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Dear friends,
I have tried to find references to the siege of Masada in rabbinical sources, but was unable to find them. It is not because the ancient Jewish sages were not interested in military matters; Bar Kochba is often mentioned (cf. [url:2a4x2unz]http://www.livius.org/ja-jn/jewish_wars/bk01.html[/url]). I have checked my conclusion with the wisdom of my friend Yehuda, a modern rabbi, and he was also unaware of any reference to Masada.

However, there may be a "code". For example, the rabbinical sages refer to Rome as "Edom" or "Babylon". (In fact, Bar Kochba, "Child of the star", is a code too.) Yehuda and I may have missed something. Is anyone aware of a rabbinical reference to Masada?

Jona
I can't help you other than saying Yigael Yadin only quotes Josephus reconstructing the story in his book 'Masada'. That would at least make it probable that no (overt) reference exists.

When you look at Josephus, he actually doesn't give Masada more room or attention than Herodion and Machaerus. I think the contemporaries weren't all that impressed. Stories of heroic suicide are popular with ancient writers, and Masada is far from the only one. They're almost a 'barbarian' staple. It's us moderns who make a big deal of the story.
Quote:I think the contemporaries weren't all that impressed.
True. I personally think that the talmudic silence about Masada means that the Sicarians up there were not recognized as Jews, in spite of what Josephus says. And I think that archaeology (pig's bones!) has shown that the religious factor was not extremely significant.
It's not uncommon to be 'blinded' by the significance which the modern state of Israel has given to this battle. But a closer look at the occupants of the fortress and their past actions during the siege of Jerusalem does not exactly give the impression that they were anything like a 'Jewish/Judaean last stand'. In fact, they can be labelled 'terrorrists' without any problem.