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JEWISH Dead Sea Region

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the dead sea coast The Dead Sea, known in Hebrew as Yam Ha-Melakh (the Sea of Salt), is Earth's lowest point on land (430.5 meters below sea level) and is surrounded by the stunning landscape of the Negev Desert. While actually a lake, the Dead Sea is part of the long border between Israel and Jordan, whose towering mountains can be seen from the Israeli side, and part of the Judean and Negev deserts. One hour from Jerusalem, the sea is a popular place for Israeli's and tourists to relax, experience the unique surroundings, and take advantage of the infamous and unique medical properties of the dead sea. This includes covering oneself with the mineral-rich mud and floating in the salty waters. The saline water also gives lead to the name because no fish can survive under these circumstances. woman floating in the dead sea Masada is another great attraction in the surrounding area. Atop a mountain to the side of the sea lies the ancient Masada fortress. With a steep history and ascent, Masada is now an Israeli national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is traditionally climbed by tourists wanting to see the ruins at the top as the sun rises over the Dead Sea. Masada is an ancient fortification in the Southern District of Israel, located on the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea 20 km (12 mi) east of Arad. The 840-acre complex holds well-preserved ruins attesting to the history of the ancient kingdom of Israel and the courage of its people in the face of a Roman siege. ancient fortress in the israeli desert Herod the Great, who had been made King of Judea, contributed greatly to the ancient history of this famous fortress. On the mountain, he built two palaces for himself between 31 and 37 BCE. According to Josephus, between 73 to 74 CE Roman troops seized Masada at the end of the First Jewish-Roman War. After Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 CE, rebels joined forces at Masada to live in Herod’s former palaces. With Jerusalem in ruins, the Romans turned their attention to destroying Masada by building camps surrounding the base, a siege wall, and a ramp on a slope of the Western side of the mountain. These invasions came to an abrupt end following the mass suicide of the 960 Sicarii rebels who were in hiding there. However, according to Kenneth Atkinson, there is no archaeological evidence that Masada's defenders committed mass suicide. Today, Masada is one of Israel's most popular tourist attractions and currently attracts around 750,000 visitors a year. painted walls inside an ancient fortress in the israeli desert A bit further North of Masada is the Ein Gedi National Park. Situated in the famous Kibbutz, this park contains a range of cool water, hiking trails, beautiful foliage, and served as a water source during biblical times. Located on the Dead Sea's western shore, Ein Gedi, which directly translates to "spring of the goat", is a desert oasis with waterfalls, pools of water, and two large streams. The higher you go, the quieter it will be and the more likely you will be able to find your own little oasis. Ein Gedi also has a public beach and spa, which is situated near Jerusalem. waterfall and pond in the middle of the desert About 40 minutes north of Ein Gedi is one of Israel's most important archaeological sites, the Qumran National Park. It is in the caves of the ancient settlement where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947. Located on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea in the Judean Desert, Qumran is located between Jerusalem and the major Dead Sea region attractions such as Ein Gedi and Masada. Remains dating back to the Iron Age have been uncovered at Qumran as well as walls, pottery, and a cistern from later settlements. Freshwater was a consistent issue in this dry environment, and as a result, aqueduct systems were added to bring fresh water to the city from the greener regions of the north. archeological caves in the desert Qumran was established during the Hellenistic Period of 134-104 BCE and remained inhabited up until 68 BCE. Multi-level structures, reservoirs, pottery kilns, and houses have been excavated in this era. It was during the Hellenistic Period that the Essenes Jewish sect settled here, isolating themselves from big city life and living as a communal monastery-like community. Famous Figures King David of Israel was known for his diverse skills as both a warrior and a psalm writer. Countless battles and victories against Saul provoked his jealousy and malicious behavior towards David. In Ein Gedi, David confronted Saul about his consistent hatred but did not kill him, proving his respectable character traits. David was a poet and the rabbis believe that he wrote the Book of Psalms. Throughout his life, David prepared for the construction of the Holy Temple by setting aside the necessary physical materials, commanding the Levites, and others in their duties for the Temple, and giving the plan for the Temple to Solomon. Today, Jews pray daily for the coming of the Messiah, the "Son of David." Herod the Great was crowned King of Judea who ruled the territory with Roman approval. While Judea was an independent kingdom it was under heavy Roman influence and Herod came to power with Roman support. The history of his legacy starts with his colossal building projects throughout Judea, including his renovation of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, the expansion of the Temple Mount, and the fortress at Masada to name a few. His reign polarizes opinion amongst scholars and historians, some viewing his legacy as successful, while others believe it was a form of tyrannical rule. Titus Flavius Josephus was a first-century Roman Jewish historian born in Jerusalem. He initially fought against the Romans during the First Jewish Roman War as the head of Jewish Forces, until surrendering in 67 CE to the Romans. Josephus recorded Jewish history with special emphasis on the first century CE and the First Jewish–Roman War, including the Siege of Masada. His most important works were The Jewish War and Antiquities of the Jews, which recount the Jewish revolt against Roman occupation and the history of the world from a Jewish perspective for an ostensibly Greek and Roman audience.

