On the door of the reception office at Jerusalem's Kfar Shaul psychiatric Hospital, someone has posted a bumper sticker, popular among one faction of Orthodox Jews, that reads, PREPARE FOR THE COMING OF THE MESSIAH. To hear a number of the patients tell it, he's already on the premises.

Kfar Shaul is a kind of holding pen for victims of the so-called Jerusalem Syndrome, an affliction of tourists who, overwhelmed by the city's intense spiritual evocations, have become convinced that they are the Saviour, or some other biblical figure, or that they have been given a special message or mandate by...

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