Be Inscribed:
Become a part of history.
On a cliff isolated in the heart of the desert overlooking Israel’s Dead Sea and the landscapes of the Judean Desert, the fierce heroism of the Jewish people was once displayed. During the Great Revolt in Jerusalem, the last of the Jews, rebelling against the Romans, fled to this cliff, barricaded themselves,and made their desperate war of survival a symbol of the struggle for freedom.
In the year 73 CE, a long, bloody battle erupted between the Jewish people and the mighty Roman Empire who wanted to capture them, convert them, and sell them into slavery. After a year of intense perseverance by the group of Jews on the cliff’s top, the Roman army breached the walls of the fortress. According to the historian Josephus, when the Roman troops entered the fortress, they discovered that its defendants – 960 men, women, and children -- had set all the buildings on fire, killing themselves rather than submitting to their enemies and a life of slavery.
In 1963, almost 2000 years later, archeologist Yigael Yadin and hundreds of volunteers from around the world conducted a full scale excavation on top of Masada, uncovering and restoring many of the buildings as well as fragments of the Sefer Torahs which were buried by the Masada residents before they perished. Masada became a symbol of courage for the young modern Jewish state as it too struggled for survival. Today, Masada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is Israel’s second most visited tourist site with over 1 million people – tourists and Israelis — visiting annually.
In 2004, the Geniza, the room attached to the synagogue that once housed the Sefer Torahs, was rebuilt. A Torah was placed in the ark of the Geniza making the profound statement: “We are back.” In 2008, the Geniza was reconditioned so as to comfortably house a scribe behind a glass wall affording all visitors to Masada the opportunity to watch him at work.
Today that scribe is writing Torahs for Jewish National Fund’s Be Inscribed project. Torahs written in the exact same spot as was used thousands of years ago.
Thanks to Jewish National Fund’s Be Inscribed project, every person has the ability to participate in the sacred act of writing a Torah and be part of ancient history brought back to life.
Once finished, Torahs written on top of Masada are dedicated to communities in Israel that need them most.
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