How can you not think about the war in Ukraine when visiting Masada, a symbol of resistance. A fortress mountain in the Judean Desert where about 2000 years ago, over 900 people chose death over surrender to the Roman Empire. And on the topic of resistance, I am also thinking about the lack of mental resistance as it was so disgracefully demonstrated by Will Smith at the recent Oscar ceremony.
It’s always a moving experience to visit a place that is more than just a dot on the map. Masada is a symbol that identifies my nation.
I first climbed Masada at the age of five and many times since. One noteworthy climb was at dawn after a long walk that started the evening before when I was 18 years old. At the top, my platoon received the coveted red beret, the unique Israeli paratroopers’ headdress. On this trip, we climbed Masada leisurely via the cable car. It was amazing again.