Love of the Land

For the week ending 26 January 2019 / 20 Shevat 5779

Metzada and the Italian Tourists

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 Metzada. 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 visit to the yeshiva, one of Ohr Somayach’s former students told an interesting story about a visit he made many years ago to Metzada 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, "And this is where we came in.”

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