"You must never lose faith, even when the sword hanfs over your head". What was meant by this statement and how does it reflect upon the Jewish people?

I just need to know what was meant by that statement in the book Night.

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This is when the Jews have arrived at the camp. The horrid discovery of the fires in the sky is sinking into the minds of the newly arrived prisoners. Some of the young stronger ones are thinking of revolt. It would be a futile revolt but at least they would go down fighting. The elders tell the younger ones not to resort to violence, even when "the sword hangs over your head.....this is the teaching of our sages". To many, this reflects the stalwart faith that the Jewish people had. There is a sense that suffering, in this life, is expected. It is part of a greater ordeal, a test of faith that God will help pull them through.