The Holy fire in Jerusalem does not come for free

As the priests and the inhabitants of Jerusalem are cashing in on our pilgrims.

Благодатний вогонь в Єрусалимі не сходить за безкоштовно


The Holy fire in Jerusalem attracts thousands of pilgrims. And everyone wants to be the first to touch the miracle, reports Rus.Media.

The fire descended in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, says my new friend Tamara, from which fly the same flight. Temple is big – holds almost 20 thousand people. But almost all of them – official delegations. Pass through the gaps.

– What are the gaps?

They give them to churches and embassies from around the world. As mere mortals, start just before the sunrise fire. Take a few thousand – not more. Therefore, it is important to stand as close as possible to the temple, and even better to stay there for the night.

– So let’s stay…

– Are you joking? Before closing the police “cleans” the house. I last year tried to hide. Output. But then it turned out that some of my team in some strange way had left in the temple.

– I beg you – chimed in another neighbor in the next seat. – People in the know claim that all of Jerusalem earns the climb of a fire: Jews, Arabs, and priests. As they say in Israel: a problem that can be solved by money is not a problem, it costs. So if you have the money for “expenses”, then consider that you are already in the temple.

– But how?

The man grimaced mysterious mine, saying that’s your problem. What to get started is to look around.


So, go on to Jerusalem. It is divided into “the proud new” and old, where actually is the temple. The old town is something. Surrounded by defensive walls from the Crusader period. Is divided into four quarters: Arab, Armenian, Jewish and Christian. And everywhere on the way to the temple stalls. The Arabs tout:

Hey! Where they came from?

– From Ukraine. The convergence of fire.

– Have a pass, says. – Costs $ 300.

Three hundred? – reasoning.

– Do not take it, – whispers a male voice. – Is a fraud. Pass false.

Turn around is a guy. It Was Presented By Armen. Says a local resident – living in the Armenian quarter.

Arabs don’t mess, warns. – You’re in the store have not offered to spend the night?

“No,” I shake my head. – And why there is night?

It turns out when the police “cleaned” the temple, people running to the old town. It’s logical: the closer you are from the temple – the sooner get inside the next morning. But the problem is that the escape out of the gate is not possible. For example in the Armenian quarter, where the lives of a thousand people, is only one arch. It closes the massive doors of the 18th century.

The keys weigh three pounds. And these keys I have, – says Armen. When my shift allowed only local. I know in everyone’s face. And after midnight do not let anyone – there are rules. If I break it tomorrow I will be sent back to Armenia. But your rules don’t know. They knock – knock, and behind them runs the police. Police beating with batons on the walls and shouting “Ho – Ho”. That is the “go – go”.

– But you can hide in another quarter. Or everything closes for the night?

It turns out not all. But in the Hebrew let’s close the streets. And certainly all the entrances. In any case, you’re doomed to hang out on a deserted intersection, and not to hide. So the only option is to hide in the shop from the Arabs. They launch into the “guest”, close your shop and open it in the morning. More precisely, the Arabs promised they would.

– In fact, normal traders are not risk – for concealment of a fine of 5 thousand shekels ( “rabbits” not fine – just kick – ed.) – explains Armen. And the scammers sell their stores several times. They charge you $ 100 – get in store and call a police officer friend. He’ll “accidentally” find. Later, the RAB will lead the second victim, then a third.

And all will suffer the same fate. Really at night will leave no one. First, I’m afraid for your goods. Secondly, fear of the visit “stranger” to police. What if things are so complicated, you may be able to hide in the temple.


In the temple judging by the ringing of bells has already begun service. Before the descent of the fire, it can take up to two nights. People in mass. The temple itself is impressive. It’s huge, ancient, strange, impossible. Its architecture is devoid of any logic. Inside are many separate churches. And all the wrong shape.

And in this temple there is the main thing – listening to a monologue of one of the guides. – Each of the borders property of one of the Patriarchates. Those churches that the center belongs to the Greeks, from left to Armenians. Just above – the Copts ( Egyptian Christians – they are easy to recognize – all the polls wrapped in miles of white gauze – ed.). There is more – temples Catholics of the Franciscan order. Priests do not get along with each other, occasionally going in close quarters.

Благодатний вогонь в Єрусалимі не сходить за безкоштовно

The Franciscans are confident enough, once you understand that such jokes are bad. Armenians are also reinsured. Accepted into their ranks some of the greatest Champions in fighting. These guys are easy to recognize – game muscle not hide robe. The Greeks always tense and ready to repel the attack. There’s no one like our sometimes very plump and melancholy of the Church. Here, everyone is fighting for their faith and for their line. Service in all the churches are at the same time. The temple is a real mess. However, and this chaos has its own order. So at midnight they began the procession under predvoditelstvom Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos. It bypasses all boundaries. Ahead of him in a hurry priests – they awaken exhausted pilgrims who sprawled on the stones of the temple . They threaten those who spread out their sandwiches and tames hunger. But a little the Patriarch has gone, the pilgrims once again lower my head on his chest – they can not Wake up, even pungent, practical unbearable smell of incense that flies from all boundaries.

– Why are you sleeping here? What are you waiting for? – approach the group of pilgrims.

They say expect the closing of the temple – hopefully to stay. And all the polls. So our usually so reverent grannies, casually trying to drop the door outbuildings. And under the idea of finding the right icons rummage views on all borders. And the closer to closing, peclive view grandmothers. However, not only they scan the temple there are other people. The Church workers: electricians, security guards of the borders. They are looking for their customers.

– If you want to stay here – give me $ 300, I’ll take you in the back, says a young man named Allochka, which serves as the electrician in one of the parishes.

– Are you kidding me?

No have to show the guy pulls me by the hand to the secret door, climb the stairs – in the back. Been sitting there three of our pilgrims.

Do you think he then we not give? – call on one of those in the back”.

– These are not issued. Last year we slept, – says the man. – If in doubt, ask the monks. Better, the Greeks or the Armenians. True they will be more expensive…

About how! I will say the same. But on the other hand: the attempt – not torture. There Armenian priests are kind of in between things now and then scurry about among the pilgrims. It seems, tacitly offering their services. To one of them: because they say so.

“Okay,” nods the guy in the robe. – But you have to make donations to the temple – $ 500.

Благодатний вогонь в Єрусалимі не сходить за безкоштовно

And all is good, but not much money with me. If not – the monk is going on and a few minutes of quietly leads a group of people into a labyrinth of cells. So “accidentally” disappeared about one third of the pilgrims. The other was “asked” by the police. Tough enough and confident we drove through the streets of the old town. The Russians fled quickly.

– They say they have the police as our riot police – on the run says one of the “fugitives”. – Make a club without talking.

However, there were no incidents. All taken in good time. Some of the pilgrims had laid down on the beds directly at the feet of the police protecting the gates into the city. Here we decided to wait for dawn.

But on the other hand, why the fuss? Through the day we will be able to get this fire completely free, – reason in the environment for a sleepy pilgrims.

Yeah, but passing through hundreds of hands fire partly loses its power, – explains to me one of the pilgrims. And there is more important – the surge of delight at the appearance of fire. Thousands of people screaming and crying. And you’re in the middle. You’re like a sponge to absorb someone else’s joy.

– Look, what if the fire is not good? – suddenly startled by one of the pilgrims.

– Oh! He’ll go, – I think, remembering all those machinations, which scroll the inhabitants of Jerusalem “in expectation of a miracle”. – Many people pray that our Orthodox miracle happened. Their prayers from the heart – as well as our faith. And so the Holy fire is so strong – it is first woven of hope.

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