Masada will Not Fall Again

Masada will Not Fall Again

by Sophie Greenspan, Unada (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 174 pages
Not in stock

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No people has treasured liberty more than the Jews. The mighty epic of Masada tells of Jews who preferred liberty to life itself. They would have agreed with the American hero Patrick Henry, many centuries later, when he said: "Give me liberty or give me death!"

Their story centers on the bleak fortress of Masada in the Judean Desert, after the conquest of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Holy Temple by the Romans in 70 C.E. Here, in a last stand, Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes laid aside the differences that had crippled their resistance to the Romans and united in zeal for God and country. All became Zealots, determined to drive the Romans from their land.

Their leader was Eleazar ben Ya'ir, one of the great freedom fighters of Jewish history and nephew of Menachem, who wrested Masada from the Romans before falling in the fight for Jerusalem. Jewish patriots from many far-off lands flocked to Eleazar's standard.

This exciting story brings to vivid life people who might have taken part in this great episode of Jewish history. It tells of a bridal couple, Adin and Ohada from distant Babylonia; the winsome Urzillah, from Nabatea, child of the caravan trails of the East; and Justus from Alexandria in Egypt, with his faithful wife, Sarah, a convert to Judaism. Survivors from Jerusalem may well have included boys such as Iddo, of the priestly tribe, his friend and rival, Aviel, and little Yitzhak, orphaned by the Romans, and protected by Hannah, his grandmother and only surviving relative. Faith and courage belonged to them all—soldiers such as Nathaniel, old women like Huldah, kinswoman of Eleazar, and Yeshu, the gentle scholar from the Essene commune of Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls lay concealed from the ravages of the Romans until our own days. It was these people that held a mighty Roman army at bay for three years. Even in their extremity they practiced and treasured the rites of their religion—blessing the new moon, circumcising the newborn infant, bathing in the mikveh (the ritual bath), reciting the daily prayers.

Fighting against religious intolerance and for the freedom of the individual to the very end, when all hope was gone, they resolved to die as free men, women, and children. In turning their swords against themselves they denied victory to the Romans and the general Flavius Silva, for their memory has prevailed over that of their oppressors. Their example inspires brave men and women everywhere.

from the dust jacket

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