The Pilgrimage: Israel Part Nineteen

What would a trip to the Dead Sea be without a dip in the Dead Sea, perhaps with the help of a coat of protective mud….

So you run into the mud people…

Our Yuliya decided just to dip her toes into the chemical bath which is the Dea Sea (honestly its rather slimy and requires a quick shower. It’s good point— you can’t sink). It was also about 100 degrees, not surprising at the lowest point on earth.

If the Dead Sea is not your cup of tea (and I hope it isn’t– you can’t drink it), then you might enjoy seeing what people have done with the salt residue… make pillars of salt, sculptures… (can anyone say, replicas of Lot’s wife??).

Just up the road from this ‘beach’ (I use the term loosely. This ain’t Myrtle Beach) is where the Qumran community had their base camp. A few pictures are in order. Here is the famous Cave 4 where the lengthy Isaiah scroll was discovered. The story of the finding of these scrolls is too familiar to repeat here.

But of course there were many caves around, and various of them had stored scrolls in them.

There is actually not a lot to see at Qumran. Yes there is a mikvah, the ritual immersion pool.

Yes there is evidence of a scriptorium, and of a dining hall, but there’s little to see besides rock walls and gravel.

Of course the main importance of Qumran is in its scrolls which help us understand the ethos of Jesus’ world, and some of its core beliefs and practices, but of course the scrolls are in Jerusalem, and elsewhere.


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