10 thoughts on “Masada Crumbling

  1. About time we lost that symbol; I was always amazed by the fact that modern Israel iconocized the last vestiges of zealotic sucide.
    As the story goes (Kamtza and Bar Kamtza), it was those Zealots, with their fundamentalist views, that led to the destruction of the Jewish state in the first place.

  2. dear ariel once again the hallowed halls of liberal leftist education has served up misinformation of the jewish kind.
    as for masada, it’s appeal lies in the classic underdog story, david against goliath, zealots against the romans, warsaw ghetto against the nazis. the “zealots” just happen to have forfeited. If you would have gone on some of the wonderful tours at Masada,you would have learned that they could have survived on the mountain for a lot longer, however the romans used the enslaved brothers and cousins of said “zealots” to build the famed Roman ramp up the side of the mountain. Jews being humane and fearful of actually hurting another jew were forbidden by the “Head Zealot” from hurling projectiles down on jewish ramp builders lest they hurt them. Faced with the knowledge that they would be sold into slavery at best, or at worst the women raped and men killed/maimed or worse. they chose an honorable death at their own hand. in some ways it is comparable to the warsaw ghetto, although there were no other jews in captivity to build a ramp against their brethren in the ghetto so there was nothing to compel them to “retreat” and therefore fought honorably to the death.
    as for Kamtza and Bar Kamtza where do you get your information that they were zealots??? YOu are correct that they were the catalyst for the destruction of the temple but it was because their behavior was symptomatic of the larger malaise affecting the population at large – that of “sinat hinam” hatred without cause. which to some extant you are guilty of in your post. Start learning a little about the Jewish heritage and history before you start slinging your own projectiles from your own ivory tower.

  3. Yes Chezzy, So it has been portrayed, unfortunately. It is really the culmination of a revolt originally stirred up by a violent minority the medium term results of which were disasterous to the Jews.
    “Jews being humane and fearful of actually hurting another jew “: Menaham who originally had captured Masada entered Jerusalem (possibly hoping to get overall control profiting from a then widely believed Messianic oracle that a man from Judah was going to become ruler of the world). He killed the High Priest (a potential rival) and his brother but was then captured by Eleazar who had been leading the revolt in Jerusalem (not Eleazar son of Jair led the Zealots in Masada) and tortured to death. There followed a spell of internecine bloodletting amongst rival groups which effectively did a good part of the the Roman’s job for them. The whole First Revolt is littered with violence of Jew against Jew.
    Although the defenders of Masada may have fought bravely, the episode is only glorious if it is removed from its context. It was the culmination of a revolt stirred up by violent minorities for their own personal political ends. Its percussions were felt not only in Palestine but throughout the Diaspora in the Roman ruled world. To compare the Zealots with the Jews who took part in the Warsaw uprising is an insult to the latter.

  4. check this out in the last line of the article:
    On Tuesday, dozens of employees of the nearby towns of Arad and Dimona, led by their mayors, plan to hole up on the top of the hill until the government meets their financial demands.

  5. Chezzy, you are frightfully mistaken.
    The fall of the temple in Jerusalem was expediated by the burning of the stored food and oil, by the Zealous Biryonim.
    As for Kamtza and Bar Kamtza, it was the zealousness of the priests that led to the rejection of the sacrificial offering made by the Roman generals, thereby teaching that zealousness in keeping purity can lead to our downfall.
    The fact that they fled, therefore, has nothing to do with their bravery–but with their failure to hold Jerusalem after ruining it from within.

  6. Is it possible to look at Masada as an architectural and anthropological gem, to separate it from whatever politics one subscribes to? Zealotry or no zealotry, Masada is a breathtaking look at a people from the past.

  7. i am ashamed to say that i am probably the only israeli walking the face of this earth who hasn’t visited masada. Its not that i didnt want to, i just seemed to switch schools always at the wrong times 🙂

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