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Survival in the Desert

Masada is the most dramatic example of what Jews often faced as they were oppressed by various foreign powers, including Rome. After the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. Masada remained the only point of Jewish resistance. In 72 C.E. the Roman governor, Flavius Silva, resolved to crack down. He marched against Masada at the head of the Tenth Legion; his troops prepared for a long siege; they established eight camps at the base of the rock fortress and surrounded it with a high wall, leaving no escape route.

Then the Romans built an assault ramp to the top and after nine months of struggle broke through the last barriers erected by the defenders. They planned to take the mountaintop fortress the following day. 

That night the defenders decided to kill themselves rather than fall into the hands of Romans. In the morning Roman soldiers entered a silent fortress and found only dead bodies. Two women and five children survived the mass suicide by hiding in a cave.

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Charles Henderson

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The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and Executive Director of
He is the author of God and Science (John Knox Press, 1986).  
A revised and expanded version of the book is appearing here.
God and Science (Hypertext Edition, 2005).
He is also editor of a new book, featuring articles by world class scientists and theologians, and illustrating the leading views on the relationship between science and religion:
Faith, Science and the Future (CrossCurrents Press, 2007).

Charles also tracks the boundry between the virtual and the real at his blog: Next World Design, focusing on the mediation of art, science and spirituality in the metaverse.  

For more information about Charles Henderson.