A towering cliff obstructed the view to the valley, on which lay the main road for Jerusalem. But this cliff served as its own type of cover. No one could spot them from the road—not the pilgrim procession going into the holy city, not the merchants leading their caravans there for the impending holiday, and most importantly not the Roman soldiers, whose increased equestrian patrols these days scoured the area around Jerusalem.

Simon did not take his gaze away from the fire. It was as if he wanted to see in the shaking of the undying flares the answer to the only question bothering him lately. He lightly pushed the still lit ember with the edge of a crooked thorny branch so the flame would not die out.

“Let all of Israel return to the Almighty, may He be blessed,” Dan murmured and looked at the sky while raising his head.

In the magnificence of the eastern night the stars hovered so low that it seemed one’s hand could reach them.

All of a sudden someone made a short bird-like chirp behind the cliff. Dan froze uneasily.

“Can it be they spotted us? Dogs!” He removed the dagger from his waistband and crept towards the exit.

Meanwhile Simon threw a few handfuls of sand into the fire and fanned the thick puffs of smoke with his hand.

Soon, very soon, the whole world will change. Those killed in wars will be resurrected, and those who died of illness and old age, and so too all the Jews who once lived in Israel and those forced out to other lands. His father Ion and his wife Miriam, who died giving birth, will be resurrected. The new age is at the door!

But for some reason Simon is not sitting now at the Great Temple or among his apostle-brothers, who accompanied the Rabbi for three years around the whole Land of Israel.  He sits in secret from his brothers in the mountain gorge by the burnt-out fire.