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Masada: Israel’s Ancient Fortress

Soldiers being inducted into the Israeli Defense Forces take their oath at different places in the country, but the pledge always ends with the line, “Masada shall not fall again.”

The story behind this inclusion dates back 2,000 years, all the way to the first century. Masada, a stunning natural fortress in Israel’s Judean desert, was built in the Roman style by Herod, the king of Judea sometime between 37 and 31 BC. Perched nearly 1,500 feet above the Dead Sea on one side and flanked by the desert on the other side, the daunting complex was meant to be the king’s refuge. It was designed to include a private palace for him, as well as administrative centers, storehouses, and an armory. 

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