by Roger Johnson, Israel Today
On a hot October day in 2010, my wife and I stood atop Masada during a tour of the Holy Land. While our guide told us that most dramatic story of the 960 Jewish Zealots, tears ran down my cheeks. We had just come from the Holocaust Memorial at Yad Vashem where we witnessed the horrific images of Jews put to death in unspeakable ways in Hitler’s death camps—most notable Konzentrationslager Auschwitz.
There is no purpose in my recounting the horrific number of Jewish victims or the varied ways that the Germans found to torture and kill them—except to say that the final count and the methods of killing are numbing to the soul and must never happen again.
Masada and Auschwitz have certain similarities. In both cases, civilians were besieged by an irresistible military force bent on the death or enslavement of Jews. But one huge difference stood out as my wife and I looking down on the Roman ramp that was the eventual downfall of Masada. Those Jewish Zealots made a choice to slit their own throats rather than to submit themselves to slavery, rape, torture, and humiliation by the Romans.
On 23 March 1775 a great American patriot stood in a church at Richmond, Virginia and included the following three sentences in a speech that lit the fuse for the American Revolution. “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” In my historical fiction novel—THE TREASURE OF DEAD MAN’S CHEST—I describe in much more detail how Patrick Henry wrote down those words while the true author—an elderly Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ—spoke them just moments before he was flogged to death with a cat of nine tails. Another great patriot—this one a Jew named Eleazar Ben-Yair—gave a similar declaration to the besieged Jews atop Masada. According to the two women who survived that awful day, his speech began and ended thusly: “Since we, long ago, my generous friends, resolved never to be servants to the Romans, nor to any other than to God Himself, who alone is the true and just Lord of mankind, the time is now come that obliges us to make that resolution true in practice…for they (food and water) will be a testimony when we are dead that we are not subdued for want of necessities; but that, according to our original resolution, we have preferred death before slavery.”
The Israeli Defense Forces swear in their new soldiers atop Masada, and at the end of the ceremony, a wooden banner is ignited. The words on that banner read, MASADA SHALL NEVER FALL AGAIN! The World needs to hear that message from Israel. The world needs to know that the Jews will never slit their throats again—never—for anybody! What better way to tell the world this message than to hold all subsequent land-for-peace talks at either Masada or Auschwitz?
Two men and two speeches that are separated by thousands of miles and thousands of years—but both cry for the same freedom and liberty. Now, not only do the 960 Jews who chose death before Roman slavery, but the six million Jews who were slaughtered in the Holocaust cry out for Israel to stand and make another choice. With the exception of the Zionist Christians and a few others, the world hates the Jews and the Jewish state of Israel. Nothing is going to change that. Every American President for the last half-century has struggled with the problem of peace between the Jews and the Arabs. In a grand experiment to satisfy its enemies, Israel gave away the Gaza strip for a promise of peace. That experiment failed miserably. Now, the Arab states are demanding that Israel give away the so-called ‘contested’ West Bank—nearly a third of the nation—to the Palestinians for a similar promise of peace. How does the old saying go? ‘Fool me once—shame on you. Fool me twice—shame on me.’
Back to the title of this short essay. AUSCHWITZ OR MASADA: IS IT TIME TO CHOOSE? I say it is time for the Jews to choose. On 13 November 2010 I sent a recommendation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he make the following proclamation to the world. “All future Israeli-Arab land-for-peace negotiations shall be held at one of two locations—either atop Masada or at the Auschwitz Death Camp.” The PM’s office acknowledged receipt of the message the next day.
I appeal to all Jews and to all Zionist Christians to take up this banner with me. Stand on your rooftops and yell these words to your Senators and Representatives. “MASADA SHALL NEVER FALL AGAIN!”
I stand with Israel. I am one to whom agape love has been placed in my heart for Israel. If I new the address to Netanyahu I would also with others send my allegiance to the greatest nation on earth with God’s blessings. Thank you for being a voice representative of those who have no voice to be heard.
