Jewish History Essay Research Paper Jewish History

Jewish History Essay, Research Paper

Jewish History (1)

All this happensduring the time of Beit Hamikdash II when Bnei Yisrael was together, anation in their own land.

A few dates:

-Assyria (Ashure)came in 719 B.C.E.

-Babylonia (Bavel)came in 586 B.C.E.

-Beit Hamikdash IIwas built in 516 B.C.E.

Alexander theGreat (Alexander Mokdan-Macedonia) captured Eretz Yisrael in 332 B.C.E. He captured everythingfrom the Middle East through India. He introduced Hellenistic culture into the land (Paganism, importance of the body, Greek literature, Philosophy).The importance of the body was the most important thing in Hellenism- sportswere a religious thing.

Polis- (city state) a Greek city with Greekcitizens (conquered by Alexander) and special people dwell there.

They built gymnasiums, ephebeums (schools where they learned about sports and theirbodies).

The Greeks lovedmoney and business. We know this because of the Zenon Papyrii. Zenon wasthe agent to the Greek treasurer. He wrote letters to someone and they foundseveral thousand of those letters. In them he only spoke of money and business-not of culture and religion.

Alexander’s Meeting With the Jews:

The sources are Josephus and the Talmud (Yoma and Taanit)

There are plenty ofcontradictions in the stories of Josephus and the Talmud. Tcherikowerdidn t believe the story was right according to Josephus.

His problems:

A. Talmud

1.At the time Shimonthe Tzaddik was the Cohen Gadol

2.It says they metin Antipatrus


1.At the time Yaduahwas the Cohen Gadol

2.It says they metin Yerushalaim

B.If he did go toYerushalaim, then that would be way out of the way of where he was coming formand where he had to go. He had to do this al in 7 days, which did not give himenough time to go to Yerushalaim, which was out of his way.

C.Tcherikower was asecular philosopher so he says that if the Jews showed Alexander Sefer Danielit couldn t be possible because that was written later than the time he came.

D.Also Josephussays that the Chaldeans (Casdim) came with Alexander but at the timethat he came he had not yet captured Bavel where the Chaldeans lived.

E.Another problemis that Alexander s meeting with the Jews is not mentioned in the stories ofthe Greeks Historians.

So Tcherikowercomes to a few conclusions:

1.Alexanderdefinitely did meet with the Jews

2.Alexanderdefinitely did give the Jews the right to live according to the laws of theirfathers

3.There was adebate between the Shomranim. [The Shomranim were Jews who had theirMikdash on Har Gerizim and it says in the Talmud, Taanit, that youcannot fast on that Yom Har Gerizim.]

The DiadochiPeriod 323- 301 B.C.E.

In 323 B.C.E.Alexander died. The Diadoci were those who wanted to rule after Alexander sdeath:

Ptolemy (Talmai)- Egypt

Seleucid (Selekus)- Syria

[Antigonus- Greece-but not that important]

Ptolemy andSeleucid fought over Eretz Yisrael- it was a very chaotic period in Jewishhistory.

The Ptolemaic Rule over Eretz Yisrael

301 B.C.E.- PtolemyI captured Eretz Yisrael


Hecataeus says that there were good relations betweenthe Jews and Ptolemy

Agatharchides says that there were bad relations betweenthem

Answer- some Jewsliked Ptolemy and some Jews liked Seleucid, so both sources could be right. (Weknow that the Jews guarding the gate in Yerushalaim supported Seleucid.)

So there were twobig families:

The Oniadfamily (Choniah)- they were the Cohanim Gedolim- (prostasia- thespiritual and political leadership privilege given to the Cohen Gadol)

The Tobiadfamily (Tuviah)

Choniah did notlike Ptolemy because he made the taxes too high, and he refused to pay them.Someone from the Tuviah family, Yosef ben Tuviah, said to Ptolemy Ifyou give me the prostasia, I will get Choniah to pay you taxes. Ptolemy saidOK.

In 205 B.C.E.Ptolemy IV died and the next in line was too young to rule so the Seleucidfamily comes to rule.

The SeleucidRule over Eretz Yisrael-198 B.C.E.

When the Seleucidfamily came into power and wanted to start a new calendar to mark thisoccasion. The Jews used this calendar for a long time and it was called MinyanShetarot. They gave the Jews the privalege to live according to the laws oftheir fathers.

According to thatcalendar 312 B.C.E.= 0 in the Minyan Shetarot

Septuagint- Targum Shivim



Aristeas- theletter of Aristeas

They both say that70 elders came together to translate the Torah from Hebrew to Greek. Why?Ptolemy II had a library and had every book in the world in it and also wantedHebrew books to add to the collection so the Torah was translated. Our Rabbis saythat the day that the translated the Torah was like the day that Bnei Yisraelsinned with the Golden Calf, because the holy Torah is being translated into anunholy language. However, this was good for the Jews in Alexandria who werebeginning to assimilate and were forgetting Hebrew.

Secular Books- not from Tanach and were written duringthe time of Bayit II

These were the Apocrypha,books that were supposedly prophecies yet were not written in Ruach Hakodesh.

Their content:

History- Macabees Aand B, The Letter of Aristeas

Mussar- Ben Sirah

Halachot- Yovel(Jubilees)

Prophecies for thefuture which was the apocalypse- an ugly, bloody and violent end to theworld- Revelations.

In the Genizah inthe attic in an old Shul in Cairo they found many important things. One of themwas a Mussar book called Ben Sirah- this is the only book mentioned inthe Gemarah, and they found it in the original Hebrew.

Pseudopigrepha- were secular books supposedly written byfamous prophets or rulers- but they were really written by anonymous phonypeople. Our Rabbis knew the truth and knew they were phony. Some of the secularbooks were put in the Christian Bible- New Testament.

Gerousia – counsel of elderswho were there to greet Antiochus III when he came.

The Hasmonaeans- The Story of Chanukah (2)

So we ended offlast time saying that Antiochus III was a good king for the Jews and helpedthem build up Yerushalaim. (The Gerousia, the counsel of elders, greetedAntiochus III when he came to Yerushalaim, showing that they liked him).

A. So now AntiochusIV comes along and he is horrible (he s the Antiochus from Chanukah)- Why didhe decree such bad things against the Jews? (We ll find out later what thereasons were)

At the time therewere different political parties in the nation:

1) The Bnei- Choniah family (Oniads)- they werethe traditional Jews and the Cohanim Gedolim of the nation.

2) The Bnei- Tuviah family (Tobiads)- they weremoderate Hellenisers.

3) The 3 Brothers (Gimmel Achim)- Simon,Lysimachus, and Menelaeus. They were radical Hellenisers and were very evil.

