Purim on the Go: Road Trip to the Dead Sea

Skip town this Purim.

Sure, there’s nothing quite like celebrating Purim at home, in your own shul with family and friends, but why not take Purim on the road this year. Invite your family and friends to join, pack up all the Purim essentials, and head out to the lowest point on Earth, the Dead Sea.

I’m sure you have floated in the salty waters of the Dead Sea, climbed Masada and shopped at the Ahava Factory Outlet. This Purim, explore the ancient mysteries of Megillat Esther, in the northern region, of the Dead Sea, a short drive from Jerusalem. Rejuvenate amidst the remarkable beauty of the landscape to the myriad of fascinating sights, this area has to offer.

 Go With Yo: A Guide for Celebrating Purim at the Dead Sea

Day 1: Ta’anit Esther

Wednesday, 13 Adar II/ March 20

וַיְהִ֖י בִּימֵ֣י אֲחַשְׁוֵר֑וֹשׁ ה֣וּא אֲחַשְׁוֵר֗וֹשׁ הַמֹּלֵךְ֙ מֵהֹ֣דּוּ וְעַד־כּ֔וּשׁ שֶׁ֛בַע וְעֶשְׂרִ֥ים וּמֵאָ֖ה מְדִינָֽה׃בַּיָּמִ֖ים הָהֵ֑ם כְּשֶׁ֣בֶת ׀ הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵר֗וֹשׁ עַ֚ל כִּסֵּ֣א מַלְכוּת֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֖ר בְּשׁוּשַׁ֥ן הַבִּירָֽה׃ בִּשְׁנַ֤ת שָׁלוֹשׁ֙ לְמָלְכ֔וֹ עָשָׂ֣ה מִשְׁתֶּ֔ה לְכָל־שָׂרָ֖יו וַעֲבָדָ֑יו חֵ֣יל ׀ פָּרַ֣ס וּמָדַ֗י הַֽפַּרְתְּמִ֛ים וְשָׂרֵ֥י הַמְּדִינ֖וֹת לְפָנָֽיו׃ בְּהַרְאֹת֗וֹ אֶת־עֹ֙שֶׁר֙ כְּב֣וֹד מַלְכוּת֔וֹ וְאֶ֨ת־יְקָ֔ר תִּפְאֶ֖רֶת גְּדוּלָּת֑וֹ יָמִ֣ים רַבִּ֔ים שְׁמוֹנִ֥ים וּמְאַ֖ת יֽוֹם׃ וּבִמְל֣וֹאת ׀ הַיָּמִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה עָשָׂ֣ה הַמֶּ֡לֶךְ לְכָל־הָעָ֣ם הַנִּמְצְאִים֩ בְּשׁוּשַׁ֨ן הַבִּירָ֜ה לְמִגָּ֧דוֹל וְעַד־קָטָ֛ן מִשְׁתֶּ֖ה שִׁבְעַ֣ת יָמִ֑ים בַּחֲצַ֕ר גִּנַּ֥ת בִּיתַ֖ן הַמֶּֽלֶךְ׃ ח֣וּר ׀ כַּרְפַּ֣ס וּתְכֵ֗לֶת אָחוּז֙ בְּחַבְלֵי־ב֣וּץ וְאַרְגָּמָ֔ן עַל־גְּלִ֥ילֵי כֶ֖סֶף וְעַמּ֣וּדֵי שֵׁ֑שׁ מִטּ֣וֹת ׀ זָהָ֣ב וָכֶ֗סֶף עַ֛ל רִֽצְפַ֥ת

בַּהַט־וָשֵׁ֖שׁוְדַ֥רוְסֹחָֽרֶת׃ אסתר א–ו

It happened in the days of Ahasuerus—that Ahasuerus who reigned over a hundred and twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia… At the end of this period, the king gave a banquet for seven days in the court of the king’s palace garden for all the people who lived in the fortress Shushan, high and low alike. [There were hangings of] white cotton and blue wool, caught up by cords of fine linen and purple wool to silver rods and alabaster columns; and there were couches of gold and silver on a pavement of marble, alabaster, mother-of-pearl, and mosaics. Esther 1-6

Morning: The Moshe Castel Museum of Art

Discover the ancient colors of Megillat Esther.

Did You Know?

Israeli artist Moshe Castel purposefully chose to integrate his life’s work, at this specific location. The Moshe Castel Art Museum synthesizes Castel’s stunning artwork with scenic views of the changing Maaleh Adumim and Jerusalem landscape.

