So I’m not religious, I’m agnostic. Merriam Webster will tell you that makes me “a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable.”
I do take an academic interest in religion – and in the case of this upcoming trip I’m off to one of the major strongholds for several religions: Israel. My good friend Eyal sent me some links to various daytrips in the region: Jerusalem, Dead Sea, etc. I could fake my way through the Jhem description – Wailing Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre – they ring some bells. When it came to “Dead Sea, Ein Gedi and Masada” I thought “float in the sea, spa in the mud and … ?”
Turns out, according to my arsenal of guidebooks and Wikipedia, Masada is one of the most highly trafficked tourist sites in Israel. According to history, Masada was a fortress built by/for King Herod and later the site of the last stand made by Jewish rebels against the Romans. Great, right? Ok here’s the part that sold me. Herod the Great? He’s circa 4 BC. That’s right- Before Christ. That means that this fortress has been hanging on to the Israeli countryside overlooking the Dead Sea for Over 2,000 Years.
Think about that.