This is the last update from the amazing Buffalo MOMentum 2019 trip! Thank you Donna Levy and Alla Kats for these final thoughts.
Our day began with an inspirational lecture by Adrienne Gold, our Trip and Educational Leader for Momentum. The theme we discussed was Unity and Mutual Responsibility. Adrienne explained that the human condition is like a tree with a thousand leaves. Even though we think we are this separate entity and though it’s true that every human being is an entity unto themselves, we are also part of a greater one. We realized that we are all interconnected and responsible for one another.
We had the incredible experience of touring Masada, the ancient mountain top fortress locationed in the southern Israel Judean Desert and overlooking the Dead Sea. You can walk up along the winding path to the fortress that was build around 30 BCE. We were fortunate enough to take a cable car ascending to the top with incredible views. Among the ruins are King Herod’s palace, and a Roman style bath house with mosaic floors. The Romans sieged the fortress and the Jewish zealots famously chose suicide instead of enslavement.
If visiting Masada wasn’t momentous enough, we then traveled a short distance to experience the lowest point on Earth – the spectacular Dead Sea located at 1378 feet below sea level. The cobalt blue water was beckoning us. We lathered on the mineral rich mud and loaded in therapeutic waters. We all felt renewed and beautiful as we departed for Jerusalem.
A Momentum celebration event took place at the Kedma in Neve Ilan. We joined 500 Momentum sisters as we celebrated together our weeklong inspirational journey with delicious food, music, dancing and singing. This was an incredible, unforgettable day connecting with our new friends from all over the world. We accomplished all of our goals of learning to connect with Jewish values, engage with Israel, take action, and foster unity without uniformity. This was an experience that we will never forget and we are truly grateful to have been part of it.
First of all, I’d like to thank the Buffalo Jewish Federation and especially Stacey Block for choosing me to go on this journey that has added so much to my life I never knew was missing. I would like to share my experience at the Dead Sea. But before doing so, I need to somehow paint a picture of the feeling I had beginning at the highest point of Masada – so freeing, so alive. And then down to the lowest part of the sea; the Dead Sea. Why do they call it the Dead Sea I wondered? Well apparently it’s because it all “ends there”. But does it? Not to me. I felt completely opposite. There are moments in my life I feel like I’m drowning. Everything hitting me at once – not doing enough, not being enough, never ending tasks, never enough time to complete what I wanted in the day. But at the Dead Sea I couldn’t physically drown. Floating at the Dead Sea awakened my own inner strength. No matter how hard your day may have been, no matter what unexpected cards have been dealt to add to your plate, YOU JUST KEEP FLOATING. Keep your head above water and keep swimming. And with that, I take away more than a spa like experience. I left the Dead Sea knowing I’m stronger than I give myself credit for, tomorrow will always be a better day, and that it’s much easier to float than it is to drown. So no, to me the Dead Sea does not mean the end, to me it means another day above water, another day of life.