Love of the Land

For the week ending 26 February 2005 / 17 Adar I 5765

Another Look at Massada

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

Many legends surround one of the most popular tourist sites in Eretz Yisrael, the ancient fortress of Massada. Visitors to this site hear from the guides about the courageous stand made by Jewish rebels against the mighty Roman army and how they committed suicide rather than fall into the hands of those heathens.

During a recent visit to the yeshiva, one of Ohr Somayachs former students told an interesting story about a visit he made many years ago to Massada together with his father. Ahead of them was a group of Italian tourists led by a guide speaking their language. The father of our alumnus spoke fluent Italian and when he heard the guide make a certain point, he burst into uncontrollable laughter.

When he finally recovered, he explained to his son how funny it was, after all they had heard from their own guide about the courage of the Hebrew defenders, to hear the Italian guide say to his compatriots of Roman origin, as he pointed to one section of the fortress, "This is where we came in."

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