Nearly two hundred men, women and children made their way to the top of the Judean desert fortress of Masada on Wednesday, April 8, 2009 in the grey light before dawn.
It was the morning preceding the Passover seder, and there was still much to be done before the holiday began.
What could have brought anyone out at that chilly hour?
Only a rare event, such as the Blessing of the Sun, could have inspired such a pilgrimage.
Once in every 28 years, the sun returns to the exact place in time and space in which it was first Created -- and for this event, Jews around the world rise to the occasion with a special blessing.
But this year in particular was special; the unique positioning of the sun at the vernal equinox is not expected to fall on the morning of the Passover seder again for another 500 years, or longer.