Masada

No visit to Israel is complete without a trip to the top of Masada, the site of the ancient Jewish mass suicide during the uprising against the Romans. There are two ways to ascend the mountain top: hiking the Snake Path OR via cable car. While the rest of the Ramah Seminar participants hiked up, we took the cable car. While the cable car has existed for a long time, until about 10 years ago Masada was largely inaccessible. The cable car stopped at a point on the mountain that still required people to climb about 15 steps. With the new cable car docking station, they also made the top of Masada relatively accessible. As you can see in the pictures, the majority of the paths are paved and ramps for handicapped customers are clearly marked.

However, sometimes the ramps aren’t quite enough. If you look at the bottom-left picture, it shows a ramp. While the ramp is made of wood, at the point the wooden planks meets the concrete paving, there is a bit of concrete connecting the walkway and the wooden ramp. Unfortunately this uneven paving meant that Yishai got stuck as he traveled up the ramp. We needed to give him a push up. This happened a number of times atop Masada; ramps that seemed accessible in actuality meant he needed some assistance to maneuver them.

Given the terrain on top of Masada, generally they did a phenomenal job making this National Park accessible to people with physical impairments. I am thrilled we were able to participate in this part of Israeli history and touring experience.

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