Judean Desert - Freedom?
We drove to Masada today. Most of the group took the cable car up, while Aaron and Jen Strasser hiked up in 30 minutes with Nadia Moffit just behind them. Ellen Sheridan and I took up the rear and Eli offered some assistance to help us reach the top. We walked through the food storage area where the zealots left plenty of food stuffs to show the Romans they weren't starving to death. We discussed suicide and the Jewish value of choosing life. We met up with the group in the bath house, learned about Herod's water feat atop this mountain fortress and visited the Beit Knesset before departing.
After a buffet lunch, we smothered our faces and bodies with mud and then floated in the Dead Sea! After "swimming" and spa visits, we drove a few minutes to Kibbutz Ein Gedi where we held a heartfelt Reflection Session outside with the Judean Dessert mountains surrounding us.
Our Reflection Session was filled with passion, emotion and great group bonding. Creativity, support for one another, patience for each other, caring and concern were some of the things we shared. We also channeled Rev Howard Chubbs and Claudette Burroughs White of blessed memory. We huddled together in a group hug and did a bit of singing. Kol Haolam kulo gesher tsar m'od - all the world is a narrow bridge and the important thing is not to be afraid. It was indeed a kumbaya moment!
We missed Rev Ches Kennedy who went to church at the Holy Sepulchre and had some very intense time with the Greek Orthodox priest. (Which he later shared.)
Marilyn Forman Chandler