The northernmost portion of the Jordan River was our first stop of the day. Those that wished were given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be baptized in the same river where Jesus was baptized by John, although His took place near "Bethany over the Jordan", which is now in the country of Jordan. It was a very solemn occasion to watch the white robed individuals take that step in such a meaningful place.
When the students went off to college, they saw the capitalist side of things. This caused discontentment and emotional problems, which brought much strife to the community. Today, they have privatized much of their daily life, but still maintain that social structure and cohesiveness. This shows how important the family structure is! This transition took over 25 years to materialize.
Now we are headed down towards the Dead Sea...the lowest spot on earth. Its salt content is 34%, and three times saltier than any other body of water. It has healing properties, especially for those who have health issues relating to their skeletal system, and is soothing for the skin. Insurance policies in England, Poland, and Germany will pay for 3 weeks of intensive treatments, including lodging and airfare. Hummm...socialized medicine doesn't sound so limiting when you hear that!
Tomorrow we tour Masada, that great mountain fortress. The story is a sad one. Qumran is the place where the shepherd boy found the scrolls of Scripture, which verified that the Bible is a true historic document. Of course, we don't need that verification, but the world does. We will see them as well when we set our sights on The ancient city of David. "Tomorrow, in Jerusalem!"