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Upcoming events


Tamar Festival

The annual Tamar Festival takes place at Masada and the Dead Sea and features some of Israel’s most prominent musicians and artists. It originated in 2000 to promote Israeli music as well as the beautiful desert landscapes. This multi-day festival includes concerts from sunrise to sunset and tickets are available online months in advance.

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SITES TO SEE

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TOURS OF Dead Sea Region

Tours

Masada, Ein Gedi, and Dead Sea From Tel Aviv or Jerusalem

Leaving Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, we’ll travel south through the beautiful Judean Desert to the foot of the Masada fortress, which stands beside the Dead Sea. You’ll take a cable car to the top of the fortress, enjoy the special views, and explore the archaeological ruins. We will then continue to the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, an oasis in the desert, for a short hike and the unique opportunity to float in the waters of the Dead Sea and immerse yourself in the famous mud. Masada is one of Israel’s most important archaeological sites and greatest tales of Jewish heroism. The excavated ruins are fascinating to explore, while the remarkable location high above the surrounding desert and Dead Sea makes this an impressive and unique experience. You’ll ascend to the top of Masada via cable car. After leaving Masada, we’ll travel the short distance to the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. Surrounded by desert, this beautiful reserve offers a beautiful hike alongside the cool waters which flow from the spring. Stop and cool off beside one of the pools that can be found along the way, before heading to our final stop of the day. The lowest place on Earth, the Dead Sea, is a lake with water so salty one is able to float. Read your newspaper whilst floating in the water and immerse yourself in the therapeutic Dead Sea mud, which is sold around the world as beauty products. Finally, return to Tel Aviv having enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you’ll never forget. Our Masada, Ein Gedi, and Dead Sea tours are unique and designed for independent travelers. No other tour combines these three beautiful sites while allowing one to hike up to the top of the fortress, an important part of any visit!

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Jewish Style Restaurants

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CITY GUIDES

Guides

Adam Sela

As 1990 was drawing to an end I was beginning a new direction in life. Tired of working 8 days a week in a very high pressure but lucrative industry I was looking for something different. One can work hard and play hard but to do that you need to make time and that was something I did not have. With the upcoming birth of our first son just playing hard was not an option either so I decided to try and turn my interests and hobbies into a livelihood and started checking out the options. Widerness tourism was just beginning and I started at the bottom as a freelance guide in Mitzpe Ramon. Back then there was no "training", most of us had some kind of military background and we all shared a love for the outdoors. I too had the military background where I learned to love the desert and coming from an outdoor lifestyle in Africa with loads of bush craft experience I quickly found my footing and developed my own style and then struck out on my own founding Challenging Experience. Now, 30 years later, the industry has changed but I am still here and still loving it. Being able to enjoy one's "job" makes it so much easier to do it well. All my staff is handpicked and apart from the experience they bring they also receive extensive 'in-house' training. I believe that a huge part of any visit is time spent with the 'locals' and while not all out team has been in the area that long they do all share a love for the area and for people. We are often asked if we ever get bored ? The simple answer is an emphatic NO - the reason is that no two tours are ever the same especially as meeting new people is also part of what we enjoy. I always say that we are neither the best nor the cheapest company out there, but some things make us stand out. We have a great office staff, 5 days a week, giving our clients good service pre-tour and freeing the guides up (especially me) to be with YOU and not with the next or last client. Three of our five guides are volunteers in the regional Search and Rescue Team (I am one of it's founders) and also volunteer as reserve Policemen and United Hatzallah medical first responders. When you tour with us you help support voluntary non profit organizations in the area. We are involved in almost every single Search and Rescue scenario in the region using our extensive knowledge of the area, our specific skills and our company hardware to help bring people to safety. All our vehicles are well equipped including high power 2 way VHF radios (linked not only to each other but also to national emergency services), tools, first aid packs and even a gas stove to brew fresh coffee or tea.

