Today was an exciting and very full day! After experiencing a night in Bedouin tents, we got an early start at 4:30 a.m. so we could make it to the top of Masada before sunrise. After hundreds of stairs and selfies, we were greeted by a beautiful sunrise from the heights of Masada, overlooking the Dead Sea.
On top of Masada, we learned the story of what happened in that same place 2,000 years ago. We walked through the ruins of palaces and rooms helped us imagine the community that lived there. We had our own tefilah in an ancient sanctuary, and then began our descent down the mountain.
After a morning in the sun, we were happy to cool off in the amazing waterfall oasis of Ein Gedi. In addition to having an interesting history tracing back to King David, Ein Gedi is also a gorgeous and fun place. Everyone had a blast hiking and splashing under the waterfalls. This was definitely one of my favorite experiences so far.
We then took a trip to the Dead Sea. Because of the high salt content, we were able to easily float, which is one of the coolest feelings. The special mud there is supposed to be great for your skin, and that was fun to experience as well.
Afterwards, we headed back to Jerusalem for Shabbat at the Kotel. I was on the women’s side of the Western Wall. At first there was not too much happening. The other girls and I decided we wanted to change the mood, and bring song and dance into this side of the Wall. What started as a singing and dancing circle of just 11 of us soon turned into a huge circle with dozens of other women and girls. I learned that it only takes a few people to make a big change in a place, and that you can find community even with people you don’t know. Today was a great day and a memorable start to Shabbat in Israel!
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