The first time I went on a pastor’s familiarization tour, Masada was not included. In this pilgrimage I led, Masada was included but a flash flood spoiled our plans. The Israeli tour guide said they will try again the next day. We were all so glad the electric cable car system was restored to working order. I heard so much of the last stand of the Jewish resistance, I wanted to see it myself. The fortress does look formidable and impenetrable and unreachable on the top of a steep and bare hill. The Romans surrounded and besieged them till the resistance force took their own lives. The guide said the Israeli armed forces now pledged their loyalty at the site.
This was an interesting experience: a camel ride and some hospitality from Abram. Great idea and fun. We rode the camels to Abrams’ tent and there he welcomed us to a meal. We were blessed.
We visited the remains of an ancient site of a Qumran community in a semi arid landscape. It was cool but stark. It must have been hard to live in such circumstances where water concerns were predominant and this was reflected in the architecture and the space given for cisterns. The desert made me feel alone, forlorn, quiet, meditative and reflective.