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Sanity and SanctityMental Health Work Among the Ultra-Orthodox in Jerusalem$
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David Greenberg and Eliezer Witztum

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780300071917

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300071917.001.0001

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“Jerusalem Syndrome”

“Jerusalem Syndrome”

Tourists Who Freak Out and Break Down in the Holy City

19 “Jerusalem Syndrome”
Sanity and Sanctity

David Greenberg

Eliezer Witztum

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the appeal and impact of a visit to Jerusalem from the perspective of psychiatric disorder. The inquiry leads to two separate topics: tourism and Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a magnet for tourists who are searching. Some of these tourists require urgent psychiatric hospitalization during their holiday. The chapter presents an evaluation of a two-year sample of eighty-nine hospitalized tourists. The data suggest that, like the appeal of Bratslav hasidism and of mystical study to baalei teshuva, the sanctity of Jerusalem has an effect on its guests that, for a few of them, has very unsettling consequences.

Keywords:   ultra-orthodox Jews, Jerusalem, tourism, tourists, psychiatric disorder, baalei teshuva

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