Did I mention drinking from a fire hydrant? Everything has been so amazing, but so much packed in so little time. I’m still here in the land, trying to process and catch up. I will try to summarize the last days of the tour, and will continue to post subsequent thoughts as I process. Continue to check out Joined To Hashem for awesome pictures and videos.
Jordan River, Qumran, and Tamar
We began our day with mikvahs (baptisms) in the Jordan River. It was a special time with some real powerful testimonies. Unfortunately, I was recovering from a bad cold and had to pass. Incentive to return! We went on to the Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. It was an interesting place, seeing the caves where this sect of Jews maintained the scriptures in simplicity and purity. Touching stones, clay, and dust of times past – pretty surreal. Afterwards, we made our way to Tamar – the biggest spring in the Arava are there. We stayed at Tamar Park, an archaeological biblical park. It is one of the oldest places in Southern Israel, and spans seven time periods in her history: The Abrahamic period, the Mosaic period, the Israelite period, the roman Christian period, the Islamic period, the British period, and the Israeli period. Check out their site here. And then it was evening, and then it was morning, day 8!
Masada, Dead Sea, and Ein Gedi
There are few sites that groups of all faiths come to, and this is one of them – Massada, the Gamla of the south (Post on Gamla). The plateau was built at the time of the Maccabees, and King Herod built a fortress here. There is a fascinating story, and when I return, I will post an audio and video narration of the account that happened here. We went from there to swim (float) in the Dead Sea – or rather, the Salt Sea. Note – do not let that water touch your eyes… but otherwise, much fun. We then hopped on over to the falls of Ein Gedi, and saw the caves in an area where David may have hid from Saul. We climbed around the falls and splashed in the pools, and got up close and personal with the ibexes and irexes. Then back to Tamar to pack up and be on our way back to Jerusalem. And then it was evening, and the it was morning, day 9!