Today was… our last out of Jerusalem Field Trip! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! It was way boss, though. Seriously, great way to wind it all down. We went to Masada, a huge fortress/village on top of a huuuuuuuuuge mountain. It was the site of the last vestiges of Israeli power after the Romans destroyed the second temple. The story is quite chilling: the Roman commander went to great lengths to build a siege ramp up to the city (using Jewish slave labor, knowing that Jews would not fire on their own comrades!). Then, at the last day when they knew the end would be the next day, the Jews stockpiled all of their food so that it would be easily found, and committed suicide because “My loyal followers, long ago we resolved to serve neither the Romans nor anyone else but only God… hitherto we have never submitted to slavery…we must not choose slavery now… it will be a bitter blow to the Romans, that I know, to find our persons beyond their reach and nothing left for them to loot. One thing only let us spare — our store of food: it will bear witness when we are dead to the fact that we perished, not through want but because, as we resolved at the beginning, we chose death rather than slavery.” (Josephus Flavius, Jewish Wars Book 7, 8:6)” Next was the dead sea! It stung sooooooooo bad! Any open… erm… crevice… felt like it was on fire! I had a small sore on the back of my neck and it felt like I had a 3rd degree sunburn on it the entire time! But it was totally worth it. The water pushes you up and … it just a cool experience! I mean, check out the pictures! Our next stop was Ein Gedi, and then to Qumran, the now-famous desert hotspot where the dead sea scrolls were discovered.
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The dead sea mineral mud supposedly is excellent for one’s skin. For me, it turned me into a colossus of power!
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For others, it made us into zombies or… at least people who at any moment look like they might break into a song and choreographed dance…
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All the legends of the dead sea are true: you really do just float on your own. In fact, you can float vertically and it feels like you are near ground. If you doggy paddle, it is actually quite hard because it pushes your chest up so much.
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Ein Gedi waterfall. This is where King David could have taken Saul’s life, but decided to cut off a piece of his clothing instead–to tell the king that he did not want to bring him harm and to stop trying to kill him!
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The caves of Qumran. I can now understand why these things weren’t found for so long–the place is dead hot! When we were there, it was 115 degrees!!!
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The famous cave 4: where the complete Isaiah scroll was found.

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