Emmaus and the Miracle of Resurrection
In 1 Corinthians, 15:14 Paul states that “if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” This demonstrates the utter importance of the miracle of resurrection to the Christian faith. While many sites in Israel celebrate the life and death of Jesus Christ, it seems that sites like Emmaus who commemorate important events of His resurrection are not nearly frequented as much. This is of course not because people do not want to attend these places, but because they are less famous and seldom heard of.
But that’s what we’re here for.
In the Gospel of Luke, Emmaus is the site in which Jesus appeared before two of His disciples who were walking to Emmaus after the resurrection. This has given the Road to Emmaus the Christian symbolic connotation of walking towards the one truth. If you like to know more about this road symbolically, read your bibles. If you want to know more about this road figuratively, keep reading this.
The Trappist Monastery
Without a doubt, the most impressive Christian site associated with Emmaus is the Trappist monastery in Latroon. A Trappist monastery, for those who do not know, is a monastery whose monks took a vow of silence, which makes it a very special place to visit. Located near Latroon, one of the most important way stops in the area, the Trappist Monastery is easy to reach as well as impressive to visit.
The monastery was erected in a spot which is close by to the ancient city of Emmaus as well as the small modern village that occupies its remains. While the monastery itself is not impressively decorated (as the Franciscans rarely decorate their monasteries), a signal statue of the holy virgin handing a golden cross to her son is perhaps made all the more significant by the lack of all other decorations.
The church offers an amazing spot to learn and pray in complete silence. Many times throughout our lives our prayers are silent spots between one noisy event to another. Here, the silence before and after the prayer makes meditating on the experience of praying an absolute spiritual treasure.
Attractions in the Area
Where to eat: The Assa Steak House in the Latroon gas station is a great stop for people who like pork, which is hard to find in Israel. A great all around steak house, this is definitely a good spot to stop for refreshments on the way to Emmaus. Location: Latroon gas station.
Where to stay: Latroon is easy to get to and does not usually require staying in the area. The best choice would then be to stay in Jerusalem, which is close by. Consider the fancy and feature-full King David Hotel. Location: David Ha’melech st. 23, Jerusalem.
What to do:
If the weather is good, Latroon is a beautiful area and you could look for a beautiful track nearby (check online or better yet, ask a friendly Israeli). If not, the Armored Corps museum could tell you all about one of the most significant Israeli corps as well as the incredible military history of the Latroon area.