B. The Sources:

1. The Gemarah

2. Macabees A and B(Apocrypha)

Weprefer to go according to Macabees A. Why?

a. A is a real source by someone who livedduring the time, while B is only a summary of what Jason of Cyrene said

b. A is in Hebrew, while B is in Greek

c. A is orderly and neat, while B is confusingand mixed around

d. A includes more information while B onlydiscusses Yehudah the Macabee

3. Josephus- Jewwho lived during the time of Beit Hamikdash II- and after the destruction, wascaptured and taken to Rome

His works included:

Antiquities- The story of the Jews fromthe creation of the world until the days of Josephus

Contra Apion- Apion was a Greekanti-Semite so this work was against him

Bellum Iudoreum- The war of the Jews-goes into horrible detail about the suffering of the Jews during the timeof the destruction of Bayit II

Vitae- Josephus autobiographySo back to thestory:

Jason, the brotherof Choniah (NO connection to the one in Macabees B) wanted to be the CohenGadol and wanted to introduce Hellenistic culture into Yerushalaim. He tellsSeleucid that if he gets the prostasia, he will give Seleucid money. Now whywould Seleucid want money from a puny little Jew? Because this money goes tohis military so he needs it. This story shows how much the Jews, unfortunately,hated each other back then and shows how the non- Jews mixed in with stateaffairs and religious affairs. Jason built a gymnasium and an ephebium inYerushalaim and made the city a Polis called Antioch (Antioch is also acity in Syria). Though the Jews weren t thrilled, they stayed put because Jasonlet them practice their religion.

Now Simon (one ofthe 3 brothers) told Seleucid that there are treasures in the Beit Hamikdash soSeleucid sent Heliodorus to take those treasures- not good.

Now Menelaeus wentto Antiochus and said he d give him more money than Jason for the prostasia,and in order to pay the king that money, he took out precious treasures fromthe Beit Hamikdash. He puts statues all over Yerushalaim. Another thing: He snot from the right family of Cohanim Gedolim.

He arranged thedeath of Choniah, the Cohen Gadol. So the Jews are really mad at him but theycan t just kick him out because then Antiochus would be upset that they kickedout the guy he chose.

A rumor spread tothe Jews of Yerushalaim that Antiochus was killed so they kicked Menalaeus out.Jason wanted to be leader now, but the Jews chased him out. Antiochus was notdead and he comes back from war and he s really upset at the Jews. The year is168 B.C.E. and he builds an Akra (tower) in Yerushalaim and puts Katoikia(soldiers) to watch over the Jews (Apolonius was the head military guy who wasin charge of building the Akra). These soldiers were horrible to the Jews somany of them ran away.

The first people torebel were the Chasidim, against the Greeks (Menelaeus), but they weren tsuccessful because they didn t fight on Shabbat, didn t have good strategies,and only fought for religious independence.

In 168- 167 B.C.E.Antiochus started decreeing horrible things against the Jews and Judaism- theycouldn t:

Do Brit Mila

Make sacrifices (Korbanot) to Hashem,and were forced to use the alter (Mizbeach) for idol worshipping andpaganism

Keep Shabbat

Keep Kashrut

Keep holidays (Chagim)In Modiin livedMattityahu (son of a Cohen) and he was willing to kill anybody that practicedpaganism. He had 5 sons: Yehudah the Macabee (the most famous), Yochanan,Yonatan, Eliezer, and Simon. Yehudah was the leader of the rebellion.

In the Talmud, ofcourse, there’s the story of Chanah and her 7 sons.

Another story:Yehudit- she went to the head military guy Heliphornus, got him drunk, choppedoff his head, and brought it out to show all.

Now why did theHasmonaeans win?

They fought on Shabbat, which theChasidim didn t do

They used guerrilla warfare and hadgood strategies, which the Chasidim didn t have

They fought for both religious ANDpolitical reasons, while the Chasidim only fought for religious. Also note that theJewish Hellenisers fought for the Greeks.

Another BigQuestion- WHY did Antiochus give the decrees???????????

Polybius (a historian during Greektimes)- He says that Antiochus was a Meshugenah, he was nuts andirrational

Tcherikower- He says he made thedecrees for political reasons. He says first the Jews revolted and then hegave the decrees because he wanted to strengthen his empire and show Romehe has power. In order to do this he must have RELIGIOUS UNITY in hisempire. Hence the reason he tried to force the Jews to stop being Jewish.It wasn t against the Jews specifically; rather it was for his ownpolitical reasons.

Bickerman (a Jewish Historian)- He saysthat the Jewish Hellenists went to Antiochus and asked them to put thedecrees on the Jews. (He says, contradicting Tcherikower, that the decreeswere given first and then they revolted.)

Bickerman also says that he made thedecrees because he loved Hellanistic culture and wanted to spread it andwanted everyone to be a part of it- even the Jews.

The Chain ofEvents of the Revolt:

First, Yehudah the Macabee (with theChasidim) fought against Apolonius

Seron was sent by Antiochus. AfterYehudah killed Apolonius and Seron, many more Jews came to fight in thewar

Two head military guys were sent byAntiochus- Nicanor and Gorgias- they ran away from the Jews like cowards

Lysias was sent next. Yehudah wonagainst him but sometime during this Eliezer the Macabee diedYehudah capturedall of Yerushalaim except for the Akra. And they took out all of the idols andpurified the Mikdash and the whole story of Chanukah happened. However, thereare still soldiers in the Akra. In 164 B.C.E. Lysias placed a siege aroundYerushalaim, so the Jewish victory wasn t so victorious. Antiochus IV died andAntiochus V is too young to take over as ruler of the Seleucid family so hewent back to Syria.

As of now theChasidim accomplished what they wanted to in the war- religious independence.The Hasmonaeans, however, weren t done yet and they wanted to punish their enemiesand there was a dispute- whether to continue fighting or to stop now.

Another problemwas- who s going to be the Cohen Gadol?

The Chasidim wanted Alcimus to be CohenGadol but the Hasmonaeans didn t want him Lysias now wants tomake peace with the Jews. Since he wants to be king he doesn t have time tofight with the Jews. He sends messengers to the Jews telling them that underhis rule they live according to the laws of their fathers, and they can worshipfreely in Beit Hamikdash. He commands Menelaeus (whom the Jews hate) to bekilled. The Chasidim liked this but the Hasmonaeans didn t because they wantedpolitical independence as well.

Demetrius and Lysias fight for thecrown and Demetrius wins- so now he is the new king of Syria. Demetriussends Nicanor to fight and Yehudah kills Nicanor. He killed him on 13Adar- so in Megilat Taanit it says you can t fast because it s YomNicanor (13 Adar is Taanit Esther)Yehudah wants tomake peace with the Romans saying that if enemies come against Rome, the Jewswill help and vice versa. (This is a bad thing and because eventually theRomans want to capture Eretz Yisrael.

