Masada was the last Jewish stronghold after the destruction of Jerusalem. It is a huge rock rising 1500 feet sheer out of the Dead Sea plain; a last desperate refuge in the midst of wilderness. The Jews were still in possession of the fortresses Herodium, Machaerus, and Masada. The first was reduced by Bassus, the governor of Syria, without much difficulty. Of somewhat longer duration was the siege of Machaerus. Masada was held by the ultra-patriots under Eleazer, a descendent of Judah the Galilean. The task of reducing this formidable stronghold fell to Silva, the new governor of Syria. When at length a breach was effected in the wall, there was found within a bulwark of timber and earth erected by the besieged. The Romans set fire to this obstacle. When they entered in April of 73, they were confronted by the stillness of death: Eleazer and his noble band had killed off their dear ones and then laid hands on each other.

There was a sequel of Jewish uprisings in Alexandria and the northern coast of Africa; as a consequence the Temple of Onias in Leontopolis was closed. Thus was ended the 7 years war against the power and brutality of Rome. Once more the daughter of Zion sat and wept for the sanctuary that lay in ashes, for her sons that had fallen by the sword, and for her daughters carried away into slavery and given over to dishonor. The nation had been vanquished, the Land of Israel was a province of the mighty empire; yet there remained one thing that the fury of legions was powerless to destroy, the invincible Torah of the Jew.
[336, 320, 376]

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