Historical Significance
  • Herod the Great fortified this area by building a wall 18 feet high. He also built a winter place here, and the site was considered unconquerable.
  • When Jerusalem fell to the Romans in AD 70, Jewish patriots fled to Masada, where they took their final stand against Rome. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, on April 15th, AD 73, the Romans broke into the fortress and found that all 960 defenders of Masada (except 2 women) had taken their own lives, freely choosing death over slavery to Rome.
Political/Cultural Significance
  • Masada serves as an important shrine and symbol of modern Israel, and the phrase “Masada shall never fall again” is still said today.
  • It’s name in Hebrew, metsuda, means “the stronghold.”
  • Until recently, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) initiation ceremony occurred at Masada because of its significance as a stronghold