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World Jewish Travel Official July 1, 2021

City Story: Dead Sea Region

The Dead Sea, known in Hebrew as Yam Ha-Melakh (the Sea of Salt), is Earth's lowest point on land (430.5 meters below sea level) and is surrounded by the stunning landscape of the Negev Desert. While actually a lake, the Dead Sea is part of the long border between Israel and Jordan, whose towering mountains can be seen from the Israeli side, and part of the Judean and Negev deserts. One hour from Jerusalem, the sea is a popular place for Israeli's and tourists to relax, experience the unique surroundings, and take advantage of the infamous and unique medical properties of the dead sea. This includes covering oneself with the mineral-rich mud and floating in the salty waters. The saline water also gives lead to the name because no fish can survive under these circumstances. Masada is another great attraction in the surrounding area. Atop a mountain to the side of the sea lies the ancient Masada fortress. With a steep history and ascent, Masada is now an Israeli national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is traditionally climbed by tourists wanting to see the ruins at the top as the sun rises over the Dead Sea. Masada is an ancient fortification in the Southern District of Israel, located on the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea 20 km (12 mi) east of Arad. The 840-acre complex holds well-preserved ruins attesting to the history of the ancient kingdom of Israel and the courage of its people in the face of a Roman siege. Herod the Great, who had been made King of Judea, contributed greatly to the ancient history of this famous fortress. On the mountain, he built two palaces for himself between 31 and 37 BCE. According to Josephus, between 73 to 74 CE Roman troops seized Masada at the end of the First Jewish-Roman War. After Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 CE, rebels joined forces at Masada to live in Herod’s former palaces. With Jerusalem in ruins, the Romans turned their attention to destroying Masada by building camps surrounding the base, a siege wall, and a ramp on a slope of the Western side of the mountain. These invasions came to an abrupt end following the mass suicide of the 960 Sicarii rebels who were in hiding there. However, according to Kenneth Atkinson, there is no archaeological evidence that Masada's defenders committed mass suicide. Today, Masada is one of Israel's most popular tourist attractions and currently attracts around 750,000 visitors a year. A bit further North of Masada is the Ein Gedi National Park. Situated in the famous Kibbutz, this park contains a range of cool water, hiking trails, beautiful foliage, and served as a water source during biblical times. Located on the Dead Sea's western shore, Ein Gedi, which directly translates to "spring of the goat", is a desert oasis with waterfalls, pools of water, and two large streams. The higher you go, the quieter it will be and the more likely you will be able to find your own little oasis. Ein Gedi also has a public beach and spa, which is situated near Jerusalem. About 40 minutes north of Ein Gedi is one of Israel's most important archaeological sites, the Qumran National Park. It is in the caves of the ancient settlement where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947. Located on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea in the Judean Desert, Qumran is located between Jerusalem and the major Dead Sea region attractions such as Ein Gedi and Masada. Remains dating back to the Iron Age have been uncovered at Qumran as well as walls, pottery, and a cistern from later settlements. Freshwater was a consistent issue in this dry environment, and as a result, aqueduct systems were added to bring fresh water to the city from the greener regions of the north. Qumran was established during the Hellenistic Period of 134-104 BCE and remained inhabited up until 68 BCE. Multi-level structures, reservoirs, pottery kilns, and houses have been excavated in this era. It was during the Hellenistic Period that the Essenes Jewish sect settled here, isolating themselves from big city life and living as a communal monastery-like community. Famous Figures King David of Israel was known for his diverse skills as both a warrior and a psalm writer. Countless battles and victories against Saul provoked his jealousy and malicious behavior towards David. In Ein Gedi, David confronted Saul about his consistent hatred but did not kill him, proving his respectable character traits. David was a poet and the rabbis believe that he wrote the Book of Psalms. Throughout his life, David prepared for the construction of the Holy Temple by setting aside the necessary physical materials, commanding the Levites, and others in their duties for the Temple, and giving the plan for the Temple to Solomon. Today, Jews pray daily for the coming of the Messiah, the "Son of David." Herod the Great was crowned King of Judea who ruled the territory with Roman approval. While Judea was an independent kingdom it was under heavy Roman influence and Herod came to power with Roman support. The history of his legacy starts with his colossal building projects throughout Judea, including his renovation of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, the expansion of the Temple Mount, and the fortress at Masada to name a few. His reign polarizes opinion amongst scholars and historians, some viewing his legacy as successful, while others believe it was a form of tyrannical rule. Titus Flavius Josephus was a first-century Roman Jewish historian born in Jerusalem. He initially fought against the Romans during the First Jewish Roman War as the head of Jewish Forces, until surrendering in 67 CE to the Romans. Josephus recorded Jewish history with special emphasis on the first century CE and the First Jewish–Roman War, including the Siege of Masada. His most important works were The Jewish War and Antiquities of the Jews, which recount the Jewish revolt against Roman occupation and the history of the world from a Jewish perspective for an ostensibly Greek and Roman audience.

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HOTELS IN Dead Sea Region

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