Taking the Moral Out of Masada


8 comments posted

although I don't want to read any karma inspired connections into reading your communication(I'm a gneration and a half past that) just this evening in peparing for a talk on modern Hebrew lit at my synagogue I rediscovered Yitzhak Lamdan who wrote a long poem called Masada. He was of the 3rd aliya and made Masada ("masada will not fall again") an icon for that and subsequesnt aliyot. It hung around until the War of Liberation. Amnon Hadary gesher haziv madrich and teacher of the 9th through the 14th workshops

Posted by AMNON HADARY on January 14, 2007 5:08 PM
Amnon, Thanks for reminding


Thanks for reminding me of that poem. I'm looking for the text of it online and haven't found it yet.

Posted by Shai Gluskin on January 14, 2007 5:55 PM
Hi guys! I am doing a

Hi guys!
I am doing a research paper about the myth of masada and I happened upon this page. I really need the full text of the poem "Masada" by Isaac (Yitchak) Lamdan.
If anyone can find it, please email me the link at rachel.b.jackson@gmail.com.
Thanks so much, and good luck!

Posted by rachel on April 28, 2008 10:20 AM
Hi! Just like Rachel, I'm

Hi! Just like Rachel, I'm writing a paper on Masada and also need the text of the poem. Can anyone help me out here? I can't find it anywhere on the internet and my University's library doesn't have the Yudkin book with the poem in it :|

It would be really great if anyone could send me the text (t.rozema@home.nl)

Posted by Ties on May 6, 2008 6:53 PM
I just found this link to a

I just found this link to a paper by an Israeli historian who documents the need and creation of "The Masada Myth" as a motivational tale for European Jewry in support of secular Zionism.

Posted by Shai Gluskin on January 14, 2007 5:59 PM
I'm glad you posted your

I'm glad you posted your thoughts on Masada, Shai. I share some of the very same concerns. At the very least we should be exploring the way we construct our mythologies and question whether they are still serving us well. In my last trip to Israel, I was distressed to see the multi million $ visitor center at the foot of the mountain that brings the myth completely into the 21 century digital-kitsch age. I'd also want to put out there whether we truly want to hold up a small cult of extremist zealots who end up committing mass suicide as our Jewish exemplars. After all, we are not their descendants - our ancestors are the "cowards" who choose to retreat to Yavneh and seek a different path toward a real Jewish future.

I'm already staring to think about how I"d like to present an "alternative Masada" view for our congregational trip to Israel this summer. It's high time, I'd say

Posted by Rabbi Brant Rosen on January 14, 2007 7:25 PM
Your thoughts about Masada,

Your thoughts about Masada, disconnected as they are from anyone’s take on its history, remind me of the distinction you drew in a recent comment on my site between the act of speaking “prayer” and the meaning of the prayer’s words. This post seems to have a similar theme: take something ancient and important, strip it of (or, really, temporarily suspend ourselves from) what we think we know about it, and see if it doesn’t nourish us in new ways.

You explore when you explore! I’m glad your trip was nourishing and fun.

Posted by Peter on January 21, 2007 10:50 AM
Peter, thank you -- your

Peter, thank you -- your attempt to name the stance/approach I'm taking is helpful to me. What you wrote in parenthesis was particularly helpful:

or, really, temporarily suspend ourselves from

Just this last Shabbat (Saturday) during prayer at synagogue I found myself connecting to the meaning of the words and remembered my comment on your post emphasizing prayer as a kind of spoken silence where the meaning is not so important. I wondered about the validity of what I had just written.

What I'm learning from your post here is that we can go in and out of states in which we apply prisms/don't apply prisms to our sight.

Sometimes in prayer, sometimes in historical analysis, sometimes in tourism, it is helpful to intentionally remove prisms -- ironically, so that we can ultimately see better. It seems like the power of discussing this and naming it is that bringing the application/stripping of the prisms from the unconscious to the the conscious state might lead to living in a more mature/self-aware way.

Posted by Shai Gluskin on January 22, 2007 4:20 PM