Sunday, June 15, 2008

Israel - Day 2

Today we headed out for Masada and the Dead Sea.

Masada is a flat topped mountain deep in the Judean desert. It is an excellent location for a fortress and that is exactly what King Herod did with it. Herod created a spa in the desert. There were baths, agriculture, mosaics and a sumptuous lifestyle - all created on the backs of slaves. After Herods time, Masada stood empty until the first century. Rome was attacking all the Jews in the area. A small band retreated to Herods fortress. They lived in the protected palace for years, dividing the great rooms into smaller houses for their families. Rome decided to eradicate them. To fo this, Rome marched our their armies and encamped around Masada. But the Jews, with their water and food could last forever. Vespasian decided to build a ramp to roll up their giant war machine and end the stand off. The night before the battering ram would knock down the walls, the Jews decided they were not going to be slaves. They drew lots. The men killed their wives and children. Those who drew the lots killed the men and the final men killed those left and then took his own life. The Romans entered to death.

The Dead Sea was our second stop. The sea has no outlet and so is chock full of awful tasting minerals. But those minerals also make you incredabley bouyant! You float way above where you would in fresh water. It is a unique experience. Even the boys, who have almost no body fat, floated.

Check here for pictures of opur second day.


ZudaGay said...

I am enjoying reading about your vacation and getting a history lesson as well! Great pictures!! I'll check back for more...

AltheaP said...

How powerful to go to Masadal. Such a wonderful, terrible story.