Passover in the Desert

by Sarah on April 5, 2010

desert flowers

A little flower with a big name- Aaronsohnia factorovskyi

This Passover, in honor of Moses who wandered for forty years in the desert, we went camping in the forbidden landscape of the Dead Sea area, overlooking Jordan where Mount Nebo is located. From this mountain, Moses had a view of the Promised Land which he would never set foot in, including Wadi Og in the Northern Judean desert where we took our family hiking.

wadi og, in northern Judean desert

Bedouins, flowering capers in Wadi Og

We invited several of our friends to accompany us but nearly all of them looked at us askance and shook their heads with a vengeance sometimes with laughter erupting from the corners of their mouths at the mere ridiculousness of it. This included the Prais family whose idea of a pleasurable outing is the deep blue sea and gentle waves not sleeping on pebbles and eating sand.

nahal og

Climbing the cliff wall of Wadi Og

nahal og

Noam, brave four year old climbing up

They have a point but they will never have a chance to see the sunrise over the Dead Sea, while drinking diluted tea, something I would never miss. On this particular trip we also had forgotten to buy food because we were out sailing and packed barely enough to keep us from starving, rice matza, popcorn and potatoes all cooked over the campfire and the cast iron poyke pot like real wilderness people. The Shains, a brave and adventurous family who agreed to join us brought the most important item- marshmallows!

campfire with potatoes

Rice and potatoes

Rice overlooking the Dead Sea

2 cups of basmati rice

3 cups of water

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoon vegetable oil

Build a campfire overlooking the Dead Sea (although not too close because you don’t want to fall into a sink hole) using wood gathered from other areas of the country. Keep an eye out for campers who might steal your wood which you worked so hard to gather.

Combine all the ingredients in a cast iron pot. When only glowing coals remain place the pot over them, bunching the coals beneath the pot. Wait for twenty minutes and check doneness. If the rice is almost done, remove the pot from the coals and keep covered for another 10 minutes. The rice will continue cooking in the residual heat of the pot. Come ‘n get it.

dead sea from masada

The Dead Sea from Masada

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Celeste April 5, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Wow! Sarah, that first pic with the yellow flower is absolutely beautiful.
Great shot.
And seeing your boys hiking and reading the post just brought back so many memories especially since I virtually travelled in the same area.



Sarah April 5, 2010 at 9:55 pm

thank you Celeste and Elra, We had a great vacation but tomorrow the boys finally get back to school (after almost 3 weeks!)-and I am very happy about that ;-)


elra April 5, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Wonderful write up Sarah. Love the breathtaking photographs as well.


Jay P April 5, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Fantastic photos Sarah. Looks like an amazing place. We love hiking but I’m not too sure about how brave I would have been confronted with that rock face – well done the four year old for attempting it!


Yael April 6, 2010 at 1:46 am

Next year we’re coming with you, now that we have our own poike pot. Erez thought about taking just the girls camping in the desert and teaching them about photographing. we now have a new Nikon D90 camera only it is still in China.


Yael the Finn April 6, 2010 at 6:13 am

Wow,the pictures are awsome Sarah :-)


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