By SHARON K. GILBERT
May 27, 2008
UP UNTIL YESTERDAY, I had never heard of ‘Jerusalem Syndrome’, but a news article at YNETNews.com has changed all that.
According to the report, Jerusalem Syndrome afflicts tourists with no previously diagnosed or even observed psychosis, causing men and women alike to suddenly assume the identities of John the Baptist, Mary, or even Christ Himself. Generally, the hapless victim is taken to a local hospital and treated for a few days, after which he or she regains his or her former sanity and shuffles off to the next tourist destination — a bit embarrassed but with no real harm done. However, the victim in yesterday’s report suffered far more than embarrassment:
A 38-year old American tourist diagnosed as suffering from ‘Jerusalem Syndrome’ jumped off a 13-feet walkway on Friday night at the Poria Hospital in Tiberias. He broke several ribs, one of which punctured a lung, and also smashed a vertebra in his back. The man was placed in the intensive care unit.