Youth Hostels and Swimming

First field day on the Arad excursion, and we made a plethora of stops—the first of which being the Roman steps. Having walked down some wet limestone ramps in the Old City, I appreciate how they carved out steps for easy walking despite how much the carts would jostle up and down them.

Our second stop was at Beth Shemesh—a great place to visualize the Samson narrative. Along with my new fascination for monasticism, I will be interested to read up on the Nazarite vow. Tel Azeka was possibly my favorite part of the day with the re-enactment. I was impressed with the enthusiasm from multiple parties and the appropriate casting (height wise).

Moresha brought interesting light to Micah. Sometimes when reading Scripture, it’s hard to imagine the realities of living in certain political climates. Posing Micah 6:6-8 in the context of Philadelphia before the Revolutionary War brought me to such a better understanding of that passage and its nuances.

After a long stop at Moresha, we went to Lachish. Despite all the notes I took during the lecture at the bottom of the tel, the most memorable part was breaking the law in such a Middle Eastern way! I love being sneaky and going around fences with large signs saying, “no passing!” I secretly wished that we would run into some archaeologists just to see Dr. Phillips say (in a presumably quasi-snarky way), “Oh! We’re just archaeology students, so we’re just here to study,” in the hopes of being allowed to stay without some sort of penalty. Alas, it was fun nonetheless.

Going to the Mediterranean Sea at Ashkelon reminded me how crazy it is that I’m in Israel right now. The past 2 weeks has been an amazing whirlwind; the days are melding together, but I swam in the Mediterranean Sea. I played chicken in the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean Sea! This trip to Israel is the adventure of a lifetime.

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