Sunday, December 26
By Delegate Sandy Rosenberg
We spent Sunday climbing Masada.
“This is easier than the last time,” I said to myself as I climbed Masada.
“Don’t jinx yourself. Keep quiet,” I then muttered.
It turned out that the climb was easy. I attributed it to my “sprint” work at the Meadowbrook pool. Someone reminded me that it may have been more difficult last time I tried it because it was 20 degrees hotter – June. Nonetheless, I’ll keep doing my sprints.
Masada was a palace fortress built by King Herod along the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth and on the southern route to Jerusalem and Jericho.
“Israelis are ambivalent today about the mass suicide on Masada by its Jewish defenders to avoid enslavement by the Romans,” our guide noted. “We are the descendants of those who survived.”
He also tells us that his kibbutz once served a military purpose. It’s located near an air force base. The Kibbutz members were to hold off Jordanian forces for 36 hours until the army reserves arrived. (Israel signed a peace treaty with Jordan during the Clinton administration.)
After our climb, we drove by the massive Dead Sea Works, which refines the salt in the water. Our guide told us that it’s the largest money-making factory in the country.