Say Hi to Anat 050-588-5004

 Brunch(for those not fasting ) The Moshe Castel Art Museum’s Waffle Bar: 02 540-0090

AfternoonQumran National Park

   וּמַאֲמַ֣ר אֶסְתֵּ֔ר קִיַּ֕ם דִּבְרֵ֥י הַפֻּרִ֖ים הָאֵ֑לֶּה וְנִכְתָּ֖ב בַּסֵּֽפֶר׃ אסתר ט:לב

And Esther’s ordinance validating these observances of Purim was recorded in a scrollEsther 9:32

Start your tour of the Qumran, at the multimedia center. Learn about the Ancient Essenes who lived there and see the artifacts of their lives. Hear the tale of the shepherd boy and his amazing discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Did You Know?

The Qumran is believed to have been established during the Hellenistic Period (134-104 BC). Excavations uncovered aqueducts, cisterns, reservoirs, tower, scriptorium, kitchen, assembly hall, pantry, pottery workshop, kiln, and cattle pens. The artifacts point to a profoundly religious existence, with an unwavering observance of the Shabbat, ritual purity, communal prayer and a strong focus on community.

Mid-Afternoon:  Ptil Tekhelet

וּמָרְדֳּכַ֞י יָצָ֣א ׀ מִלִּפְנֵ֣י הַמֶּ֗לֶךְ בִּלְב֤וּשׁ מַלְכוּת֙ תְּכֵ֣לֶת וָח֔וּר וַעֲטֶ֤רֶת זָהָב֙ גְּדוֹלָ֔ה וְתַכְרִ֥יךְ בּ֖וּץ 

 וְאַרְגָּמָ֑ן וְהָעִ֣יר שׁוּשָׁ֔ן צָהֲלָ֖ה וְשָׂמֵֽחָה׃ אסתר ט:לב

Mordecai left the king’s presence in royal robes of blue and white, with a magnificent crown of gold and a mantle of fine linen and purple wool. And the city of Shushan rang with joyous cries. (Esther 8:16).

Make Mordechai’s Tekhelet and Tzitzit.  Learn the secrets of Tekhelet, the wondrous blue color produced from the chillazon, a mysterious sea creature.

Say Hi to Ari 025900577

Maariv + Megillah Reading: C’naaan Tours

עַל־כֵּ֡ן קָֽרְאוּ֩ לַיָּמִ֨ים הָאֵ֤לֶּה פוּרִים֙ עַל־שֵׁ֣ם הַפּ֔וּר עַל־כֵּ֕ן עַל־כָּל־דִּבְרֵ֖י הָאִגֶּ֣רֶת הַזֹּ֑את וּמָֽה־רָא֣וּ עַל־כָּ֔כָה וּמָ֥ה הִגִּ֖יעַ אֲלֵיהֶֽם׃קִיְּמ֣וּ וקבל [וְקִבְּל֣וּ] הַיְּהוּדִים֩ ׀ עֲלֵיהֶ֨ם ׀ וְעַל־זַרְעָ֜ם וְעַ֨ל כָּל־הַנִּלְוִ֤ים עֲלֵיהֶם֙ וְלֹ֣א יַעֲב֔וֹר לִהְי֣וֹת עֹשִׂ֗ים אֵ֣ת שְׁנֵ֤י הַיָּמִים֙ הָאֵ֔לֶּה כִּכְתָבָ֖ם וְכִזְמַנָּ֑ם בְּכָל־שָׁנָ֖ה וְשָׁנָֽה׃וְהַיָּמִ֣ים הָ֠אֵלֶּה נִזְכָּרִ֨ים וְנַעֲשִׂ֜ים בְּכָל־דּ֣וֹר וָד֗וֹר מִשְׁפָּחָה֙ וּמִשְׁפָּחָ֔ה מְדִינָ֥ה וּמְדִינָ֖ה וְעִ֣יר וָעִ֑יר וִימֵ֞י הַפּוּרִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה לֹ֤א יַֽעַבְרוּ֙ מִתּ֣וֹךְ הַיְּהוּדִ֔ים וְזִכְרָ֖ם לֹא־יָס֥וּף מִזַּרְעָֽם׃  אסתר ט:כו–כח

For that reason, these days were named Purim, after pur. In view, then, of all the instructions in the said letter and of what they had experienced in that matter and what had befallen them, the Jews undertook and irrevocably obligated themselves and their descendants, and all who might join them, to observe these two days in the manner prescribed and at the proper time each year. Consequently, these days are recalled and observed in every generation: by every family, every province, and every city. And these days of Purim shall never cease among the Jews, and the memory of them shall never perish among their descendants.Esther 9:26-28

Grab your Megillah, siddurim, and raashanim. Hop in an ATV or Jeep, buckle your seat belt and drive thru the Judean desert. Stop at the cave for Maariv and Megillah reading.

