The Dead Sea

יָם הַמֶּלַח – Yam HaMela, “The Sea of Salt”. One of two major inland seas in Israel, and is fed by the River Jordan. Mention of Yam HaMela in the Talmud may actually be in reference to any salty sea (as opposed to a fresh water lake) while other times it refers specifically to the Dead Sea, which was also known as “The Sea of Sodom.” Forbidden objects are said to be cast into the Dead Sea since no fishermen frequent the sea, minimizing the number of people who would come in contact with these objects. Another reason may be that the high concentration of salts in the water of the Dead Sea would dissolve anything that was thrown into it.

Read more in the Jewish Encyclopedia or at Wikipedia.

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