Recently when I visited Israel my family had a wonderful experience seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls and learning about Jewish life in the desert. When I grew up I had so little knowledge of this. I have 2 questions regarding the Essenes :
Are there any authentic, ancient Jewish texts that are from the Essenes? I have learned a little about the Essenes from books, lectures and the Internet, but I am wondering if there are actual texts that I can read that have been passed down throughout the ages? I am specifically interested in their Jewish customs/traditions.
I am also wondering what happened to the Essene Jewish traditions. I know that early Christians were considered Essene (and I think there is record of them--like the "desert fathers"?) but what happened to the Jewish Essenes who were not followers of Jesus? Was their philosophy passed on in Kabbalah or traditions that we might have now that are kept private?