Say Hi to Yossi: 052-383-4113

Purim Banquet: Canaanite Restaurant

וּבְכָל־מְדִינָ֨ה וּמְדִינָ֜ה וּבְכָל־עִ֣יר וָעִ֗יר מְקוֹם֙ אֲשֶׁ֨ר דְּבַר־הַמֶּ֤לֶךְ וְדָתוֹ֙ מַגִּ֔יעַ שִׂמְחָ֤ה וְשָׂשׂוֹן֙ לַיְּהוּדִ֔ים מִשְׁתֶּ֖ה וְי֣וֹם ט֑וֹב וְרַבִּ֞ים מֵֽעַמֵּ֤י הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ מִֽתְיַהֲדִ֔ים כִּֽי־נָפַ֥ל פַּֽחַד־הַיְּהוּדִ֖ים עֲלֵיהֶֽם׃  אסתר ח:יז

And in every province and in every city, when the king’s command and decree arrived, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a feast and a holiday. Esther 8:17

Glamping: Desert Camping Israel

No need to bring anything, David Davidson and his staff will have fresh linens and towels ready ensuring a stress-free night, sleeping in the Judean desert.

Enjoy the campfire and get a good night sleep!

Did You Know?

26 of your group can sleep in the Shepard’s Tent, while the rest of you will enjoy sleeping under the stars in private tents.

Say Hi to David: 0545293439 

Day 2: Purim

Thursday, 14 Adar II/ March 21:

 לַיְּהוּדִ֕ים הָֽיְתָ֥ה אוֹרָ֖ה וְשִׂמְחָ֑ה וְשָׂשֹׂ֖ן וִיקָֽר׃ אסתר ח:י

The Jews enjoyed light and gladness, happiness and honor. Esther 8:17

Early Morning: Judean Desert

Wake up at 4 am for the sunrise hike. Reach the peak of the mountain at dawn. Recite morning services and read Megillat Esther, amidst a stunning backdrop of glorious blues, pinks, greens, and oranges.

Mid Morning: Gallery-430

וּבִשְׁנֵים֩ עָשָׂ֨ר חֹ֜דֶשׁ הוּא־חֹ֣דֶשׁ אֲדָ֗ר בִּשְׁלוֹשָׁ֨ה עָשָׂ֥ר יוֹם֙ בּ֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֨ר הִגִּ֧יעַ דְּבַר־הַמֶּ֛לֶךְ וְדָת֖וֹ לְהֵעָשׂ֑וֹת בַּיּ֗וֹם אֲשֶׁ֨ר שִׂבְּר֜וּ אֹיְבֵ֤י הַיְּהוּדִים֙ לִשְׁל֣וֹט בָּהֶ֔ם וְנַהֲפ֣וֹךְ ה֔וּא אֲשֶׁ֨ר יִשְׁלְט֧וּ הַיְּהוּדִ֛ים הֵ֖מָּה בְּשֹׂנְאֵיהֶֽם׃  אסתר ט:א

And so, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month—that is, the month of Adar—when the king’s command and decree were to be executed, the very day on which the enemies of the Jews had expected to get them in their power, the opposite happened, and the Jews got their enemies in their power. Esther 9:1

Meet up with Yael Aisenthal at the Gallery-430 for a unique graffiti experience.

Did You Know?

Once a decrepit area, filled with old abandoned buildings. Today, a colorful and contemporary art gallery filled with captivating street art. Transformed by local artists inviting visitors to experience the environmental concerns happening in the area.

Brunch: Ein Gedi Hotel

Mid Morning: Ein Gedi Indigo Workshop

Create beautiful patterns on fabric with indigo dye, in a hands-on workshop with Ein Gedi resident, Yonit Shamir.

Did You Know?

In the past, Indigofera articulate was grown in the Dead Sea Valley, specifically to produce the beautiful blue color indigo dye.

Say Hi to Yonit: 052-363-0145

Afternoon: Ein Gedi Synagogue

Tour and recite the afternoon services at the ancient synagogue of Ein Gedi.

Did You Know?

The ancient synagogue of Ein Gedi was discovered coincidentally, by members of the kibbutz. Later excavations, unearthed a 5-6th-century mosaic floor of the synagogue, covered with geometric designs, and several important inscriptions.

Based on the synagogue and its inscriptions, archeologists have concluded that the Jewish community in Ein Gedi in Talmudic times was a thriving Jewish community.

