Rosh, Daniel’s leader and mentor, explains the struggle that is going on within Daniel toward the end of chapter nine. He tells Daniel this: “I know what is on your mind. It is better to do without killing when we can. But there is a flaw in you, boy, a soft streak. I’ve seen it over and over, these years. Like a bad streak in a piece of metal. Either you hammer it out, the way you’d hammer out a bubble, or you’ll be no good to us. When the day comes, there’ll be no place for weakness.” This is said after Daniel comes back from an assignment in which Rosh required him to rob a man of his bag of money.
The assignment that Rosh gives Daniel opens his eyes to his role in Rosh’s gang of rebels. He wonders whether his purpose in life aligns with that of his colleagues in the rebel group. Daniel’s mission in life is to avenge his family members, who have lost their lives at the hands of the Romans. He is a member of Rosh’s gang of outlaws because he sees in Rosh the leadership required to gain the freedom of all Jews from Roman bondage. As he tells his friend, Joel, in chapter seven of the book, “Rosh is like a lion. He has no fear at all.” He tells Joel that with enough fighters by his side, Rosh has the capability to drive out the Romans once and for all from their land. Thus, when Rosh asks him to waylay a miser—who is carrying some gold across the mountains to a friend in Antioch—and to steal from him, his soul is troubled. The miser lives as a beggar and has made a fortune out of begging, even though he is actually a very rich man. The fact that the miser is a deceitful old man relieves Daniel of some of his guilt. However, after robbing him, he is unable to leave the poor man for dead on the lonely mountain road. He goes back to the man and feels his heartbeat to ensure that he is still alive. When he realizes that the miser is alive, “he carries him to the roadside and lays him down in the shadow of a rock.” He then sits down beside him until he wakes. Later, he gives the miser one of the daggers that he had wrested from him. All of these actions prove that Daniel does not want to harm the miser. In fact, he does not even like the idea of robbing him. Indeed, in the confrontation he has with Rosh afterward, he states, “It is Roman blood that I want. Do we fight against Jews?” Daniel’s kindness to the man he robbed shows the internal turmoil that he must be experiencing, for it is not often that an armed robber will stop to take care of his victim. Daniel is a kind man, but he is torn between his plan for vengeance against the Romans and his love for his fellow men. Rosh argues that the fight against the Romans is an expensive one that is sometimes funded by gruesome assignments such as the one Daniel just completed. However, Daniel is not fully convinced by Rosh’s argument. He suspects that there is a “flaw” in Rosh’s argument, even though he cannot immediately point it out. He remembers what Jesus once said, namely, that “every person is precious in the sight of God.”