Bar-Mitzvah ceremony on Masada
One of the more unique ways to conduct a Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony in Israel, is to set it at Masada. Masada is etched in Jewish history as the place where Jews favored death over Roman slavery some 2000 years. Their death also marks to gloomy and tragic end of the Big Jewish Rebellion in the first Century CE. The Jews were later scattered and persecuted at different times and places. However, in the late 19th century they started resettling the land of Israel again. Masada became a remarkable symbol for Jewish resistance to foreign oppression for the new Zionist movement. To this day every school in Israel includes visiting and learning about Masada. In the 1960’s the site also intensly excavated by an archaeological expedition. A wealth of finds relating to the Jewish rebels (and the Roman conquest) attested to the credibility of the story.
Among others, the archeological expedition discovered two synagogues, or a synagogue and a Beit Midresh (A Jewish religiuos school. The National Parks authority enables setting a Bar-Mitzvah at the site, although with certain restrictions
Being the most popular tourist destination in Israel after Jerusalem, Masada can get quite crowded. Being so, a Bar-Mitzvah ceremony at Masada can only be done at 8:00, before the big crowds arriv at the site. It is also wise to set it before it get too hot. The event must be pre-set, also to insure the availibility of the desired location.
Needless to say that a guided tour of the site after the ceremony will be of great value. The family will gain a full appreciation of the special history of the site and why is it so remarkable to have here, on a cliff in the harsh Judean Desert such a ceremony. It is also recommended to include a tour of the Masada Museum, and the visitors center of the site.
Being in the desert there are not many options for a festive meal to follow the ceremony. It can either be done at the Cafeteria of the visitors center, or at one of the hotels by the Dead Sea. If conducted in one of the hotels by the Dead Sea, following the meal the group can switch to bathing suites and enjoy the Dead Sea and the facitilies of the hotel.
Setting the Ceremony
Setting a Bar-Mitzvah ceremony at Masada must be pre-set, and reserving your slot should be made months in advance. Your tour guide could lead you through the ceremony and later touring the site. It is also possible to set a Rabbi to lead the ceremony. For those who wish there is also the option of meeting a Torah scribe operating in the ancient synagogue of Masada and have him write a letter in honor of the Child’s festive event. Setting any form of a Bar-Mitzvah ceremony at Masada, connecting to such ancient Jewish history, is an unforgettable experience!.