29 Jul 2016 263 views
supporter of
atom rss 1.0 rss 2.0
web browser google del.icio.us digg technorati
| lost password
birth date
photoblog image Masada 3
Masada 3|

Masada 3


On top of Masada there still remains building structures, as built through King Herod's efforts. They include palaces, lots of stores, living quarters, a synagogue and in Byzantine times a church (now also a ruin) was added. This building is in the area of storerooms. To the right and just above the wall, you can see the Dead Sea.


So what does Masada means to modern Israeli's. A lot. The following comes mostly from dear old Wiki:


The siege of Masada is often revered in modern Israel as "a symbol of Jewish heroism". To Israel, it symbolized the courage of the warriors of Masada, the strength they showed when they were able to keep hold of Masada for almost three years, and their choice of death over slavery in their struggle against an aggressive empire. Masada had become "the performance space of national heritage", the site of military ceremonies. Moshe Dayan, initiated the practice of holding the swearing-in ceremony of Israeli Armoured Corps soldiers who had completed their Tironut (basic training) on top of Masada. The ceremony ended with the declaration: "Masada shall not fall again." The soldiers climbed the Snake Path at night and were sworn in with torches lighting the background. This ceremony is now held at the Armoured Corps Memorial at Latrun, on the road from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.


Others, however, see the Masada tragedy as a case of Jewish radicals refusing to compromise, resorting instead to suicide and the murder of their families, both prohibited by Rabbinic Judaism. Researchers are questioning the findings of Yigael Yadin, the Israeli archaeologist who first excavated Masada. Masada was once a place of celebration for Israelis, but now "Israelis [have] become less comfortable with glorifying mass suicide and identifying with religious fanatics". Other archaeologists have reviewed Yadin's findings and have found some discrepancies. During Yadin's excavations, he found three bodies that he claimed were Jewish Zealots. Anthropologist Joe Zias and forensic expert Azriel Gorski claim that the bodies were actually three Romans taken hostage by the Jewish Zealots. If this is true, "Israel might have mistakenly bestowed the honour [of recognition as Jewish heroes and a state burial] on three Romans". There is also some discussion of Masada's defenders, and whether they were "the heroic hard core of the great Jewish revolt against Rome, or a gang of killers who became victims of a last Roman mopping-up operation".


Now, what do I think. I have heard stories of generals receiving their rank on Masada. I have heard the words "Masada shall not fall again" more than once. While on top of Masada, I have seen various groups of Israeli youths, being spoken to by soldiers. I do not know what was said, but the soldier was strutting, talking in a strong voice, while the youths (around 16years, I would guess) were listening intently, like they never listen to their teachers. When we wanted to enter the ruin of the synagogue, there was yet another group like that, spoken to by two soldiers. We were firmly told to leave, even when it is a public place. My first and second guesses are that patriot style propaganda was shared out during these sessions on top of Masada - even if the Armoured Corps members are now sworn in, elsewhere. I believe that Masada is still seen by many Israeli's as a symbol of heroism.


May we all experience a calm weekend, without some mad shooter/stabber/driver loosing his/her cool.



comments (19)

  • Ray
  • Not United States
  • 29 Jul 2016, 03:30
The tree seems to have given up, Louis.
Louis: I think that over the ages, the various groups of residents, forgot to water it, Ray.
another site of us versus them that looks rather quiet and tranquil today, Louis.
Louis: At this time I haven't seen any of those groups, being presumably indoctrinated, yet. Under the rules of war, I can take yours, without being accused of stealing - us and them can be convenient at times.
  • Martine
  • France
  • 29 Jul 2016, 05:06
J'aime beaucoup la composition de cette photo avec l'arbre dénudé.
Louis: Merci, Martine. Il y a beaucoup de nudité dans cette photo. L'immeuble est sans toit.
  • Lisl
  • Bath, England
  • 29 Jul 2016, 06:32
I admire the fine walls built so well with different sized stones, Louis - and still standing today
Louis: It is as if they used the small stones as fillers or spacers between the big ones. Herod was known for his building projects, so he probably had skilled people available. Thanks Lisl.
For all its history, Louis, this feels like such a peaceful scene! And, yes, indeed, may we all keep our cool everywhere this weekend!
Louis: What is peace, but the deep breath between wars. Some would say I am seeing the dark side, but history teaches us about humankind.
A fine capture... so much history here...
Louis: Thank you Jacquelyn, yes there is a lot of it.
  • Chris
  • England
  • 29 Jul 2016, 06:57
This place seems to be a national symbol of pride & defiance Louis
Louis: Somewhere at the start of the Israel pictures, I mentioned that the Palestinians are aggressive and obstinate, while the Israeli's are arrogant and obstinate - arrogant and obstinate can be substituted with pride & defiance I guess smile
These ruins certainly enjoy a wonderful view Louis!
Louis: Up there, one can see very far. I enjoyed it up on the plateau, Richard.
This is truly living amidst history Louis. We humans are good at building things up and the smashing them down again.
Louis: An old saying is "jealousy makes you nasty". Build something nice and watch the others getting nasty.
I really like the photo with the water in the background. Your essays always leave me with something to think about.
Louis: Thank you Mary
Once again a very interesting post Louis, as Mary says, much to think about.
Louis: Thank you Brian. I believe this is part of the Israeli DNA.
A pretty bleak location!
Louis: Yes, typical last stand country, Tom.
Your last paragraph sounds like brainwashing.
Louis: That's the idea I arrived at. But then, I don't speak the language, so I don't know what was said.
Thanks for the photo's, and the info' Louis, most informative.
Louis: Thank you Frank.
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 29 Jul 2016, 16:54
I went back into the series of the ones I missed. what an incredible pictures. I love the landscape and the rough country.
This one is fabulous. The composition, the stone wall, the door and that lone tree... fabulous.
Louis: Thank you Astrid. I appreciate.
  • blackdog
  • United Kingdom
  • 29 Jul 2016, 18:38
The peace and tranquility of the photograph belies the turbulent past of the site and its current use as a focal point for military fervour.
Louis: So it is blackdog. I like that word 'fervour'
A bleak view, but timeless...
Louis: Without human intervention, it should still look like this a 100 years from now.
A beautiful POV for this image, Louis!
A very interesting history with conflicting views .
Louis: Thank you, Elizabeth. Those conflicting views is also how their politics is made up. The one lot Israeli's say that Palestinian aggression should be answered with aggression. The other lot say that they should keep on negotiating.
Stark tree... could it be symbolic...

Leave a comment

must fill in
[stop comment form]
for this photo I'm in a any and all comments icon ShMood©
camera COOLPIX P500
exposure mode full manual
shutterspeed 1/1250s
aperture f/4.5
sensitivity ISO160
focal length 5.6mm
Brugge lace makingBrugge lace maki...
Masada 2Masada 2