Our Little Day Trip

With an early start to our day, we boarded the bus and made our way to Masada. A Herodian fortress in the desert not far from Jerusalem, the site was actually the last refuge for Jewish zealots who were fleeing the Roman conquest of Jerusalem. The zealots made their way to the top of Masada – 960 of them – with Rome not too far behind. They held out for months atop this desert oasis, aided by cisterns filled with water and a fear of Rome beneath the mountain. But Rome did not give up, and when they eventually broke the retaining walls to the fortress, they found that almost all 960 Jews had committed suicide. It was a terrible and sad chapter in the history of Israel and symbolized the end of the Jewish revolt.

A number of members of our group actually climbed Masada, following in the footsteps of our ancestors who sought refuge from the destruction of Jerusalem. We sought understanding, as this controversial site is both revered and disdained. There has been a shift in recent years in Israel to de-emphasize Masada; the truth is, we are not dieing for Israel, we are LIVING for Israel. So marking this site, while important, should not be the site of the swearing in ceremony for the IDF (which it once was), nor should it be the battle cry of modern Israel. A better slogan than “Masada will not fall again” would be “If you will it, it is no dream.”

We then experienced Bedouin hospitality and a delicious lunch, followed by a trip to…The Dead Sea. The lowest point (above ground) on earth, we had a blast painting ourselves in the healing mud and floating in the salty sea. Truly a wonderful experience that brings to a close a major item on our group’s “to-do list.”

Tomorrow we will close our trip. It is hard to believe that the trip is coming to an end…

Warmly,
Brad

IMG_1091 IMG_1090 IMG_1089 IMG_1088 IMG_1054

Craig and Phil enjoying Beduin hospitality

Craig and Phil enjoying Bedouin hospitality

IMG_1041 IMG_1053 IMG_1047 BOORing....! girls IMG_1039-1 6

I'm going to climb WHAT?

I’m going to climb WHAT?

Climbers from our group take a break before reaching a sunny stretch up Masada.

Climbers from our group take a break before reaching a sunny stretch up Masada.

Michael and Phil join me in a pose during our climb.

Michael and Phil join me in a pose during our climb.

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Published in: on June 16, 2015 at 3:11 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. HI Rabbi Brad and all. I have been following your blog and enjoying it immensely. Following your journey has brought back great memories of my wonderful Sinai trip in 2010. I did go back for the month of Nov 2010 as a volunteer and stayed on an IDF base.. but going back for another visit is on my ‘to-do’ list… but of course, only if you tell me where to find the Waffle Lady !!!!
    Wishing you all safe travels
    Roz Edelberg


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