Thursday, June 05, 2008

Our trip to Masada!
Cousin Jacky arranged for a guided tour of the Dead Sea site of Masada. This is a mountain with a flat top. At this place, 980 Jewish freedom fighters were against the Romans in 74AD. The Kingdom of Judah had been destroyed, and the 980 took refuge at Masada.

It took three years for the Roman army to over run Masada. However, the 980 Jews chose death rather than slavery and killed themselves to avoid surrender.
Masada National Park.


Back in the olden times, traveling to the top of Masada required ascending "the Snake Path." Today, an aerial tram takes us up.
View of aerial tram during our ascent.


The top of Masada is very warm today, perhaps almost 100°F. Very little shade. We are cautioned to drink a lot of water to avoid dehydration.
George at Masada.


King Herod built a refuge palace on Masada in case his enemies took it in their heads to get rid of him. Herod built a fabulous place with bath houses and provided storage of huge amounts of water and food. The Jewish rebels who came to Masada to escape the Romans, used the buildings and supplies to sustain themselves against the Roman legion who was camped below.

In this pic, do you see the construction way down at the foot of Masada? This is where the headquarters of the Romans made camp.
Roman legion headquarters.


Herod's Masada palace
looking down from the top.


The remains of the oldest known synagogue is at Masada. This is the place where the rebels held their religious services.
Oldest synagogue in the world.