In 161 B.C.E. Bachides comes from Syriaand kills Yehudah. So now Yonatan is the new leader. Yonatan captures thenon- Jews on the coast of Eretz Yisrael and either kills them or forcesthem to convert. This is a means of revenge against them because theyhelped Syria. In Syria there is acivil war going on between Demetrius and Alexander Balas. Both sent messengersto Yonatan for his help. Yonatan chose Alexander Balas and in the end Alexanderwon. Alexander, however, was very evil and tricked Yonatan into coming to avictory party- and he killed Yonatan there.

In 140 B.C.E. Simoncame into power. He was the most successful of all the brothers: he capturedalmost all of Eretz Yisrael and the Akra. A gathering of Rabbis appointed Simonto be president and Cohen Gadol. Signs of independence came from Simon s time.They found coins in Eretz Yisrael from his time that said Year 1 to the redemptionof Yerushalaim. /

The Sects in the Time of Beit Hamikdash II (3)

(Sorry about thereally bad transliterations)

A sect is aminority group amongst the majority. There were 2 major ones at this time:

The Pharisees(Prushim) and The Sadducees (Sdukim)

The sources:Talmud, Josephus, Roman Historians, and the Apocrypha

The Pharisees:

Believed in Torah Shebichtav and TorahShe Baal Peh (written and oral) b. What s the meaning of Prushim?

- Perush- meaning theywrote the Perushim on the Torah

- L Hafreesh- means toseparate, meaning they separated themselves form the rest of the nation to makesure not to become impure

They were the leaders of the nation

Believed in the revival of the dead(Techiat Hametim)

Believed in reward and punishment inthe world to come (Olam Habah)

Believed in Divine Intervention(Hashgachat Pratit) The Sadducees:

They only believed in Torah Shebichtav(written) and read the Torah literally

They were the Aristocrats

Believed to have come from SadokHaCohen (I think)

Didn t believe in the revival of thedead

Didn t believe in reward and punishmentin the world to come

Didn t believe in Divine InterventionThere was alsoanother sect called the Essenes:

Sources for them:Josephus, Pliny the Elder, Philo from Alexandria (He was a Jewish Philosopherwho wanted to make a fusion between philosophy and Judaism.)

What is the meaningof Essenes? (You have to see the words in Hebrew in order to understand)

- One interpretationsays it comes from a word in Hebrew meaning hidden, and they were a hiddengroup

- Another explanationis a word in Hebrew that means healers- they were faith healers

The Essenes wereclose to the Prushim in their beliefs just they didn t believe in BechirahChofshit (that you can choose what you want to do in life).

The Essenes:

The Essenes lived in the desert, andKumran (where the Dead Sea Sect lived) is in the desert

Wore white clothes and believed inpurification and going into the Mikvah

They believed in shared property- noprivate property (like an early Kibbutz)

Believed in celibacy (where they didn tget married)

Didn t have any pleasures from thisworld

They didn t believe in the holiness ofthe Beit Hamikdash and didn t accept authority of the Cohanim inYerushalaim.With the Dead SeaScrolls they found the full Tanach (except Megilat Esther) and some of thesects own Megilot, which described a bloody end of days- they were anApocalyptic Group.

EssentialSocioeconomic differences Between the Sects (according to Josephus):

The Pharisees werepoor, farmers and lived in little villages (not many in cities).

The Sadducees wererich, aristocrats, lived in the city, and were Cohanim.

The Essenes livedin the desert (5,000 people), were a closed off group (from everyone else),started their own calendar, and they didn t have slaves.

Politicaldifferences Between the Sects:

The Phariseesemphasized religion above everything (including politics).

The Sadducees werevery involved in politics, were obsessed with power, and believed the mostimportant thing were the state and the Mikdash (Temple).

The Essenesrejected all authority of Yerushalaim, the center, and believed it was corrupt.They had no part in political life at the time.

Our big question:

Was the Dead SeaSect the Essenes????????

A little history:The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947 in Kumran, by a Bedouin shepherd whowent to look for his goat. Near that area they also found a whole civilizationand several Mikvahs.

Most historiansidentify the Dead Sea Sect with the Essenes.


1. The place: both lived in the desert

2. Their way of life, beliefs are the same:they didn t marry, had shared property, wore white clothes, were ascetic(rejected physical things)

3. The time: 140 B.C.E.- 70 C.E. (the Essenesdisappeared in 70 C.E. after the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash II).

The Dead SeaScrolls:

The Content: Itmentions a war between the Sons of Light (Bnei Ha Or- who were the members ofthe sect) and the Sons of Darkness (Bnei Ha Choshech- who were everybody else).It says (in a thing called the Habakkuk Document) that the leader of the Sonsof Light was righteous leader, while the leader of the Sons of Darkness wasCohen Harasha- the evil Cohen (The historian Vermes said that the Cohen Harashawas Yonatan the Hasmonaean).

There is a littlecontradiction between two documents: The Manual of Discipline (the rules thesect had to abide by which says that they couldn t marry and there was noprivate property) and the Damascus Document (which said that there was privateproperty and they could marry). Josephus solves this by saying that there weresimply different groups of the Essenes.

Other historianshave different opinions on who the Dead Sea Sect were:

They were Sdukim because it mentionsthe words Bnei Sadok (Sons of Sadok) in the Dead Sea Scrolls

They were Prushim because theyseparated themselves from the rest of the nation

They were non- Jews.The Origin ofthe Sects: Where did thewhole Prushi/Sduki thing come from?

Started in the time of Beit Hamikdash Iwhen Shlomo was king- there was on argument between Sadok the Cohen Gadol(Sdukim) and Evyatar (Prushim)

Started also in the time of Bayit I-there was an argument between the Cohanim (Sdukim) and the Prophets(Prushim)

According to Mantel it started at thetime of Ezra and Nechemia- there was and argument between several groupsof Jews- the Cohanim (Sdukim) and the Shomranim (Prushim). How does Mantelprove this (that the Prushim started during that time)?

He says that theJews that returned to Eretz Yisrael from Babylonia were called Bnei Hagolah andthey were the Prushim- their leaders were Ezra and Nechemia.

(A side note: thePrushim were also called Sofrim, Chaverim, and some call them Chasidim.)

The whole Oral Torah thing started atthat time

The fact that they started reading theTorah not literally anymore

The Prushim had a more universalisticview towards humans- all were equal and ready to learn Torah- even theignorant people

The smart big Rabbis were the leadersof the nation- the Prushim

The Torah was not only commanded forthe Beit Hamikdash- while the Sdukim believed the whole Judaism was theBeit Hamikdash

The Prushim worked for the good of thecommunityAlso the Essenesstarted their own calendar and the Prushim didn t like that.


