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ASCENT Israel Mission - Day #4: Masada
By Michal, Faige, and Zehava

The day began EARLY….as we sleep-walked up Masada during a magnificent sun rise. Masada is the mountain famous for the castle built by Herod the Great which later housed the Jews who escaped Roman captivity. The Jews, who lived on Masada, ultimately took their own lives when the Romans attacked. We heard a lot of amazing stories about this unique period of history. The ancient mountaintop synagogue provided the perfect backdrop for a meaningful ‘lady-naming’ ceremony, during which women who were never given a Jewish name, received a Jewish name for the first time. Our own Vicky became Chana- Mazel Tov!

Next stop- Jerusalem! We checked into the Jerusalem Gate Hotel and proceeded to get acquainted with the city and enjoyed our free afternoon to shop, rest, and visit friends and family. Barbara Hanovich met her new granddaughter today for the first time, and yes she is a cutie. Mazel Tov, Barbara.

Dinner at the Italian restaurant, Apple and Pear, was delicious. Amy Gold met her ‘partner in Torah’ for the first time, after learning with her, each Sunday, for over a year. The entire group was thrilled to meet Renee, Amy’s partner, and excited to hear about their learning experiences. The dessert for the evening was our trip to the Kotel/Western Wall, where we had the chance to touch the only stones in the world that touch you. These stones have been a source of comfort and inspiration for prayer and a connection to God for the millions who have come here over the years. To think we are now a part of its rich history!!!!

It’s hard to believe we have only been here four days! These jam-packed days have been so fun, meaningful, and inspiring. We feel like old friends, as each day feels like 10 years!

More to come- keep you posted,

Michal, Faige, and Zehava

P.S. It’s 2:30 am and we need to be awake and ready in 4 hours for the next amazing day so the photos will have to wait until later. Layla Tov!

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