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Archive for December, 2014

After a few days of hiking through the desert, rafting down the Jordan River and riding my first Camel, we ended our trip at the Dead Sea which to me is like the Massage Envy of the Middle East. The Dead Sea is the lowest and saltiest place on Earth. You start by rubbing mud all over your body, followed by 15 minutes of floating in the salt concentrated water. If you can’t swim, don’t worry; everyone floats in the Dead Sea. We also learned not to go in the water if you have any open cuts or wounds because it will burn! After floating for a few minutes, we rinsed off and proceeded to relax in a heated sulfur pool followed by a cool fresh water pool. It was like a day at the spa.
dead sea

By Lonnie Bloom, MBA | 609.520.1188 | lbloom@withum.com

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Masada (Hebrew for fortress) is one of Israel’s most popular tourist attractions. Now a national park, Masada was once an ancient fortress that experienced many battles by the conquering Romans. The view is breathtaking and the hike is challenging, especially in the heat of Israel. I had the opportunity to have my first Bar Mitzvah at the top of this plateau like mountain, overlooking the Dead Sea.

dead sea

By Lonnie Bloom, MBA | 609.520.1188 | lbloom@withum.com

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The view of Jerusalem from Mount Scopus is quite amazing. If you find yourself in Jerusalem, you need to make your way to Machane Yehuda (“The Shuk”), which is a marketplace with hundreds of vendors, selling everything from art to authentic Middle Eastern food. If you like halva, the best in the world is here. I would suggest trying the halva milkshake. I would also suggest that you do not touch the Sabra with your hands, especially when an Israeli man is screaming, “Don’t Touch!” A Sabra is a prickly pear, like fruit that comes from a cactus and feels much like a cactus. Sabra also means “Native Israeli.”

The Western (Wailing) Wall is located in the heart of Jerusalem and has great meaning to Jewish people all over the world. People come here to pray and stick notes in the cracks of the wall. It is interesting to see how this historic wall affects the local Israelis and visitors from around the world.

israel 2

By Lonnie Bloom, MBA | 609.520.1188 | lbloom@withum.com

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tour ofTzfat is considered one of the holiest cities in the world. It is the center of the Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism, and seems like one of the happiest places on earth. People come from all over the world to visit Tzfat and find their sense of spirituality. There are hostels where you can stay that only cost $150 a week. If you ever need a place to meditate, Tzfat is like no other.

By Lonnie Bloom, MBA | 609.520.1188 | lbloom@withum.com

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