Herod and Rome (5)

Antipater was the advisor to Horkenus (he was anEdomite).

Herod was Antipater’s son. Herod was first agovernor in the Galilee.

His job, for Rome, in the Galilee was to watch overthe Zealots (transliterated- Kanaim they were Jews that wanted to throw outRome from Eretz Yisrael and make the country a Jewish State. The head of theZealots at that time was Chezkiah). Herod’s was to make sure the Zealots didn’t rebel against Rome.

He killed many Zealots therefore the Jews did notlike him at all. Herod captured 30 Zealots and their leader, Chezkiah, andkilled them without a trial. The country was outraged. An announcement was madesaying that Herod must come before the Sanhedrin.

He came to the court with a lot of ammunition andsoldiers to show the Sanhedrin that he was strong and to scare them. He didscare them and they didn’t sentence him.

The president (Nasi) at the time was either Shamaior Shmayah. He called out to the men in the Sanhedrin: “If you don’t judgeHerod today then there will come a day when he will judge you!” This wasalmost like prophecy because in the end that’s what indeed happened. Herod wasscared that the Sanhedrin would listen to the president so he took his soldiersand ran away to Rome. He told Marc Anthony (the Caesar at the time) how hefought against the terrorists in Eretz Yisrael who hate Rome (the Zealots). Hisintention was to be king of the Jews in Israel. Anthony appointed him king.Herod tried hard to keep the Romans happy with him but he knew the Jews didn’tlike him so he married a Jewish woman from the Hasmonaean family, Mariamne(Miriam) thinking that now the Jews will accept him. Herod also does somethingvery dramatic to find favor in the Jews’ eyes:

During his reign, the Seleucid family (Selekus) wasin trouble. The Parthians (Pratim) came and captured the family and part ofEretz Yisrael. They also seized the Cohen Gadol, Horkenus, whom the Jews loved.Herod sees this as a great opportunity to improve his image with the Jews. Hetakes his soldiers and kicks out the Parthians, negotiates a peace treaty withthem and gets them to return Horkenus. (The Parthians, however, had chopped offone of Horkenus’ ears therefore giving him a Moom (defect) so he can’t be theCohen Gadol anymore). Marc Anthony gave permission to Herod to fight with theParthians. Why does Marc Anthony care if Horkenus comes back or not? Because ifthe Jews didn’t have Horkenus they would be upset and they would want to rebelagainst Rome with the Parthians. (The Parthians are enemies of Rome.)

“Herod the Bad” (37- 4 B.C.E)

The Jews called him “Ha’Eved Ha’Edomi”-the Edomite slave.

What bad things did he do?

1) He made changes in the Cohen Gadol- Herod wasscared the Jews would stick with the Cohen Gadol, and not him, if he picked aHasmonaean to be Cohen Gadol. So he picked a Jew from Babylon instead to be theCohen Gadol- Chananel Me’Bavel. He weakened the Kehunah. The people are reallyupset that he picked Chananel. (Horkenus, the former Cohen Hagadol, had adaughter, Alexandra, and she had 2 children- Mariamne (Miriam) andAristobolus.) Herod picked Aristobolus. But Herod was very paranoid and wasafraid of Aristobolus and his power so he commanded him to a pool party in oneof his palaces in Yericho. He commanded his soldiers to drown Aristobolus inthe pool, which they did. Herod tried to cover the death up so that he wouldseem innocent but the Jews knew the truth and knew that Herod did indeed killAristobolus. So Herod put Chananel back as the Cohen Gadol. Herod told MarcAnthony that the reason Aristobolus was killed was because he rebelled againstthe king.

2) He brought changes into the Sanhedrin

- He killed all members of the Sanhedrin he didn’tlike

- He put his friends and his family in theSanhedrin (nepotism)

- He put non-Jews in the Sanhedrin

- He out himself as the head of the Sanhedrin

3) He was a very paranoid man and was scaredeveryone hated him- even his family. Because of that he killed Horkenus,Miriam, Alexandra (his mother-in-law), his sons with Miriam (Hasmonaeans), andhe killed all the Hasmonaeans left. With these killings is the end of theHasmonaeans

3) When he died he wanted people to mourn hisdeath. To make sure they would, he ordered that Jewish leaders be killed on theday he died so that the country will definitely mourn and no one will celebrate

4) His army was a non-Jewish army because he didn’tlike to spend time with the Jews

5) He locked up his wife in the palace on Masada.

Herod the Great

1) Herod beautified and enlarged the Beit Hamikdash.There is a saying: If you’ve never seen a building of Herod’s, then you’venever seen a beautiful building. On the gate of the Beit Hamikdash he put agolden eagle- an eagle was the symbol of Rome.

2) He built his palace on Masada. The Hasmonaeanshad already built up Masada and Herod built a palace on it.

3) He built Caesarea in honor of the Caesar.

*Note that he built all this stuff for the Romansand not for the Jews.

4) He helped the Jews after an earthquake. He gavethem money to help rebuild homes, buy clothing and food, etc.

5) He helped Jews not living in Eretz Yisrael-those living in Babylon, Syria, Asia Minor.

6) He had good relations with the Pharisees(Prushim) who were the majority of the Jews and the leaders of the Jews. He wasvery paranoid and didn’t want any enemies. (the President at the time wasShmayah, and the Av Beit Din was Avtaliyon).

7) He never decreed anything bad against the Jewsand let them live according to the laws of their fathers.

The Prushim understood that he was directlyconnected to Rome and they were very cautious. They knew rebelling against himwould mean rebelling against Rome and they would all die in that case (becauseRome is so strong and powerful).

8)Cleopatra, queen of Egypt was Anthony’sgirlfriend but she was also Herod’s greatest enemy. She was a Femme Fatale. Shewanted to return the power to the Ptolemy family (Talmai). Before we said theHerod was in favor of the Seleucid family. She wanted Marc Anthony to give herland in Eretz Yisrael. Later on Augustus Octavius killed Marc Anthony andbecame Caesar. Herod liked Augustus. Augustus’ nephew, Agrippa, was goodfriends with Herod.

So Octavius gave back land in Eretz Yisrael thatCleopatra took from Rome in the times of Marc Anthony.

Herod had lots of connections. One was Agrippa whowas a “friend of Rome.” His advisor was Nicholaus of Damascus.

Octavius saw how bad Herod really was and said thatit was better to be a dog in Herod’s palace than to be Herod’s son. One thingOctavius was not happy about was the fact that Herod went to war with Romewithout permission from Rome (and Octavius).

Herod reigned from 37 B.C.E – 4 B.C.E.

