Heed this warning: if you pee in the Dead Sea your private area will never forgive you.
I learned this the hard way at the age of 9. Thanks, No Adult in the Group, for going over this at the time. Legit fire crotch🔥. Avoid! Now that that's out of the way, I can say that this is one of the world's best locations to visit. The Dead Sea experience is fantastic. Cleansing, healing, rejuvenating both in body and soul. And not in the way they preach at Soul Cycle 🚴.
On this particular visit to Israel, this day was easily my favorite. The high salt content in the water causes true buoyancy. It's so much fun to float! Body and spirit are literally and symbolically lifted. The insanely rich amount of minerals in the water does magic for the skin. It actually really heals. People with skin ailments come from all over the world for the Sea's healing properties. Floating in the water, surrounded by desert, slathering myself in the purest mud taken directly from the earth, then rinsing off in fresh water left me feeling soft, clean, happy and refreshed. Our family made a floating people chain, too fun.
The most beautiful moment was bringing my father in law, who has been wheelchair bound for years, into the Sea. A few words about this dear man. He survived the Holocaust. He is 86. He survived 9/11. He lost his 20 years’ younger wife. He landed at Ellis Island with nothing. He clawed his way towards a beautiful life in America. He remained solid in his belief in God and in Good despite all his struggles. He has dealt with a long list of physical and medical limitations. And all he wanted to do was float in the Dead Sea. So, he did. And he was in heaven at the lowest point of the earth. The symbolism cannot be ignored; that even in the lowest depths of any situation, we can always float and rise to the top. It's always possible if you will it so. Our family has incredible memories of four pairs of hands supporting him in the water. We lift each other even if there is natural buoyancy. Humans must never stop keeping each other afloat, even if our assistance doesn't appear necessary. It always is. He has always deeply enjoyed being in the water, but is so rarely able to go in. This was a dream come true for him, surrounded by his grandchildren in these magical waters. From scared and starving under Hitler, to this... The trajectory of this man's life continues to amaze me. He is really a phoenix that has risen from the ashes many times. It’s fascinating that a parent needs one pair of hands to raise their children, but the children need to combine all their hands to raise a parent. May God continue to keep him happy and afloat... May the simplicity of water continue to revive and heal... May the mud masks purchased at every conveniently located Dead Sea gift shop keep tightening your pores... 💦