ILSI: Moving South

After a long drive from the North to the South, we found ourselves in the Bedouin Tent. We rode camels and learned about the Bedouin culture and enjoyed their famous hospitality. In the evening, we sat under the stars in our Mishpachot reflecting on the day and the trip. The last few days have been full of personal exploration, challenge, and examples of leadership from this country we have come to love! 

We departed the Bedouin Tent for a beautiful hike in Ein Avdat, a national nature preserve. We saw the power of the desert to bring forth life and saw ibex, eagles and even vultures. It was in this area that David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, declared the future and preservation of the State of Israel. He knew that Israel needed the Negev Desert for economic, agricultural and national prosperity. We visited his hut, where we saw his humble and learned lifestyle. He was dedicated to Israel, and not himself. Even his will, which hangs in the hut, outlines his request for no eulogies at this funeral. It was at his grave, which is near his hut, that we saw his love of this – on this tombstone, he includes two “birth dates”: when he was born and when he moved to Israel.

The next day, we woke up early and ascended Masada, King Herod’s desert palace. It is believed that here, Jewish zealots during the Second Temple Period made their last stand and sacrificed their lives in protest of their Roman foes. When we got to the top of the mountain we waited and watched the for the sun to rise of the mountains in Jordan and shimmer off of the Dead Sea. It was a beautiful end to a challenging hike. We toured the mountain, learned about its rich history and spoke about our own personal sacrifices we have made as young leaders.

After descending the mountain, we had breakfast and continued on to the Dead Sea. It was really fun to float on the water and experience the natural skin treatment from the mud. It was definitely an experience we will never forget! 

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