Afternoon: Yiftach Yeshiva in Kibbutz Ovnat

עַל־כֵּ֞ן הַיְּהוּדִ֣ים הפרוזים [הַפְּרָזִ֗ים] הַיֹּשְׁבִים֮ בְּעָרֵ֣י הַפְּרָזוֹת֒ עֹשִׂ֗ים אֵ֠ת י֣וֹם אַרְבָּעָ֤ה עָשָׂר֙ לְחֹ֣דֶשׁ אֲדָ֔ר שִׂמְחָ֥ה וּמִשְׁתֶּ֖ה וְי֣וֹם ט֑וֹב וּמִשְׁל֥וֹחַ מָנ֖וֹת אִ֥ישׁ לְרֵעֵֽהוּ׃ אסתר ט:כט–ל

“…observe the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and make it a day of merrymaking and feasting, and as a holiday and an occasion for sending gifts to one another. Esther 9:19-20

Exchange Mishloach Manot with new and old friends, at Kibbutz Ovnat, a religious kibbutz, near Almog. Help support the boys’ high school Yiftach, with your Matanot L’evyonim.

Did You Know?

Ovnat is a religious kibbutz founded in 2004. Many of Ovnat’s residents work and volunteer at Yiftach.

Mid Afternoon: Purim Shpiel

Prepare to will “roll in the aisles” during Ovnat resident and drama therapist, Netanela Schlesinger’s, Laughter Workshop.

Did You Know?

Laughter is the best medicine. After just a few minutes in Netanela’s Laughter Workshop, your family will feel an increased sense of positivity as well as an improved sense of well being.

The family that laughs together stays together.

Say Hi to Netanela: 050-737-0512

Moroccan Seudat Purim – Biankini Beach Restaurant

וּבְכָל־מְדִינָ֨ה וּמְדִינָ֜ה וּבְכָל־עִ֣יר וָעִ֗יר מְקוֹם֙ אֲשֶׁ֨ר דְּבַר־הַמֶּ֤לֶךְ וְדָתוֹ֙ מַגִּ֔יעַ שִׂמְחָ֤ה וְשָׂשׂוֹן֙ לַיְּהוּדִ֔ים מִשְׁתֶּ֖ה וְי֣וֹם ט֑וֹב וְרַבִּ֞ים מֵֽעַמֵּ֤י הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ מִֽתְיַהֲדִ֔ים כִּֽי־נָפַ֥ל פַּֽחַד־הַיְּהוּדִ֖ים עֲלֵיהֶֽם׃ אסתר ט:יז

And in every province and in every city, when the king’s command and decree arrived, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a feast and a holiday. Esther 9:17

Check into your room at the Biankini Dead Sea Resort. Change into your best Moroccan outfit, and head towards the restaurant for the festive Purim meal.

Say Hi to Dina 02-540-1410

Evening Biankini Night Hike or  Queen Esther Restorative Mud Mask – Biankini Spa

וְיַפְקֵ֨ד הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ פְּקִידִים֮ בְּכָל־מְדִינ֣וֹת מַלְכוּתוֹ֒ וְיִקְבְּצ֣וּ אֶת־כָּל־נַעֲרָֽה־בְ֠תוּלָה טוֹבַ֨ת מַרְאֶ֜ה אֶל־שׁוּשַׁ֤ן הַבִּירָה֙ אֶל־בֵּ֣ית הַנָּשִׁ֔ים אֶל־יַ֥ד הֵגֶ֛א סְרִ֥יס הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ שֹׁמֵ֣ר הַנָּשִׁ֑ים וְנָת֖וֹן תַּמְרוּקֵיהֶֽן׃  אסתר ב:ג

Let Your Majesty appoint officers in every province of your realm to assemble all the beautiful young virgins at the fortress Shushan, in the harem under the supervision of Hege, the king’s eunuch, guardian of the women. Let them be provided with their cosmetics. Esther 2:3

Treat yourself to a restorative mud mask at the Biankini Spa.

