Category: Dead Sea

8 Kislev 5759

(Thursday night, November 26, 1998) – Ein Gedi to Kfar Blum

Happy Thanksgiving! It seems odd saying that in a place where it doesn’t even feel like Thursday. But, it was another day with a unique fingerprint.

Once again, I slept badly on the hard, narrow beds at Ein Gedi. The bed is so narrow, it forces you to sleep flat on your back, not curled up on one side. I cannot fall asleep that way, so it makes for a miserable night. [2012 note – this is likely the reason Ein Gedi has discontinued that inexpensive, spartan room!]

When I started the drive through the West Bank, I was extremely nervous. Continue reading


7 Kislev 5759

(Wednesday night, November 25, 1998) – Ein Gedi kibbutz

Cactus garden at Ein Gedi

As tours and rush-rush vacations go, this day would have been a wash. No energy – I woke up with a headache and a little sick to my stomach. I did not sleep well at all last night; the hard, narrow bed kept me tossing and turning. Someone told me that the Ein Gedi kibbutz preserved a bit of the spartan nature that the early kibbutzniks endured (although I have to believe that they would have deemed my hard, narrow bed luxurious), as a reminder of how this land was settled.

A group of Moroccans is staying here, and they sang and danced outside until the wee morning hours. At first, I loved hearing them, their drums punctuating the night air with hard rhythm. But by 2 or 3 o’clock this morning, their celebration wasn’t quite as enjoyable. Continue reading

6 Kislev 5759

Gardens at Ein Gedi kibbutz

(Tuesday night, November 24, 1998) – Ein Gedi kibbutz

Every day is a new fingerprint on my life, unique and unmistakable.

There have been so many things “scheduled” over the last week that I woke up this morning thinking I needed to hurry. When I realized that nothing, but nothing, was urgent, I went back to sleep and didn’t eat breakfast until a little before 9. Continue reading

5 Kislev 5759

(Monday night, November 23, 1998) – Jerusalem to the Dead SeaOne last look from the hotel balcony (towards the Old City)

It was so hard leaving Jerusalem. I stood at my window in Room 11-Chai and drank in the Old City one last time, memorizing stone on stone as best I could. Even as I write these words, I think the scene in my mind, again.

I felt like I was leaving home when I drove away from the hotel today. I had gotten to know two of the shopkeepers fairly well, plus Odeh the Chief Cashier, and Orit of reception. Since the hotel was nearly empty today (El Al would be ferrying all those UJA people back to the States), I even got to see them with their hair down, playing and horsing around. Fun!

Everything took longer than planned, and the noon departure turned into 1 p.m., finally 2 o’clock when I left. Continue reading