Along the road from Jerusalem down toward Jericho, behind the Mount of Olives is the Arab village of al-Azarìya, the Bethany mentioned in the Gospel (from the Hebrew word Bet ‘Ananya, which means the house of Ananìa). In Jesus’ time, much like today, Bethany was a suburb of Jerusalem, a small town just on the edge of the Judean desert, where some of his closest friends lived, such as Martha and Mary with their brother Lazarus. Today the route from Jerusalem is interrupted by the Separation Wall. So, people are forced to take a much longer route to get there.

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