Sincerely, Pastor Sally Savage
Am Yisrael Chai – the Eternal Nation lives. Thank you for this. Let the courage of Masada be preached to the world. ‘Servants ONLY to God’. Would that leaders of the western hemisphere be so inspired.
Let Auschwitz be remembered. ‘Never again’. How short the memories of those who would destroy Israel at the behest of enemies. Enemies who will destroy all of Christianity if they are permitted destruction of Israel.
I stand with you, and Israel, and cry “never again” and “Masada shall never fall”.
On my trip to Israel in 2007 I fell in love with the nation, the people, and, very possibly, my own heritage. Yad Vahsem will definitely be a part of my next trip to Israel, I know the tears will stream down my face as I walk around the museum.
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”, for Israel is the world’s only true future.
I stand with Israel always. It is my wish that Israel will be able to reclaim all their land and drive their enemies out. I have visited Israel several times and plan to visit again. What a wonderful place it is.
I STAND WITH ISRAEL! I will write to my Congressman and Senator re Masada and Auschwitz. Here is Prime Minister Netanyahu’s email address in order to send notes of encouragement to our Israeli friends. Prime Minister Netanyahu needs our prayers and support now more than ever, so do the Jewish people.
Masada shall never fall again!
Indeed, “General Jim”….Tricia & My Hearts are “joined with Yours”….in praying for & supporting “Yahweh’s HOLY LAND & PEOPLES”. AS FOR US, WE STAND WITH ISRAEL FIRST & FOREMOST. In these “Last Days”… may the Holy Spirit of Yahweh….Create a “Fire that Burns Deep within the Hearts of Every Jew & Gentile”….. A Zeal….to Stand with ISRAEL…NO MATTER WHAT MAY COME….TO THE PRAISE OF THE GLORY OF HIS MIGHTY GRACE! Oh, YAHWEH…GRANT US…COURAGE , BOLDNESS , STRENGTH & WISDOM…. TO STAND, TO DEFEND…YOUR “CHOSEN LAND & PEOPLE” whenever & wherever we find opportunity.
I am Commander Johnson. For those of you who agree with my article, please email Ryan Jones at Israel Today Magazine and encourage him to set up a face-to-face with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss my article. email@example.com
And – PLEASE – copy/paste and send my article to everybody you know. Send it to your local newspaper, your local radio show. Once a large enough ground swell is created, PM Netanyahu will have to take notice.
If you wish to write to me…hiouchi at centurytel dot net
I also stand with Israel. Yes, the terror is repeating again in this century, as the people of Masada saw the ramp before them, the people of Israel know the ramp is being built from the adjacent and opposing countries. The American people need to wake up and shake our political machine, because our failure to recognize the need to defeat these ramp builders will only sink our nation into further despair. God will stand behind Israel and any nation that lends its true patriotic support. Bless Israel and Bless our nation as we need to move in the right direction. Rikkos, Mesa, Arizona, USA
History yields for us the purpose of the United States of America.
Our greatest service to the world for Almighty God was to preserve the Jewish People and re-establish the state of Israel. America was raised up for this task from the founding, and as long as she has assisted Israel, God has blessed her. God help her if she turns her face from Israel!
God will preserve His own! Masada shall never fall again!
I have a true love for the land of Israel and her people and see how faithful God has been to this land and His chosen people. Those who dare to touch His chosen people will not stand! It is a sorry situation when one Nation decides to take over another and goes to such cruel extremes to “get rid” of the defeated people. They will face the judgement of God one day for all the pain they have inflicted to these people. May the United States see the pain that the Jewish people have endured and have compassion on them. Or we will face the judgement of God! United States leaders, wake up and take a stand for Israel!
God knows your deeds and has the final authority in where the U.S. will stand in the future! Never again at Misada, Auschwitz or anywhere!!!