Massada- In the morning we went to Massada, a refugee palace for King Herod. It was a remarkable structure located on the top of a Judean mountain, overlooking the Dead Sea. We climbed the mountain in a cable car opposed to the snake path that winds its way up. When we left Jerusalem it was rainy and cold, yet when we got down to the valley the sun was out. The mountain provided a tremendous view of the dead sea and the surrounding valley area. Masada was captured by Jewish rebels in an attempt to gain there own freedom. We heard a dramatic reading from Hannah about the final stand of the Jewish rebels when 960 rebels killed themselves rather than become Roman slaves.
Devan, Roland, Zunaira
We had the opportunity to float in the Dead Sea today. What an amazing experience with 33% salt… excuse us, fun! Located at the lowest place on earth, the Dead Sea doesn’t serve as a habitat for any living creatures. Everyone looked like avatars because they were covered in mud, which would have been awesome if it didn’t burn your face. Talking about irritated skin, the salt made our faces and bodies sting at first but later on we came out feeling as though we had spent the day at a spa.
After visiting the Dead Sea, feeling as if we had just gone to the spa, we went briefly to Qumaran see the site of the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947. These scrolls date the Old Testament to be very, very old (100 BCE or a thousand years earlier than any other archeological evidence had previously proved). Along with the caves, we saw even more ritual baths (we have seen a lot of baths, especially today). On our journey, we saw Bedouin herders, date palm groves, mango trees, almond trees, and wild animals such as young ibexes (little gazelles) and hirexes (a bunny like creature somehow related to elephants). They were so cute!