Touring Masada, Rabbi Tovia Singer Questions Act of Jewish Mass Suicide on the Mountain Fortress
During the Jewish war with Rome which began in 66 CE, a splinter group of Jewish Zealots managed to escape to Masada, an ancient Herodian fortification in the Judean Desert. They survived until the Romans breached the wall of the fortress in the spring of 73 CE. However, before Roman troops could enter the fortress, in a desperate act of mass suicide, nearly 1,000 Jews killed each other rather than become slaves to Rome. In his moving tour atop of Masada, Rabbi Tovia Singer explores the historical context of this horrific event, and questions the desperate act of zealous Sicarii on moral grounds. In Jewish law, was it really better to have died rather than become slaves of Rome?
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