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Qumran The Land of Buried Treasure

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The world of the Dead Sea Scrolls comes to life in the ancient Essene desert outpost

The year was 68 CE and the Romans were coming, tearing through Judea and destroying everything and everyone in their path. An isolated community of 200 Jewish souls, located below the cliffs on the northwestern shores of the Dead Sea, reached a desperate decision. It was a long shot — but they resolved to hide away the fruit of two centuries of hard labor, hoping to return someday and to pick up where they’d left off. Wrapping hundreds of fragile scrolls in linen, they placed them gently inside clay jars and hid them in caves near their homes at Qumran.

Almost two thousand years later, in spring of 1947, a shepherd boy taking his flock to Bethlehem passed by the caves. One of his goats had wandered off and no sooner had he thrown a rock into the nearest opening to flush it out than he heard a crash: the stone had smashed an ancient jar. Since that time, over 800 scrolls — and the ancient settlement itself — have come to light.

The first century was not the only time that Jews had settled at Qumran. Indeed, there were Jews here during the Israelite and First Temple Period who abandoned the site only during the Babylonian conquest. But the Jews who settled here during the second century BCE were an especially spiritually oriented group. They were called the Essenes, and belonged to one of the largest of contemporary Jewish sects in Judea.

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Read the full article over at The Times of Israel.

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Testimonials
I feel prompted to write this email to you all and your wonderful company after the tour my daughter and I took with you throughout Israel. From the moment you picked us up, to the time we arrived for our airport departure, I was impressed with the service you delivered. Shmuel is an absolute legend and quite clearly has a real passion for his country and culture and loves to share it with others. His love and knowledge of Israel and the people whom live there is in my mind what made the trip all that it was. Shmuel has left a large impression on me re-igniting a spark inside me that has been slowly smothered by the pressures of living in our fast paced modern society in the United States. During the tour I came to realize the reality of the Bible stories and felt a new connection spiritually. I can’t thank both of you enough for making such a trip so informative to the average person like myself, as I believe it has left me with a new outlook on life and passion to get out there to what is real - our love of Israel, it’s culture and most importantly to have compassion and support for those who care for this great land. Ignorance only comes through a lack of knowledge and people like Aviva and Shmuel makes a big difference. We highly recommend seeing Israel with them, shalom! Yours Gratefully, Christine and Genevieve Ivory





Christine and Genevieve Ivory