Masada officials get package 35 years in the making... three years late

A tourist from New Zealand returned something to the desert fortress Masada, but the journey to do so spanned a significant amount of time.

Masada (photo credit: ANDREW SHIVA / WIKIPEDIA)
(photo credit: ANDREW SHIVA / WIKIPEDIA)

Israel’s postal system is notorious for being slow, but it took one package three years to reach its destination.

Officials at the popular tourist site Masada in the South received a package that was 35 years in the making when they opened an envelope addressed simply to “Mount Masada” on Tuesday.

“I took this rock from the fortress on Masada when I was a young and silly traveler 35 years ago,” a note from an anonymous sender in New Zealand read. “I would now like to apologize and return it to its rightful place, realizing its historical and spiritual significance. Very sorry. Shalom.”

A New Zealand tourist sent the rock taken from the mountain decades ago, according to KAN, Israel’s public broadcaster.


The package, sent in 2016, arrived in late February 2019, containing an apology note along with a rock that was later verified as belonging to the Israeli historical site. It was addressed only to a “caretaker” at “Mount Masada, Southern Israel.”

The worker who received the letter said in the report that receiving the package was “exciting.”

“This demonstrates that there are still people with morality,” they said, noting that the stone “seems like it was taken from the bathhouse.”

Masada is an ancient fortress that is part of a national park in southern Israel’s Judean Desert.