Before he died he chose his sons Archelaus, HerodAntipas, and Phillip to rule after him. He wanted Archelaus to be king. TheRoman Senate, however, chose him as only an ethnarch (a kind of governor)showing that the real power is in the hands of Rome.

Bythe year 6 C.E. his sons are done ruling. Rome picked procurators (non-JewishRoman governors) to be leaders. They were cruel ad decreed horrible decreesagainst the Jews.

Jesus and Christianity (6)

The Sources:

Antiquities, by Josephus- InAntiquities it only mentions a small paragraph on Jesus and calls him TheMessiah of the Jews. Historians say it s a forgery written by Eusibius (amonk in the 5th century) who put it in because he wanted toprove to the Jews that he was really the Messiah and that they believedit. Historians (in particular, Zeitlin) know it s a forgery because inEusibius book on Jesus there is a paragraph strikingly similar to the onein Antiquities, so they ve come to a conclusion that Eusibius stuck inthat paragraph in Antiquities.

The New Testament- there are 4 gospelsthat talk about Jesus and his life:John,Mark, Matthew, and Luke. Mark, Matthew, and Luke are the Synoptic Gospels whoagree on most of their facts.

Howeverbetween the Gospels there s a huge contradiction on where Jesus was born, whatyear, and what he called himself.

Another huge problem is that we don t have anyprimary sources from Jesus time. Not only did the gospels live almost 60 yearsafter his death, but also they wrote what they believed- not facts.

c. The Talmud and Midrashim- In them it mentions a few sentencesand stories about Jesus. But the Talmud was compiled in almost 200 years afterJesus death in 34 C.E.- so it s not really accurate. In the Talmud they wrotesome really nasty things about Jesus but it had to be censored so theChristians could accept the Talmud.

When was Jesus born?

a. According to Matthew he was born in the days of Herod- 37- 4B.C.E.- that means he would have to have been born at least 4 years before whenhe is said to have been born.

b. According to John he was born in the days of the procurators-6 C.E.- which means he would have to have been born 6 years after he is said tohave been born.

Where was Jesus born?

a. Matthew and Luke say he was born in Bethlehem because it saysin the Torah the Messiah will come form Bethlehem, and they believed Jesus wasthe Messiah.

b. Mark says he was born in Nazareth and John says he was born inthe Galil- but there s no contradiction here because Nazareth is in the Galil.

Problem: If Jesus had nofather (G-d was his father) then how can he be from a human family- Beit David?The Christians say that Mary and G-d immaculately conceived him.

Who was Jesus father?

a. Mary was his mother and she was engaged to Joseph theCarpenter- meaning she had a baby out of wedlock

b. According to the Talmud Jesus is a Mamzer- he was the son of aRoman soldier Mary slept with

According to the NewTestament Jesus was born in a barn with 3 wise men who came bearing gifts forthe miraculous messiah.

One fundamental belief inChristianity: Mary was the wife of G-d- if they don t believe that then Marywas just an unwed mother.

Another thing is thatChristians use our Bible to try to prove their beliefs of Jesus- one example isthe misinterpretation of the Hebrew in Isaiah 53.

Jesus Life

When Jesus was young he wasa folk healer and went to the poor, the hungry, and the lepers and healed them.

Once he encountered John theBaptist- Yonatan HaMatbil (who was a preacher that went around telling peopleto repent). His name- He was a member of the Essenes because they were big onbaptizing (the Mikvah). Jesus had Essene tendencies. So when they met, Jesusbowed down to John and said he was holy and John answered, No, you, Jesus, areholier than I am.

Jesus was:

a. A healer of the sick

b. A preacher (gave sermons)- His most famous sermon was called Sermon on the Mount in which he told Jews to repent because the Kingdom ofHeaven is at hand.

c. A miracle worker: 1)He walked on water, 2) He performed amiracle by feeding hundreds of people with 2 loaves of bread and 2 fish.

Jesus found followers andlisteners among the poor and suffering- most Jews laughed at him and called himcrazy.

He assembled 12 Apostles(like the 12 Shevatim) and Peter was the teacher of the 12 Apostles.

Question: Was Jesus a goodJew?- Was he Shomer Mitzvot?

a. In Matthew it states that Jesus said: I did not come to getrid of the Mitzvot- which implies he kept the Mitzvot

b. [Possibly in John] it says that Jesus students were in afield on Shabbat and they were cutting down corn stalks. When a few Prushimcame and screamed at them for not keeping Shabbat, Jesus defended them- whichmeans he was not keep the Mitzvot.

Jesus and the Jews

In 34 C.E. Jesus ran aroundIsrael saying he was the King of the Jews. This sounded like he was rebellingagainst Rome.

Last Supper:

On Erev Pesach, in front ofthe Beit Hamikdash there would be money changers (Prushim) for people to givemoney in Shekalim to the Mikdash. Jesus came up to them and turned over theirtables and called them corrupt and said they only cared about money.

Judas Iscariot turned Jesusinto Rome.

Here s where there arecontradictions:

a. According to John- Judas turned Jesus in because Satan enteredhis heart and caused him to do evil. According to Synoptic Gospels- Judasturned Jesus in for money (silver)= bribe.

b. According to John- Jesus was captured on Erev Pesach- 14Nissan- which means Jesus was the Korban (sacrifice) and accepted upon himselfthe sins of humanity (because Korbanot were given on Erev Pesach). According toSynoptic Gospels- Jesus was captured on the night of Pesach which means Jesuswas the savior and the redeemer.

c. According to John- He committed a political crime because hewas endangering an entire Jewish people. According to the Synoptic Gospels- Heis a blasphemer and curses G-d.

According to the NewTestament the Romans captured Jesus and he had 2 court trials: First theybrought him in front of Caiphas, and second in front of Pontius Pilate (theprocurator at the time) who condemned him to death.

But, it says in the NewTestament that on the same day they captured a robber, Barrabas. Pontius gavethe Jews a choice and said, I ll give you Jews permission to free one captiveand kill the other (either Barbarras or Jesus). And the Jews chose to killJesus. This makes no sense however. Pontius supposedly said, The blood ofJesus is in your hands, Jews, but he wouldn t say that because Jesus wasalready condemned to death by ROME, meaning this was a fabricated saying.

The whole story of his deathis full of holes:

a. It says he died on Pesach- the Sanhedrin would never judgepeople on a holiday!

b. Even if they had mad an exception for him- they would nevergive the death penalty on a holiday!

c. Jesus was crucified- Jews NEVER crucified

d. It says Jesus was captured, judged and buried in Yerushalaim-but nobody is buried in Yerushalaim because it is a holy place

e. Jesus was supposedly killed on a Friday (Good Friday)- but ifyou look on the calendar- Pesach did not fall out on a Friday.

