PLEASE READ IT IS WELL WORTH IT: (photo and video link at bottom of page)
I coerced some friends into going to the negev and then to Eilat with the ultimate purpose of going to Kever Aharon. Once we got to Eilat we went to the minister of tourism for Israel's office. I asked her about Kever Aharon and she told me there was a tour of Petra on Wednesday if I wanted to go. I told her that I didn't have the time and wasn't as interested in Petra as I was in seeing where Aaron(Moses Brother) is buried. She sent me to a place that does Petra tours.
We went to the office and spoke to a woman who wanted us to go on an organized trip later in the week. When I explained to her that we were Yeshiva students and that the purpose of our trip was to see Aaron she understood what I wanted and said it is one of the most amazing trip I can take. She called some bedouins in Petra and arranged us a guide name Haaney. We walked across the border to Jordan from Eilat.
We got across and would've been able to walk into Jordan without a visa or anything. It seemed like no mans land. I decided that it would not be a good idea to be walking around in Jordan without a visa so we knocked on some doors until we found a guy. He went to windows 8 and told us to wait there. He stamped some stuff handed us our passports and went to window 9. He told us to go there. The same guy told us to go to several windows to get various stuff done and we got our visas. In the middle of all of this it was prayer time so he hit the ground and began praying in front of us. One thing I do have to say about muslims is that they have very strong prayer.
We were in. We got a cab at the border and had him take us to petra. He stopped in Aquaba and we had to switch cabs. It was a little unnerving but we made it through okay. I discussed religion and politics(brilliant for a Jew in an Arab country) with him the whole ride which was about 2.5 hours.
We checked into a hotel and called Haaney to arrange for the next days adventure. We brought all kosher food with us which we smuggled in our clothes as you are not allowed to bring food across the border. We rationed our meals for the day and took off.
We met Haaney at the entrance to Petra. We payed our fees and did a couple hour hike through petra to look at the ruins. With that being said my main goal was to get to the Kever asap and for as long as possible. We got to a place and rented our donkeys.
We now began the tough part of the trip. A 3 and a half hour donkey ride in the desert. It was the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen and I have been to many places. We saw bedouins, animals, and beautiful mountain landscape. About half way through the donkey ride we met up with a man from the minister of tourisms office in Petra. This man had the keys to Kever Aharon. Haaney told us that he had to call the night before for hours to arrange for this man to open the door for us.
After three hours of being on the donkeys we summited a mountain and just as Rashi described it over a thousand years ago, it was a mountain sitting on top of a mountain. The second mountain had to be climbed on foot and was about a 45 minute climb. At this first summit the man from the ministers office refused to let us in and only agreed to open it so we could look inside. I told haaney this was unacceptable. He said we could still see the view but I told him that my purpose was not to see the view but to see aaron. We happened to be overlooking Israel and could see straight into the negev(desert in southern region of Israel) One settlement was visible. It just so happened that my cell phone which received no service in all of Jordan picked up a cell tower from Israel and we were able to make calls into Israel. So I called all of my rabbis to tell them where I was and what we were doing. It was very emotional for me.
Haaney explained to me that nobody had been inside the kever for months and that Jews were not allowed to go inside anymore becuase somebody put grafitti on the tomb. I told him that I had to go inside no matter what. He used my cell phone to call the Jordanian Ministers to get permission. There was a police outpost near here that told the minister not to open the door for us at all. Things were not looking good.
But the fact that the cell phone worked was truly a miracle and Mr. Haaney was able to secure permission for us to at least look inside. I told Haaney that I had to go inside and davin(pray) and put my t'fillin on. He said there was no way and I told him that I'd pay the guy off to let us in. So we went up. I was the first to summit and when I got up to the top and walked around the side the minister was there with the door open. He said "five minutes". So I walked around it quickly and put my T'fillin on. Rick and Noah entered at this point and I began to pray. I davined Mincha and said prayers for family, friends, my rabbis, the people they told me to pray for, and finally when Noah was done Davining I said T'hillim(psalms) out loud and Noah and Rick repeated them after me. The Arabs did not bother us. Something happened once I put my Tfillin on. It was like they protected me and kept the arabs from bothering us while we prayed. In the corner I saw some stairs going into the darkness. I asked when we first got there if we could go down there and they said no. If you've been to a tomb before then you understand that usually the tomb is up high but the bodies are buried down below. Usually the entrance is blocked off or locked. But in this case since the tomb wasn't used anymore it was just an empty stairway.
When we were done praying I asked if we could go down and they said make it quick. So we went sojourned down the staird into the mountain. It was pitch black and we couldn't see anything. We tried to use our cell phones to light the way to no avail. Then I realized that my camera had the red eye thing that shot a red light out. So we used that to see where we were going. In the side of the wall there was a bulge coming out. Aarons body lays inside that bulge. We stayed down there for a bit and I got a photo of it.
We emerged new men. We came outside and got on the roof of the mosque. We stared at Eretz Yisroel(land of israel) exactly as the children of Israel had with moses leading them before they entered the land of Israel.
The rest is not so important although there was a lot more to our journey. We made it back safe and I'll never forget my trip with Rick and Noah to Kever aharon. I am going to try to set up a group trip to the kever for aaarons yirtzhit(day he died) either this or next year. Please e-mail me if you're interested.
I have amazing photos and videos. Every one is worth the time to look at or download(in the case of the videos). Please enjoy them
There were so many pictures that I divided into two pages(and actually should have made it more.) The experience was so amazing I did not want to leave any pictures out. I divided it into a page of Petra proper and one page of just Kever Aharon pictures and after.
I can't believe I actually made it. This experience was almost as big as UMAN maybe even bigger but not quite...hmm...I'm not sure. Well who needs to compare anyway it was awesome. I am so blessed that I got to go to this special place that so few get to go to and aren't allowed into anymore.
Click here for Petra Pictures that led to Kever Aharon
Click here for Kever Aharon Pictures.