Israel Journey #3: Desert Treasure of Ein Gedi and Yad VaShem

We have had quite the amazing last few days. As our trip clock ticks closer to midnight all to quickly, it is clear that we have saved some of our more beautiful experiences for the last leg of our journey together. Tuesday we continued our desert travels and ended at the Bedouin tents where we began our stay with a short camel ride, followed by an interesting culture talk about the Bedouin way of life. Dinner followed, and what came next was a wonderful bonfire which led into a short walk and talk underneath the stars where each one of us got to reflect on our trip thus far in a place where nothing could block our view of the universe.

A very early morning followed as we woke at 4:15 in order to get to Masada in time to hike up for sunrise. Although many other groups were there (several hundred people at least), we were able to make it up the mountain in time to get a front row view of one the most beautiful sites nature has to offer. After touring the mountain fortress we made our way down the winding snake path to the visitor center where a well deserved breakfast was waiting for us.

After leaving Masada we made our way to another amazing desert treasure, Ein Gedi. The short time we spent at Ein Gedi was not enough to see the whole area, but it was enough for us to all cool down in some of the wonderful waterfalls that are throughout the area. Following our brief stop in Ein Gedi we made our way to get covered in mud and float away in the Dead Sea. Nobody floated to far though and we made it to Jerusalem Wednesday night where we all collapsed after a very long and hot day.

Thursday brought with it many different waves of emotions. We started our day with Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem and the largest Holocaust museum in the world. The museum is designed to educate all those who pass through it, and we are sure that everyone came out with much more knowledge than they entered with. Following Yad Vashem we made our way to the Israeli Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) for a short tour of their building.

We then returned to the hotel where we had a speaker lead an activity about pluralism in Judaism that we got to experience with our friends from the Trek Israel trip. Then came the highlight of the day, the BBYO B’yachad event which brought over 400 teens to one place to celebrate being in Israel together. Not only did our group represent us with an amazing song by some of our very talented and musical participants in front of everyone, but our teens used their social media prowess to also win us an Aroma party before our trip comes to an end. After our few hour party we made our way back to the hotel.

We are very excited to bring in Shabbat at the Western Wall and experience what the Jerusalem shuk will look like on a Friday afternoon.

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