Waking up in Jerusalem almost felt surreal. So much history and beauty in the small and amazing land of Israel. Breakfast was lovely in the open air atrium between the lobby and the dining area. Lots of things to try, including wonderful, melt-in-your mouth fresh dates – oh my!
Next we were off to the red bus where we enjoyed the humor and knowledge of our bus leaders (Harrison, Julie and Lily) as we headed toward Mt. Scopus for more views of this amazing city.
A drive through the Judean desert was up next as we traveled to Masada. The desert mountains were so rugged and beautiful. I don’t think the pictures do justice to them, or to one of the many date palm orchards we passed.
Masada — Wow! It was SO….SO high when going up the tram, SO hot (108 degrees), and SO Big! To learn more and understand it’s history (Jewish & Roman) view this video or visit this website. To give some perspective… the tram in the center top photo held maybe 30 people, and it looked like a small dot when it was at the top landing (center photo). The center bottom photo shows remains of a Roman bath house and steam vents.
After lunch we left Masada for a visit to the Dead Sea. You can read it’s history here, and as the photos below show, it is beautiful, but a bit dangerous. I am glad to have visited, but the bath house was very crowded and hot, and the journey down to and up from the water was very steep. I rubbed some of the dead sea mud on my skin… but the water felt almost oily and not very pleasant. Regardless, it was beautiful and worth the visit. And, on the trip back I got a couple photos of the local wild life (smile).
I’m not sure if this was a 2nd stop at Mt. Scopus… but we stopped here to sing and welcome in Shabbat before going back to the Inbal for a very pleasant Shabbat dinner. I even got a photo with Shelli Brim (yay!). Dinner was hosted by a local Rabbi and his wife. It was a blessing, and a very blessed day indeed.
In honor of our Shabbat (Sabbath) meal in Jerusalem, below is the blessing of the bread (Hebrew transliteration and English). I like to picture our Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ) as He (the Bread of Life) spoke this blessing at the last supper.
Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, hamotzi lechem min ha’aretz.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has brought forth bread from the earth.
You can go here to learn about the Shabbat meal and it’s blessings.