Moses' 10 Commandments

Trip Start Jul 16, 1975
Trip End Jul 15, 1976

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Flag of Egypt  ,
Thursday, July 15, 1976

Moses led the Israelites through the Sinai desert for 40 years.  Doesn't make sense for such a small patch of land.  My tour wandered the peninsula for a week.  Now I understand.  It's easy to get disoriented in the same landscape.  After a few days, I had no idea which way was out.  And wondered if we'd ever see anything different around the next mountain.

Bedouins are nomadic Arabs that live in the desert. Our tour ran across several, some herding sheep.  One thing impressed me.  It's customary for them to wrap up their unneeded belongings in a tent and toss them into a tree.  When they return to that area, they simply retrieve it.  The idea of raiding someone else's tree just doesn't appeal to them.

One morning, the tour got up at 4AM to climb "Jebu Musa" - Mt Moses in Arabic.  The idea is to climb to the top for sunrise.  I made it to the summit in time.  The first one from our tour.  It's an incredible view of the mountaintops across the peninsula.

Jebu Musa is the traditional spot of Moses' receiving the 10 Commandments.  At the base of Mt Sinai is St Katherine's Monastery.  It's a 6th century Greek orthodox monastery built on the traditional site of the burning bush.  The skeletons of all monks are ceremoniously stored on site.

Speaking of skeletons, one of my classmates swore he saw an army boot with an ankle inside when he toured Sinai.  It was closer to the Suez Canal, where Israel and Egypt had battled recently.  I looked and looked...but no such luck.  What I did see were "Nawamis."  They're mysterious, stone structures found throughout the desert that date BC.  One theory is that they were used for homes, though nobody knows for sure.

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