Thursday, December 4, 2008


This is a replica of what Herod's palace might have looked like.

The First glimpse of Massada. We are so far away and I zoomed in as far as the camera would go and still, you see how enormous. If you follow the highest peak you can count the levels on the edge where Herod built. Do yourself a favor and watch the History Channel's Massada. They did a great study on all of Herod's palace.

The trolley ride took all of three minutes. you can hardly see our destination at the top It was the smoothest ride and I never really got fearful at the highth. The view is breathtaking.
It's hard to imagine but there are homes everywhere.  Chapels, ceremonial pools, water storing pools, once surrounded even flourishing fields. This place was self sufficient. I took dozens of pictures but none can capture your feelings especially if you know what Massada is all about. Look at the view beyond the walls; you are seeing Jordan in the distance.
Can you imagine seeing this out your window every day? I wonder if back in the day, they appreciated the beauty of this scene?

The tile floors remain beautiful.

This is the third level. Randy was here two years ago when they were still excavating and uncovering the columns. He was so excited to see this much completed.

What goes down...must go back up! This does not give justice to the steps we walked down to reach the third level of Herod's palace. The kicker was trying to get back up. I was physically fit before going to Israel but at Massada and Jerusalem I would constantly find myself out of breath. Randy laughed at me all the time... I finally figured it to be the altitude causing my breathlessness. As afraid of heights as I am, I still trecked down the side of this mountain. 

Remains of the day.....

This picture stuck in my mind. If you look to the right you will see a square shaped pile of rocks. They outline the camp of where the Roman Army lived for four years while they carried buckets of dirt and rocks to build this ramp. It was a long tedius job to build. The Jewish zealots living on top chose to committ suicide rather than be captured by the Romans. The men killed their wives and children continuing until ten men remained. Those remaining ten men drew lots and the one killed the nine before taking his life.
My thoughts were: what did the Jews think during the 4 yrs. the ramp was being built to overtake them? Did they try to defend themselves by fighting as the ramp was being built? Were they too peaceful a people to do so? Did they think they would never be overtaken?
As we were here and it was election time in the U.S. I thought of the similarities between us and Massada. Do we understand that our country is being overtaken? Do we sit and think it will never happen to a country so great, so untouchable, so powerful? Are we desensitized to what is going on around us like those who watched the daily dumping of rocks for four years?
Massada fell. I love their motto though: Massada will never fall again!
I pray we won't have to say that but that each man (and woman) will busy himself in protecting his family, children, values and what we hold dear....for someone else holds it dear as well and will stop at nothing to destroy and take it.

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