Saturday, July 2, 2011

Why is the Dead Sea dead?

A great teaching, about which I was reminded by Bobby Harris, the Director of Camp Coleman, this Shabbat.

The Dead Sea is well known - it's the saltiest body of water in the world. It's so salty that nothing can live there*, hence "Dead." But, do you know why it's so salty, and so dead?

* ok - technically they've found some bacteria that live in it. Don't kill a lovely teaching with facts, ok?

Well, the Dead Sea is also the lowest point on the face of the earth. So, when water flows into it, mainly from the Jordan River, which begins at the Kinneret (or, if you prefer, the Sea of Galilee), it can't go anywhere. It simply stays there until it evaporates, leaving behind any salts and other minerals it may have been carrying.

The Kinneret lets water leave, so it, like all other bodies of water, can get rid of some of that stuff which piles up further south, in the Dead Sea.

In other words, the Kinneret, which gives as well as receives, is full of life. The Dead Sea, which only takes, and never gives back, is dead.


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