Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Masada essays in the JP

MASADA WATCH: In anticipation of Hanukkah, the Jerusalem Post has published four essays on Masada:

The symbol of Masada. The adoption of Masada as a modern symbol for the State of Israel, however, is controversial because of what Josephus wrote took place there. (Steve Linde). Introductory to the other three.

Masada and Jewish heroism: A new perspective. The most important question is why the Jews at Masada stopped fighting (Moshe Dann). Most of this essay is behind the subscription wall.

The fall of Masada. Two thousand years ago, 967 Jewish men, women and children reportedly chose to take their own lives rather than suffer enslavement or death at the hands of the Roman army (Jodi Magness). For more on Professor Magness's recent book, Masada: From Jewish Revolt to Modern Myth (Princeton University Press, 2019), see here and here. And for many other posts on the history and archaeology of, and revisionist views on, Masada, follow the links at the latter post.

Masada and its scrolls. Masada was first built as a fortress by a Hasmonean priest Jonathan, either the brother of Judah the Maccabee (152–143 BCE) or Alexander Janneus (103–76 BCE) (Lawrence H. Schiffman). Professor Schiffman is a prominent specialist on the Dead Sea Scrolls. I link to his his blog from time to time.

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