If Jesus hadn t died- therewouldn t be Christianity because he died for other people s sins.

Back to the story: Jesus waskilled on a Friday. Three women (who were cured by him) came on Sunday to prayby his grave. They saw the grave was open and nothing was in there. Oneexplanation to this is that because Yerushalaim is so holy, the Jews took thebody out of the city and buried it somewhere else.

Saul of Tarsus is really theperson who is responsible for Christianity. He s the one that started runningaround telling the story of the resurrection. The Jews didn t listen to him sohe changed his name to Paul. He left Eretz Yisrael to go convert non- Jews toChristianity. (After the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash there were Jews whoconverted to Christianity.)

In Shmoneh Esreh the Bracha VeLamalshinim is interpreted by some as VeLaminim (Apikorsim)- writtenabout those Jews trying to convert everyone to Christianity.

Christianity was supposed to be the religion of theJews- but it never took off with them.

The Revolt and Destruction of the Beit Hamikdash (7)

A little timeline:

6 CE﷓ Theprocurators come in; Coponius the Caesar forced the Jews to count themselves

14﷓ 34 CE﷓ PontiusPilate is procurator

14﷓ 37 CE﷓ Tiberiusis Caesar

37﷓ 41 CE﷓ GaiusCaligula is Caesar; there were arguments between Egyptians and Jesus﷓ he sideswith Egyptians; he wanted to put a statue of himself in Yerushalaim; he wasvery anti﷓Semitic

41﷓ 54 CE﷓ Claudiusis Caesar and he picks Agripas, who s Jewish, to be king from 41﷓44 CE

44﷓ 46 CE﷓ CaspiasFedas is procurator﷓ he was horrible and took away the clothes of the CohenGadol just to be mean to the Jews

54﷓ 68 CE﷓ Nero isCaesar (he was king at the beginning at the revolt)

64﷓ 68 CE﷓ Florusis procurator﷓ he was the last one and the worst one (took treasures form theBeit Hamikdash)

70 CE﷓ TheDestruction of Beit Hamikdash II

The Results of theRevolt and Destruction:

1. The Burning of the Beit Hamikdash

2. Many Jews killed (according to Josephus﷓ 1million)

3. Galut = Exile﷓ More Jews in Babylon thanEretz Yisrael

4. They took Jews as prisoners and made many ofthem slaves﷓ tortured the leaders of the revolt﷓ made them fight against lions,etc.

5. They took treasures from the Mikdash﷓ TheArch of Titus celebrates Rome s victory and depicts a large homecoming paradewith the treasures of the Mikdash in hand and Jews in chains

6. For the first time, the Jews lost every kindof independence

7. Eretz Yisrael no longer physically belongsto the Jews﷓ it s Roman land

8. Fiscus Iudaicus ﷓ the Romans taxed Jewseverywhere in the Roman world﷓ made then pay + Shekel to humiliate them andshow them they re not paying the Mikdash rather Rome


1. Josephus

2. Talmud

3. Tacitus﷓ he was anti﷓Semitic

4. Eusibius﷓ Roman Historian

5. Yosephun Katan﷓ a Jew in Italy in the middleages﷓ wrote a kind of Cliffs Notes of Josephus work, some believe it really isJosephus work

The Revolt: (beganin 66 CE)

The Causes of theRevolt:

1. Immediate Cause﷓ Florus is procurator,Nero is Caesar. The Goyim in port cities hated the Jews so they rioted againstthem and Florus never stopped them.

Also, Florus wantedto build a new sewer system and to pay for it he took money from the BeitHamikdash. He came to Yerushalaim with soldiers to do so and the Jews (reallythe Zealots, who were the leaders of the revolt) threw rocks at them so he ranaway. Florus returned to Syria with his soldiers. Agripas II was the king andhe was popular and loved by the Jews and he made a huge mistake. He made aspeech to the Jews calling for peace to stop a revolt and he tells them thatfighting isn t worth it and blah blah blah. One thing that was a horriblemistake to say was his requesting the Jews to take Florus back﷓ the Jews hatedFlorus so he shouldn t have said that. If he wouldn t have said that, they mighthave listened to him but instead they started the revolt.

2. Social Cause﷓ Corrupt Cohanim, oppressors

3. Economic Causes﷓

a. Many poor people in Yerushalaim, hightaxes﷓ which the rich (Aristocrats) were exempt from

Class struggle﷓ the Zealots burnt moneyreceipts of debts of Jews4. Socio﷓economic Cause﷓ Rich Jews are friendswith the Romans. The leader of the Zealots, Shimon Bar Giyorah freed slavescause he wanted them to help fight. The Zealots burnt Agripas palace and thereceipts for debt

5. Religious [and Political] Cause﷓ Auerbach﷓10% of the Roman Empire was Jewish and 20% of the Middle East was Jewish. Moreand more Romans were converting to Judaism﷓ Christianity was not adopted yet,and they found stability in Judaism because it was ethical and not corrupt. TheRomans were afraid that the Jews would take over the world so they were harshand cruel to the Jews in their rule of Eretz Yisrael, which lead to the revolt.

Who s fault is therevolt???

1. Josephus﷓ the Zealots and the procurators﷓the procurators provoked the Zealots to revolt; Problem﷓ the procurators dideverything under the order of Rome﷓ so why isn t Rome blamed? One answer﷓Josephus was captured, freed and then became friends with Roman Empire﷓ so hecannot start blaming Rome in his works

2. Tacitus﷓ the procurators﷓ this is probablytrue because Tacitus doesn t blame the Jews even though he is an anti﷓Semite

3. Eusibius﷓ the Jews﷓ because they didn taccept Jesus so they were punished

4. The Gemarah﷓ Sinat Chinam﷓ hatred betweenthe Jews for no reason﷓ example is the story of Kamtzah Bar Kamtzah

The Sequence ofEvents of the Revolt:

1. The moderates were the Prushim, and thenationalists were the Zealots (Shamai)﷓ The Zealots didn t ask for help becausethey are nationalists and did not ask for help from other Roman enemies. Theysaid Hashem helped the Jews on Chanukah and he ll help them now. Florus is inSyria now with his soldiers and he sent a few thousand of them to EretzYisrael. The Jews fought them hard and won. The Romans saw this and knew thiswas a serious revolt.

2. The Roman general, Vespasian, was sent byRome from the North. Jews pick Josephus Flavius (our favorite source guy) to bethe Jewish general. He was a Cohen when he was young and spent a lot of time inRome and appreciated Roman culture﷓ most important he knew Roman ways. He cameback to Eretz Yisrael and was considered a moderate.

Cityafter city fell in the hands of Rome until there was one city left﷓ Yodfat.

