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Masada and the Dead Sea

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Masada – Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sherri Carignan

I was a little concerned that Masada would not meet my expectations in person after studying it from afar. Boy, did I have nothing to worry about! Masada was taller, wider and more extensively built up than I wholesale golf clubsexpected. The cliffs of Masada are approximately 1300 ft. high which actually makes it at about sea level since the Dead Sea, which Masada overlooks, is the same distance below sea level.

We rode a cable car to the top that afforded us a breathtaking view of the Judean Desert as well as the hardy hikers braving the walking path that crisscrosses the side of the plateau. At the top we both saw and imagined remains of King Herod’s palace. Herod lived in luxury for the times with three levels of balconies running down the side of the mountain just so he golf wholesale could relax and bathe without being disturbed. The Jewish zealots, who overtook Herod’s soldiers in 66 CE, lived on top of Masada for seven years. If they all died in a last stand against the Roman Army in 73 CE, how do we know what really happened? The Roman historian, Josephus, reliably recorded much of first century history and in this case he wrote about the siege and the mass suicide of 960 men, women and children. One mystery solved.

Another question was where the Jews got enough water in the middle of the desert to survive for seven years. Cisterns were found that stored water, but where did the water come from? Apparently, it rained only a few times a year, but the rain was so fierce that flash floods dumped water into redirected river beds that led to channels running along the cliff face. The water was carried in urns to the top of the plateau by donkeys and it was stored in these cisterns.

As we explored, we were taken to what was believed to be the zealots’ synagogue and to our surprise we found a sofer inside creating a Torah. He politely posed for a photo with Flat Stanley, indulging the meshugena Americans. Then he asked my daughter her name and wrote it in Hebrew on a piece of parchment as a gift to her.

As we toured, we learned that Masada was the original Big Dig. From 1963-65 an international call for volunteers brought hundreds of workers to this desolate mountaintop to excavate the site working under the supervision of professional archeologists and craftsmen. They http://www.awgolf.co.uk/ worked to recover and restore many of Masada’s original structures matching the intricate stone patterns. Though time had erased much of the physical proof of the zealots’ story, the archeologists discovered of the remains of at least one family that had apparently taken their own lives.

I want to say that being at Masada was one of the most amazing parts of our trip, but there is so much competition that I would haveTitleist 913 D3 Driver to list more than a dozen items just in my top ten. Next time I visit Masada I think I will hike up the path and let the vastness of the desert and the sea slowly soak in. We could easily have spent twice as much time at each site stretching a 10-day trip into twenty. Maybe next time.

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The Dead Sea – Thursday, February 20, 2014

Liviah Carignan

Before I stepped into the Dead Sea I was curious about how it would feel on my skin. Would it burn? Would I actually float like my dad said? I took my first step into the sea, it didn’t sting yet. I kept walking in until I was up to my waist then I noticed that my legs hurt, I guess I have a rash on my legs. I thought to myself. I ignored it and kept walking. Pretty soon I saw other people just lying down on the water so I decided it wouldn’t be to bad. So I slowly turned over onto my back and thought, THIS IS SO COOL! I was actually floating on water! Very salty water. It felt like I was floating on a cloud, a very salty cloud. My teeth started chattering. Brrrrrrr it was getting cold, but I wanted to stay just a little bit longer because I looked at everyone else and they were having so much fun. So I swam/floated over to my dad and the whole group of people. I saw my mom coming over careful not to get into the water with her camera, I heard her say “Come on Sam, Rachel, Liviah get together for a picture” I swam over to them lay on my back crossed my legs and put my arms behind my head and smiled. When I saw the flash I started to float away towards the group of people again when my mom said “Ok group picture time, everyone get together and float” I went back and floated, for the picture. I was getting to cold so I got out of the sea and walked back to my chair. I got a plastic bag and went out again to find salt clumps. I got like 5 but hid them a little because I wasn’t sure if I was aloud to take them. A little bit later I went down to the sulfur springs with the group and my family. It felt funny because it also had salt in it but not as much. At first it really stung my leg but after a few seconds it stopped. It was relaxing until my mom said that I need to get out and change.


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