According to the Bible, the resurrection of the dead will begin from the Mount of Olives when the Messiah comes; therefore, since antiquity Jews have sought to be buried on the Mount of Olives. The Cemetery has grown to cover the western and most of the southern slopes.
The earliest tombs are located at the foot of the mountain in the Kidron Valley- one being that of King David's rebellious son Absalom and another being that of the First Temple Priest Zechariah; a third is inscribed with the names of the sons of Hezir, a priestly family that lived two millennia ago.
Jews have been buried on the Mount of Olives throughout the centuries, barring the twenty years when Jerusalem was divided. One of the many legends surrounding this site is that at the End of Days people from around the world will tunnel underground in order to rise up here.
Renowned individuals that are buried here include the medieval sage Rabbi Ovadiah of Bartenura, Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the father of modern Hebrew, prime minister Menahem Begin and his wife Aliza and Israel's Nobel Laureate in Literature, S.Y. Agnon. Near Absalom's Tomb, visitors can obtain more information about the location of specific tombstones at the Mount Olives Information Center.
Stunning view of the Old City- busy at all times of day- keep away from the pushy vendors
Best view of Jerusalem and the Old City- just beware of the crowds- some of our group got pick-pocketed.