“But on the next day, which was the fifteenth of the month Lous, they made an assault upon Antonia, and besieged the garrison which was in it two days and then took the garrison, and slew them, and set the citadel on fire. after which they marched to the palace, whither the king’s soldiers were fled, and parted themselves into four bodies and made an attack upon the walls.”
Flavius Josephus, The Jewish Wars, Book II, Chapter 17, Section 7
Menahem ben Judah is a radical zealot and leader of the Sicarii faction. Together with his men, he goes up to the fortress of Masada, which is perched on a steep hill, and kills the entire Roman garrison guarding it. Eleazar – son of Hanania, the high priest – gives instructions that the practice of offering sacrifices at the Temple for Caesar’s well-being should be discontinued. This act not only amounts to a formal declaration of war against the empire, but also positions Eleazar as leader of the revolt.
King Agrippa II, who is ruler of a province in the north of the Land of Israel, sends a force comprising 3,000 cavalry men to restore order in Jerusalem. The contingent leaves the upper Galilee and sets up camp in the predominantly pagan city of Beit She’an. When they arrive in Jerusalem, Agrippa’s soldiers find support among Jewish priests, members of the nobility, and a small Roman garrison at the upper city. However, the rebels have by then taken control of the Temple Mount and lower city. After they chase the king’s men and their supporters into the royal palace, the upper city also falls into the hands of the zealots.
By refusing to offer sacrifices for Caesar’s well-being, Eleazar put his own life and status at great risk. However, Eleazar’s heroic measures are precisely the reason his people appoint him as their leader. His support of the oppressed, as well as his willingness to relinquish comfort and honor, is enormously regarded by the masses.
But on the next day, which was the fifteenth of the month Lous, they made an assault upon Antonia, and besieged the garrison which was in it two days, and then took the garrison, and slew them, and set the citadel on fire; after which they marched to the palace, whither the king’s soldiers were fled, and parted themselves into four bodies, and made an attack upon the walls.” (Josephus Flavius, The Jewish Wars, Book 2, Chapter 17, paragraph 7)
Mental strengths are the inner resources providing us with the strength necessary to face obstacles and challenges.