What time did you wake up today? We woke up at 4 AM. After a short drive from our campsite to the base of Masada, we started our hike. Thirty minutes and many calories later, we were at the top of Masada. We toured the ancient ruins, sang and danced, and began our hike back down. Strangely enough, the hike down was much, much more difficult than the hike up. After a quick breakfast, we were off to the Dead Sea. IMG_6504 The Dead Sea, in case you didn’t know, is very, very, very, very salty. Saltier than a million salted herrings. After smearing ourselves in smelly Dead Sea mud, we ran into the sea. We could only tolerate a few minutes of the salt-induced stinging, but the experience was worthwhile. After showering off, we made our way to Kibbutz Lotan, which was associated with the Israeli parallel to Reconstructionist Judaism, the Progressive Jewish Movement. We learned that the Kibbutz was almost completely constructed out of recycled materials, such as discarded tires. We put what we learned to use to create archways made out of mud bricks and rocks, which were sturdy enough to support three people! After saying goodbye to Kibbutz Lotan, we said hello to Kibbutz Ketura. Kibbutz Ketura is affiliated with the Conservative Jewish Movement. The members pool their resources, similar to how the original Kibbutzim functioned. The Kibbutz makes money through growing algae for medicinal purposes, electrical production from the Kibbutz’s huge solar panel fields, and through its expansive date fields. We toured the Kibbutz, and had a pool party and barbecue at their pool, and fell into our beds, instantly asleep.

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