11th Century Temple MountJews from Gaza, Ramle, and Safed were considered the “ideal guides” in the Holy Land in the fourteenth century, as Jacques of Verona, a visiting Christian monk, attested. After the Christian had “noted the long established Jewish community at the foot of Mount Zion, in Jerusalem,” he wrote,

“A pilgrim who wished to visit ancient forts and towns in the Holy Land would have been unable to locate these, without a good guide who knew the Land well, or without one of the Jews who lived there. The Jews were able to recount the history of these places since this knowledge had been handed down from their forefathers and wise men.

So when I journeyed overseas I often requested and managed to obtain an excellent guide among the Jews who lived there.”

Source: Martin Gilbert, Exile and Return, The Strugglefor a Jewish Homeland (Philadelphia and New York, 1978), p. 17. “In 1322 Jewish geographer from Florence, Ashtory Ha-Parhi, had settled in the Jezreel Valley where he wrote a book on the topography of Palestine….