Masada: A Symbol of Courage

by Phil Schneider

There is no one week tour of Israel that doesn’t include travelling to Masada. It is so different than nearly anything else a person will see anywhere in the world. It is not one of the wonders of the world. But it is absolutely awe-inspiring. Masada is a fortress that has been dug up and can be seen in all of it’s glory today. It is part of the tragic story of the destruction of the 2nd Temple and the destruction of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel by the Roman Empire.

The Masada fortress towers over the area of the Dead Sea to it’s east. It is located in the Judean mountain range, in a desolate landscape. There is a zigzag approach to walk up the mountain. But even if an invader comes up to try to take over the strategic mountain, they are then faced with a double wall structure that makes it nearly impossible to penetrate.

One of the amazing things about the fortress is the amazing amount of food supplies and water that were stockpiled in the area. The defenders were able to hold out for many months. The fortress was attacked by a legion that was heavily armed and prepared and experienced. Ultimately, the fighters on Masada succumbed in 73 A.D. The Romans focused on setting up a siege and then began their attack. How do you assault a mountaintop? The Romans basically built an enormous siege ramp over 2 months in order to flatten out the impossibly impregnable fortress. Enjoy the video presentation.

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