Day 3: Shushan Purim

Friday, 15 Adar II/ March 22

Morning: Biankini Beach and Pool

Mid Morning: Almog

Lunch: The Last Chance 053-8094660

Early Afternoon: Almog Junction

וּבְהַגִּ֡יעַ תֹּר֩ נַעֲרָ֨ה וְנַעֲרָ֜ה לָב֣וֹא ׀ אֶל־הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵר֗וֹשׁ מִקֵּץ֩ הֱי֨וֹת לָ֜הּ כְּדָ֤ת הַנָּשִׁים֙ שְׁנֵ֣ים עָשָׂ֣ר חֹ֔דֶשׁ כִּ֛י כֵּ֥ן יִמְלְא֖וּ יְמֵ֣י מְרוּקֵיהֶ֑ן שִׁשָּׁ֤ה חֳדָשִׁים֙ בְּשֶׁ֣מֶן הַמֹּ֔ר וְשִׁשָּׁ֤ה חֳדָשִׁים֙ בַּבְּשָׂמִ֔ים וּבְתַמְרוּקֵ֖י הַנָּשִֽׁים׃ אסתר ב:יב

When each girl’s turn came to go to King Ahasuerus at the end of the twelve months’ treatment prescribed for women (for that was the period spent on beautifying them: six months with oil of myrrh and six months with perfumes and women’s cosmetics, Esther 2:12

Smell like Queen Esther! Guy Erlich’s Balm of Gilead farm, the Balsamon Company, grows ancient perfumes and balms to be used to be used in the Third Temple.

Did You Know?

In 2008, Guy and his family moved from Jerusalem to Kibbutz Almog, in the hopes of returning the agriculture of the biblical Balsamon (Balm of Gilead) tree to the shores of the Dead Sea. Erlich established the Balm of Gilead farm and decided to build a visitors center, showcasing his collection of biblical perfume and medicinal plants.

Say Hi to Guy  052 4498200

Afternoon: Camel Riding

Before heading back for Shabbat, fill your car up with gas, buy a cup of coffee and ride a camel! Grab ahold of this opportunity! Take some photos and reflect on your Purim road trip to the northern Dead Sea!

Shabbat Shalom

Time to head back!  Candle lighting in Jerusalem is 5:12 pm.

Hope you enjoyed your Purim Road Trip to the Northern Dead Sea Region!

Is That It?

Nope, there’s more. Oh, there’s much more.

(Did I mention Einot Tsukim and Qasr al Yahud)

This Dead Sea Trip Guide centered around Megillot Dead Sea – the Northern Dead Sea region. There are so many more beaches, historical sites, awesome people, and great spa treatments. The sheer amount of potential energizing tiyulim is unbelievable.

Hopefully, this Purim Road Trip should have you covered for this year.

If you have something to add or a question, happily leave a comment. Love to see your pictures and hear all about your experiences

If you have made it this far – it was quite a challenge, wasn’t it? Thanks for tagging along!

Chag Purim Sameach!

Go With Yo:

Please call ahead and confirm! Many of the places and guides mentioned need to be booked way in advance! Tell them I sent you!

Weather:

Now, is the perfect season to visit the Dead Sea. Humidity and temperatures combine to make this season feel warm. Highs range from 98.7°F (37.1°C) and 76.4°F (24.7°C) with warmer temperatures in the later months. Rain is sporadic with 0 to 1 day of significant precipitation per month.

What to Wear:

It is advisable to pack layers. The days were warm and the nights tend to be chilly. A hat and sunscreen and crucial!

Packing List

Here is my list of things that I packed and stuff I should have packed: 

THANKS:

Margalit Frydman of Margalit Tours for this excellent Purim itinerary! Excited! Any chance, you are free to guide us? Click here to book your next travel experience with Margalit. Or call Margalit at  972-544844913

Megillot Dead SeaOrit Herstig- Cohen. It was fabulous meeting you at the International Mediterranean Tourism Expo. Thank you for inviting me to visit you in your offices at the Megillot Dead Sea, for the overview and for accompanying us!

All of my Amazing Hosts- Thank you for your high energy, cups of coffee and awesome tours! Can’t wait to come back!

Israel National Parks Authority – Kol Hakavod for your fantastic work maintaining and restoring Israel’s beautiful national parks! Especially love your Instagram account!

Find more high energy great activities, famous tourist sites, inspiring shiurim, great food, tempting coffee, fabulous shopping, coupon codes, discounts, and of course deals. On my blog, www.gowithyoisrael.com.

Coming Soon: Go With Yo Pesach Trip Guide

Go With Yo! Have a scoop? Please Share! Hit me up, on Facebook or Instagram or shoot me an email yochevedfeinerman@gmail.com.

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About the Author
As a high energy mom, living the dream in Israel since 2008, my appetite for Israel is insatiable! Years of tiyulim, holiday celebrations, inspiring chats, meals, detours, (sometimes) mishaps, combined with chats with friends, tour guides, artists, chefs, and designers, continue to deepen my connection with the land, inspire me and grant me access to the best Israel has to offer! It’s my mission to share my discoveries with you, revitalizing your Israel experience! Join the adventure! Ya’lla let’s go! www.gowithyoisrael.com
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