The Big Day on Masada

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So, we came to Israel for Noah’s Bar Mitzvah and today was the big day. In order to get to the tram to get to the top of Masada we needed to leave the hotel in Jerusalem at 7:30 am with all our bags. We were all downstairs and ready to go on time after a quick breakfast. Noah was both excited and a bit nervous.

Noah & Ilise on the Bar Mitzvah Day
Noah & Ilise on the Bar Mitzvah Day

We headed out of Jerusalem and headed east toward Jordan and then south when we hit the Dead Sea. On the other side of the Dead Sea is Jordan. The bus drove through the desert for about an hour and a half before we got to Masada. When we arrived we met our cousins, Larry & Ronna and their son Max. The rabbi we hired, Rabbi Jeff Berman, was there waiting for us as well. We purchased our tram tickets and headed up to the top.

Noah & Rabbi Berman saying the prayer over the Torah.
Noah & Rabbi Berman saying the prayer over the Torah.

Once we got off the tram the view from the top of the mountain was spectacular. I’ve been to the Grand Canyon and a number of times and the view was very similar, one that cameras just can’t capture. The breadth and expansiveness of the scenery was just amazing, something I will soon not forget. The rabbi walked us to this little building on the edge of the mountain overlooking the Dead Sea that was just perfect for Noah’s Bar Mitzvah.

The rabbi welcomed everyone after setting up his little speaker system and the service began. Noah was extremely nervous and very focused on the task at hand. The rabbi started asking Noah some questions and he was not really listening, he was focused on what he needed to do next. The service was about an hour and Noah was just awesome on his Torah portion and his speech was just perfect. Leading up to the Bar Mitzvah Noah was letting Ilise write his speech for him, but in the end he created his own speech from scratch and it was perfect!

The Proud Parents of the Bar Mitzvah Boy!
The Proud Parents of the Bar Mitzvah Boy!
The Bar Mitzvah Gang
The Bar Mitzvah Gang
Noah w/ his certificate from the State of Israel.
Noah w/ his certificate from the State of Israel.

After the Bar Mitzvah we headed to the Dead Sea to a hotel for lunch and a few hours to swim, or should I say float, in the Dead Sea. The lunch was a nice buffet and then we headed to the locker rooms to change. Outside there was a beach on the Dead Sea and a number of us went in. The water was a bit chilly, but not too bad. Cousin Merv was the first to start floating on his back, then my brother joined in and then Drew and the gang was floating. A number of us went to the inside heated pool and I spent the next 45 minutes in a semi-comatose state just enjoying floating in the warm water. It was so relaxing, it was similar to meditation for me.

A group also were able to get messages and facials if they didn’t want to swim. Once we were all done we had a cake for Noah to celebrate the big accomplishment. It was another amazing day in Israel. After the celebration we got back in the bus for another 2 plus hours on our way to Eilat. We will be here for two days and then head back to Tel Aviv on Friday afternoon. Tomorrow is a big day as we head to the spectacular city of Petra in Jordan. Ilise has been there and has said it’s like nothing she has ever seen and is excited to go again.

‘Til next time ……

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