Tourism News from Israel


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Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

For countless years, tens of thousands of Jews have flocked to the desert fortress of Masada from every corner of the globe to celebrate the seminal rite of passage of their sons and daughters, the Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah and to re-connect with their roots in Israel. Families wishing to experience a meaningful bar or bat mitzvah can now choose to do so on top of the ancient Judean fortress of Masada in the Dead Sea, thanks to the local Chabad House, under the direction of Rabbi Shimon Elharar.

 The Masada Experience has been created in their honor as well as to further encourage the Jewish People to fulfil the mitzvah of aliyah l’Torah in celebration of a Bar Mitzvah at Masada.

 Inspired by the location and archaeological findings, the Bar Mitzvah ceremony is performed on Mondays, Thursdays and Rosh Chodesh – the first day of each Hebrew month — in the ancient synagogue discovered atop the Roman fortress.

 The morning service (Shacharit) is conducted with Tallit (prayer shawl), Tefillin (phylacteries) and reading of the Torah portion. The Bar Mitzvah boy then is showered with flying candies, and raised up on to the shoulders of men,  surrounded by singing and dancing.

 Girls of batmitzvah age can also experience this special moment in their lives at the Masada National Park. The Ancient Baker of Masada awaits her, smiling, to show her how to prepare challah. The mitzvah of separating dough and its meaning for the Jewish future are discussed as the loaves are deftly twisted. Later, her family surrounds her in the ancient synagogue for the Bat Mitzvah ceremony, complete with prayers and awards. And everyone returns to eat the challah loaves in the very same manner in which they were enjoyed more than 2,000 years ago!