Love of the Land

For the week ending 1 January 2005 / 20 Tevet 5765

The Masada that Almost Was

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Almost two thousand years after the fall of Masada to the Romans, plans were being made by the Jewish community in Palestine to make a similar stand against the Nazi army advancing towards them.

Barriers were erected on Mount Carmel in Haifa to serve as obstructions against the tanks of Rommels Afrika Corps should they break through the British defenses at El Alamein and invade Palestine. Although the Jewish community put aside its differences with the British over the notorious White Paper, the colonial authorities refused to supply it with arms for self-defense for fear that they would not be returned.

In the end General Montgomerys forces turned back Rommel's army and all that remains of the almost Masada are some rusty iron rails driven into the ground in the Dania quarter of Haifa.

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