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"The enemy trapped the Jews in the city by building a wall around it. Foodstuffs

could not be brought in: starvation and crowded conditions gave rise to disease,

and epidemics spread among the populace. But surprisingly the Jews held on.

Then the enemy massed troops outside the wall and brought out the latest in

weaponry. They attacked, using fire to spread destruction. The Jews repelled the

enemy a number of times. So savage was the resistance that the campaign to

destroy the Jewish population took much longer and cost more troops than

anticipated. Street by street the fighting raged with hand-to-hand combat

between the heavily armed troops and the haggard defenders. Some Jews tried to

escape through the sewers, but they were flushed out by fire. At the end the

Jews had taken a heavy toll on their enemy but the city lay in smoking ruins.

The remaining Jewish survivors were rounded up to be used as slave laborers or

to be killed.

What episode in Jewish history is depicted in this scenario? Most people would

say this was the Warsaw Ghetto uprising against the Nazis in 1943. But in fact

it was the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple in the year 70

The destruction of the Second temple and the attack on the Warsaw Ghetto,

although separated by nearly two thousand years have and eerie sameness. The

Germans sealed off the Warsaw's Jewish population with and eight-foot brick

concrete wall. The Romans built a high earthen barricade around Jerusalem to

make certain the Jews could not escape. Germans shot, on the spot Jews

discovered outside the Warsaw Ghetto. The Romans crucified the Jews they found,

placing crosses atop the hill to terrorize those watching from inside the city:

as many as 500 were crucified in 1 day. The Germans tried to starve the Polish

Jews into submission reducing their rations at first to 800 calories a day and

later cutting off all food to the ghetto. The Romans used the tactic of siege to

bring starvation in Jerusalem. In both episodes the actual fighting was in some

ways similar. "Since the ghetto was impenetrable in frontal attack, General

Stroop's forces set fire to the buildings with incendiary bombs and flame

throwers" Titus's Roman legions used flaming torches of wood to set fire to the

Temple and other buildings in the final battle. "Through the roar of the flames

as they [the Romans] swept relentlessly on could be heard the groans of the

falling... the entire city seemed to be on fire.

The Nazis not only killed but plundered Jews if their possessions; the Romans

"were so avaricious that they pushed on climbing over the piles or corpses for

many valuables were found in the passages and all scruples were silenced by the

prospect of gain. "The Romans took so much gold from the Jews that it's price

fell by half in Syria.

The Nazis used Jews for slave labor the Romans sent thousands of Jewish captives

to work on projects on Egypt. The Nazis made grisly sport with their victims and

conducted fiendish medical experiments before killing the Jews. Titus had

thousands of Jewish captives killed in gladiatorial contests and staged fights

between them and wild beasts to celebrate his victory and, on one occasion this

brother's birthday and Vespasian the Roman Emperor had non swimmers shackled

with their hands and feet behind them and thrown into the deepest parts of the

Dead Sea to test the theory that no one could sink in the heavily salted water.

There was one difference between the two events. Three years after destroying

Jerusalem, the Romans put down the final Jewish revolt of the war by capturing

Massada. Three years after the Holocaust ended the State of Israel was reborn.

The destruction of the Second Temple serves with the Holocaust as a frame the

Jewish experience in the world. For instance just as no other people in the

modern era has suffered a devastation comparable to that of the Jews during the

Holocaust the attack on Jerusalem was unparalleled in the ancient world. "No

destruction ever wrought by G-D or man approached the wholesale carnage of this

war" said Josephus.

Source: Essay UK -

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