Judaism, Christianity, Essenes, in the Judean Desert
Where: Yehuda desert & Dead Sea area.
Duration: 1 days
What to bring: High-topped shoes, hat, sunscreen, water
Language: The tour is originally in English.
What is there in the Judean Desert that has given birth to beliefs and religions? Perhaps the stay in the desert, the silence and the stillness, the sense of purity, the bright, starry nights, all seem to create a sense of closeness to a Creator. We will talk about ancient communities that believed in heavenly bodies, and later Jewish communities, the Essenes. Alongside them John the Baptist and those who, apparently sharing common values, made do with little and called for a pure life. It is not clear today whether there was indeed interaction between the communities, but there is no doubt that there are similarities between them. From here, Jesus stayed in solitude for 40 days at Mount Carental (reminding us of Moses' ascension to Mount Sinai, also for 40 days).
Here in the desert we will explore the important archaeological discovery of all time, the scrolls, tell the story of their discovery, the story of the Essenes sect, visit their site, and visit the baptism site on the Jordan River where John was baptized (those who wish to be baptized here may do so), we will hike on foot to Nahal Dragot, visit Ein Gedi, where David hid from Saul, and the Chalcolithic Temple, we will talk about the persimmon perfume industry, perhaps the most sought after perfume in the ancient world. We will visit the ancient synagogue in Ein Gedi and in the afternoon we will visit Masada and recount the events of the last Jewish fortress that has survived from the war against The Romans during the Second Temple period. This would be a great opportunity to talk about the area's geology as well, the unique flora and fauna that has adapted to life in this region, which is considered the hottest place in the world.
Isaiah - Chapter 1,26 - And I will restore your judges as at first and your counsellors as in the beginning; afterwards you shall be called City of Righteousness, Faithful City.