In the book, Joel wants to give up his rabbinical studies in order to fight alongside Daniel.
Although Daniel tells Joel that Rosh is no longer their leader, Joel insists on giving up his studies. He tells Daniel that he is willing to fight to secure Jerusalem's independence from Roman rule.
However, Daniel disagrees. First, he tells Joel that they will no longer engage in violence against their fellow Jews. He laments the fact that Rosh encouraged this. As the interim leader of the band of rebels, Daniel won't tolerate the practice.
In response, Joel tells Daniel that a new leader will rise up to free them from the Romans. Upon hearing this, Daniel says that until the new leader shows up, he expects Joel to continue his studies.
After all, they will need more than laborers and farmers to make Jerusalem prosperous after winning independence from the Romans. They will also need the cooperation of the priests and scribes. Daniel tells Joel that he can win them over because he understands them.
Upon hearing this, Joel appears relieved. He admits that Thacia, his sister, told him the same thing. Also, Joel tells Daniel that he wants to continue his studies to honor his father's wishes.
In addition, Joel wants to honor Samson and Nathan for their selfless actions. He feels that he's been given another chance at life, and therefore, he wants to do everything he can to help his people. If that means continuing his rabbinical studies, he will see it to its end.