The ancient mountain fortress of Masada, for centuries a sacred symbol of resistance and sacrifice, is the ideological meeting point between the seemingly narrow struggle for Jewish liberation and the ostensibly broader fight against imperialism in the Middle East. It was on Masada that nearly one thousand Sicarii fighters – men, women and children – took their own lives rather than be captured and enslaved by the infamous tenth legion of the Roman Empire. The final act of defiance performed by the Sicarii rebels atop Masada echoed through history and to this day serves as one of the loudest and most compelling inspirations for the Zionist revolution.
The view from Masada is one of the great beauties of the Jewish homeland with tourists flocking from the ends of the earth to ascent the legendary mountain. But to truly appreciate the view from Masada, one must possess a “third eye” capable of looking beyond the aesthetic beauty to discern a higher form of beauty – the beauty of revolution where the colors of history, ideology, politics and destiny fuse into an intense and radiant Judean sky.
From the vantage point of The View from Masada, the span of our nation’s history can be perceived at each juncture in the richness of its depth. Against the backdrop of this view, one easily becomes lost in the palpable romance of a proud and ancient nation reborn on its native soil after nearly two thousand years of absence from the stage of history. Like all philosophical peaks, The View from Masada can be lonely in its purity. But the select few able to take it in and survive its overwhelming intensity are the fortunate elite able to perceive current events according to their historic significance to the drama of Jewish history.
Matityahu Ben-Yosef, AKA the Phantom Blogger, is the Zionist Freedom Alliance’s (ZFA’s) educational director and styles himself the opposite number to the infamous Yosef Ben-Matityahu – the historian Josephus Flavius who betrayed the Zionist resistance to the Roman Empire during the Great Revolt. Matityahu often co-hosts The Struggle with Yehuda HaKohen on Israel National Radio and presents The View from Masada on the blogsphere, offering Revolutionary Zionist insights on political, ideological and educational issues.