A recent editorial (Sept. 30) laid the blame of the fall of the Second Jewish Commonwealth on the heads of the zealots in Jerusalem, because they provoked the overwhelmingly superior Romans. However, the same criticism could be laid against the Maccabees, who rose up against the Syrian Greeks despite superpower status. Also, the resurgent Jewish state fought against vastly superior Arab armies in 1948, yet prevailed. We cannot fully understand the cruelty of the Roman overlords of the Land of Israel at the time of the first revolt. The procurators did not bother to disguise their rapacious greed. The brutality and crushing taxes were a harsh fact of life. That the Jews rebelled against Rome was a testimony to the unbearable conditions of the time, as well as their faith in God. The fact that the Jews lost after many early encouraging victories does not condemn them all as extremists.