Accordingto Josephus, the Romans seized the city to starve the Jews in it and it wasabout to fall in the hands of Rome. The leaders (including Josephus) go intohiding in a cave. In the cave there was a big debate﷓ to give up and themselvesin to Rome or to kills themselves. Josephus says to give up, and they wereready to kill him for that. They decided on a lottery system﷓ for every twoJews one would kill the other. Josephus was the last Jew left and gave himselfinto the hands of Rome. At the time there was a power struggle in Romeconcerning who would be Caesar. Josephus goes to Vespasian and tells him You re going to be Caesar and he didn t believe him. All of a sudden amessenger comes and tells Vespasian he s Caesar.

3. The Romans came and made a siege onYerushlaim. The Jews had many resources in the city to last a while but theZealots burnt the food and resources so the Jews would be desperate and notwant to make peace with Romans and they would fight. The leaders of the Zealotswere Shimon Bar Giyorah and Yochanan Migush Chalav (or something like that).

Just note﷓ Amongstthe Zealots were the extreme radicals called the Sicarii﷓ who killed Romans andany Jews who even said hi to the Romans (this was before the revolt.)

The Romans bringJosephus to Yerushalaim and he tried to make peace but he didn t succeed. Thereason they didn t accept was because the Cohan Gadol﷓ Eliezer was a Zealot andhe refused to sacrifice the offerings of the Romans and the Caesar.

Vespasian s son wasTitus (cruel guy) and he was the one who commanded the burning of the BeitHamikdash. Now Josephus said that Titus didn t command that rather while theywere arguing what to do a soldier came and threw a torch in the Mikdash and itburnt﷓ this is NOT true﷓ Josephus only wrote this cause he wanted Titus to likehim, and he wouldn t get in trouble with Rome. Titus really did burn down theBeit Hamikdash.

Titus punishmentwas that a fly entered his head and buzzed around and made him go crazy. BeitHamikdash burnt from the 9th of Av until midday of the 10thof Av.

Whoeverwas left was captured by Rome and taken into captivity. The situation ishorrible and there are literally pools of blood in the streets of Yerushalaim,and Bnei Yisrael are in Galut.

Bar Cochvah s Revolt (132﷓ 135 C.E.) (8)

After the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash the situation isbad but Jewish life is still going on. Approximately 60 years after thedestruction came the revolt﷓ why now? So the big question to answer this is which came first﷓ the revolt orthe decrees? And why did Hadrian, the Caesar (Adrianus) even decree thesedecrees?

A. The Sources:

1. Dio Cassius﷓ Hadrian made Yerushalaim into a Pagan city﷓ atemple for the god Jupiter and called it Aelia Capitolina; when he did that,the Jews revolted

2. Spartianus﷓ Hadrian decreed that Brit Milah was forbidden, sothe Jews revolted

3. Breshit (1st book of Torah) Rabah﷓ Hadrian hadpromised the Jews he would rebuild the Beit Hamikdash and he didn t keep hispromise so he revolted

4. Eusibius﷓ he is an anti﷓Semite, and he agrees with Mantel thatthe Jews revolted first and then Hadrian made the decrees. He says the Jewswere naturally violent people looking for fights.

B. Hugo Mantel s opinion﷓ he says first the Jews revolted and thenthere came the decrees (he agrees with Eusibius)﷓ Why does Mantel think this?

His problem with the other sources:

1.Mantel says that Dio Cassius got his information onHadrian and his proof from Hadrian s autobiography﷓ which is not reliablebecause it s probably half true and exaggerated

2. Spartianus also used the autobiography, but in additionto that in his previous works he is not to be trusted and is know to beunfaithful to history and mixes legend and fact, truth and fiction

3. The problem with Breshit Rabah is that to Mantel it justsounds ridiculous, bizarre and not logical (it s a Midrash, by the way)

His problems with the king:

Hadrian was a tolerant king! Mantel brings proof from othersources where it refers to Hadrian as a Man of Peace and Tolerant ofReligion. If a revolt started in another part of the empire he would sendgifts instead of soldiers. We have 2 proofs: Hadrian visited Egypt, and hesacrificed offerings to Egyptian gods﷓ which he didn t even believe in. Also, arevolt started in the city of Mauritania and he sent them presents instead ofsending them soldiers.

So how does Mantel answer the question why the Jews revoltin the first place? He says it was 60 years after the destruction and theythought Mashiach was around the corner and coming really soon (like after thefirst destruction). They revolted kinda to get things started.

His problem with the time:

1. Mantel says the Jews started revolting in either 120 C.E.or 127 C.E. which was way before the revolt. They found coins, in Israel,with Hadrian s face﷓ from the 120s﷓ and he s dressed in his general attire,which means Hadrian, a tolerant guy, is now portrayed as a war person= he wasfighting with the Jews in Israel

2. They found a Roman military road between cities in Israeldated from 127 C.E. which is proof the revolt started before 132 C.E.

3. A whole military legion of soldiers came to Israel in the120s proving that there was turmoil= revolt. There was also a letter from thesoldiers asking for more uniforms and supplies from Rome﷓ meaning they werefighting and working hard in Israel.

4. Bar Cochvah succeeded in capturing Yerushalaim and therewouldn t have been enough time to do everything he had to do, and set up akingdom from the short time period of 132﷓135 C.E.﷓ he had to have started muchearlier!

His problems with Brit Milah (Spartianus):

Mantel says that Hadrian would never forbid Brit Milah﷓ hewas a tolerant king! It was a punishment for them revolting.

Historians answer him﷓ Shalit says Hadrian did forbid BritMilah because it was similar to castration which was forbidden in the RomanEmpire. The Romans didn t know Jewish culture and didn t understand what BritMilah really was.

Mantel answers Shalit saying Hadrian knew the Jews andknew and knew their customs and they knew that Brit Milah was not castration.Another historian says Brit Milah was barbaric according to Hadrian and hedidn t know what it was because it s a private ceremony done in Shul. To thatMantel answers the same thing as he did to Shalit.

His problem with the place﷓ Yerushalaim:

Mantel says Dio Cassius is wrong because Hadrian isreligiously tolerant. Historians answer him saying that he turned Yerushalaiminto a Pagan city for his soldiers﷓ it was the center so it was the perfectplace﷓ it was a center where he had many soldiers. Why Yerushalaim? Maybe alsoit was a network of many strategic cities of the Romans so they had to set upPaganism for this major city. It wasn t a punishment for the Jews rather it wasfor his benefit.

Mantel answers﷓ WRONG! Firstly, Hadrian knew the Jews andknew what a Pagan temple meant in their holy city﷓ he wouldn t do that to them.Secondly, we have no proof that Yerushalaim was part of a network of strategiccities and was strategically located for the Romans.

