Brigadier General (Res) Avigdor Kahalani
Chairman of the Assoc. on behalf of the Soldier
Massada is an ancient fortress on the summit of a rock cliff, at the eastern edge of the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea. King Herod built Massada in the year 37, BC. as a haven in case the Jewish citizens rebelled agains a group of rebel Jews called Sicarii conquered Massada and overpowered a Roman garrisont
By the year 70 AD, more Sicarii and their families who had been expelled from Jerusalem joined them.
Over the next two years, the Sicarii used Massada as a base from where they raided and harassedboth the Roman soldiers and Jewish settlements. Their leader was Elazar Ben Yair.
In 73 AD, the Roman governor Flavious Silva came to Massada with the Tenth Legion and set siege to the fortress.
The Romans built an embankment of thousands of tons of stones and soil on the west side, which was finished in the spring of 73 AD.
About three months after the blockade, the Romans broke through the wall of the fortress with the help of a battering ram.
When the Romans entered the fortress, they discovered that about one thousand defenders, ad set fire to the buildings and preferred to commit suicide rather than be captured.
This version of the story of the siege of Massada was told by two women, who escaped death by suicide when they hid in a well with five children.
The description of the blockade by Joseph Ben Mattityahu describes in detail the famous speech by Elazar Ben Yair, in which he claims the right of freedom, and that freedom is preferable to life
The Israeli Army holds swearing in ceremonies on Massada as a symbol of heroism, and I too was sworn in there