were made to remedy the breach of contract and to restore possession to the Jews. Today Israel is a political nation in that land dubbed Palestine by the Romans, but it seems that the good old days cannot be restored. Perhaps they were evil days, now being repeated. We are given sufficient cause to wonder whether or not the Holy Land itself or a certain sacred spot thereupon is being worshiped instead of Yahweh. But that would be the grossest form of adultery, idolatry, for which there very well might be hell to pay on Earth in our own time.
“The Jerusalem Journey, as it was called, was the greatest tourist attraction of medieval times. One say the very places where Christ, the apostles and everyone else mentioned in the Bible, actually lived and worked their miracles. Naturally, ground so sacred had powerful emanations. People returned wiser than they had been before, able to ‘argue about the Gospel and the prophets… and sometimes overcome and set right learned divines in their interpretations of difficult passes of Holy Scripture,’ wrote Felix Fabri, another fifteenth-century pilgrim. Prayers were almost bound to be heard, and answered, offered at such favourable sites as these. The mere fact of having knelt at every shrine and dipped oneself in Jordan, was sufficient to assure a man of straight passage to heaven when the time came.” Collins, Louise, Memoirs of a Medieval Woman, The Life and Times of Margery Kempe, New York: Harper and Row 1983