We now prove Mantel wrong:

1. In the Gemarah there s a Pasuk﷓ In the days of Bar Cochvahthousands of children were given Brit Milah ﷓ this means that before his days,kids weren t getting Brit Milahs= there were decrees that stopped them.

2. Coins﷓ They found coins with the image of Bar Cochvah on them﷓these words and images were superimposed on other words and images﷓ a pictureof Hadrian with the words Aelia Capitolina meaning he switched Yerushalaim intoa Pagan city before the revolt and Bar Cochvah

The Gemarah tells us about the course of the revolt. Theycall Shimon Bar Cochvah﷓ Shimon Bar Cozibah= the liar﷓ the Gemarah didn t likehim because everyone thought he was Mashiach (even Rabbi Akivah thought he wasMashiach) but he wasn t. The Cochvah part came from a Pasuk talking aboutYaakov it says Yaakov was a star so they used that for his name.

Another question﷓ the Jews had suffered so much so far﷓ whywere they willing to fight again? During the time of Bar Cochvah there wasunity in the nation (Achdut) and everyone wanted to fight (unlike the beforethe destruction where not everyone wanted to fight). One answer: the decreeswere so horrible and they were being pushed to a limit and couldn t take itanymore, so they fought. Another answer: they thought the Galut would only last70 years﷓ no more﷓ just like after the 1st Mikdash. Every Jewbelieved this﷓ they never imagined the Galut would last this long.

Now where did Bar Cochvah get all the weapons, materialsfrom﷓ they were right under the Romans noses!?!?

The Jews had been forced into labor and one of those jobswas repairing weapons for the Romans. When the Romans gave them weapons torepair they would tell them the weapons were beyond repair and they would fixthem and save them to use and built up a collection.

The Romans did win but they suffered a tremendous defeat.For 2 years there was victory for the Jews and a Jewish independent kingdom wasset up in Yerushalaim, and Bar Cochvah is the prince. Proof: They found coinsthat said Year one to the freedom of Jerusalem, Year one to the redemptionof Jerusalem, and Shimon the President of Israel.

In the end the Romans recaptured the city. How do we knowthey suffered great losses?

1. They lost a lot of men﷓ proof: they needed constantreinforcement (legions from elsewhere) because the Jews kept killing thesesoldiers

2. Hadrian didn t sign his letters from 132﷓135 C.E. with thewords Peace unto me and my army because there wasn t peace and they were introuble

The Romans captured Yerushalaim and the Jews fled to thecity Beitar﷓ the last city left. (this happened all in the month of Av) TheRomans captured Beitar and were cruel to those in the city. They slaughteredmany Jews and there were rivers of blood in Beitar. The Romans also mutilatedthe dead bodies and didn t allow them to be buried. He took the bodies of BarCochvah and his warrioirs and hung them symbolically at the gates of Beitar.According to the Gemarah the Romans found one body with a snake coiled aroundits head﷓ this was Bar Cochvah because he was a liar and called Bar Cozibah.

The Decrees of Hadrian:

1. Brit Milah was forbidden

2. Shabbat and Holidays were forbidden to be observed

3. Learning Torah was forbidden

4. Doing Smichah (to be a Rabbi) was forbidden

5. It was forbidden to enter Yerushalaim

The Jews didn t listen to the decrees, even though there wasa death penalty﷓ there were 10 famous Rabbis killed (the first 2 were RavYishmael and Raban Shimon Ben Gamliel). Elisha Ben Avooyah (I think that s howyou pronounce it) was a traitor and helped the Romans. In the Gemarah they callhim Acher ﷓ Other meaning he was different and was bad.

The decrees lasted until Hadrian died, when Antonius came﷓he buried the bodies of Beitar.

Results of the Revolt:

1. They switched the name Yehudah into Syria Palestin sothere would be no more connection to the Jews and the land

2. Yerushalaim turned into a city of idols and was called AeliaCapitolina﷓ Jews were only allowed in on 9 Av

3. The Goyim hate the Jews, their culture, their G﷓d, etc.

4. There was great Kiddush Hashem because many people died in hisname

5. The Jews no longer have a land. The Romans took it and alsocollected taxes from them

6. The Jews lost hope﷓ they thought Hashem left them and theylost everything

Eretz Yisrael in the Time of the Talmud

(Talmud refers tothe time of the Mishnah and the Gemarah)

A. So from the revolt over half a millionJews died, many Jews are prisoners, many went to Babylonia, for the first timein history the Jews are a minority in their own land, and Jewish influence inBabylonia increased greatly. Also Rabbi Akiva s students were killed. Accordingto the Gemarah, they were killed because of Sinat Chinam (unnecessary hatred).Other historians believe that they were killed in the revolt (they wererebels)﷓ which is logical because Rabbi Akiva believed that Bar Cochvah wasMashiach.

B. The Compromise

In 138 C.E. Hadriandied and Anthony (Antoninus) became the new Caesar. He cancelled the decrees ofHadrian.

Question: Why NOWare the Romans living in peace with the Jews??

The Romans suffered in the revolt anddidn t need any fights

The Parthians and the Barbarians﷓ theRomans had to fight with them and they didn t have time to fight with theJews. They re also afraid of the Jews because maybe the Jews will beallies with the Parthians, Rome s enemy.

There were many converts of the RomanEmpire to Judaism, even after the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash. ManyRomans respect the Jews or even observe the Mitzvot﷓ those non﷓Jews arecalled G﷓d Fearers

The Jews were strong and courageous inthe revolt and the Romans respected them for that

The Romans feared more losses of men The Romans:

Wereready to give up:

They cancelled the decrees against theJews (Jews were granted religious freedom)

Jews were not drafted into the Romanarmy

The religious center went from Yavnehto Ushah (Ooshah) in the Galil﷓ there was a new Sanhedrin, new Jewishleadership, and a new Jewish centerWerenot ready to give up:

Fiscus Iudaicus﷓ the Jews still had topay the tax

Brit Milah for NON﷓JEWS﷓ there was noconversion to Judaism and if they caught you﷓ death penalty

Entrance into Yerushalaim was forbiddenexcept on 9 Av﷓ Yerushalaim was now a temple to the god JupiterTheJews:

Wereready to give up:

Paying taxes﷓ they had no problempaying them

They took in Hellenistic culture thatthe Romans got from the Greeks (Ex: On the floors of some Synagogues thereare Hellenistic images, and in the Gemarah there are names of Rabbis andwords in Greek)

They accepted the rule of Rome﷓ theyaccepted the idea of Galut. Because of this the Rabbis said that youcannot figure out when the end of the Galut will come﷓ they didn t want toget the Jews hopes upWerenot ready to give up:

Brit Milah﷓ there were still convertsdespite the penalty

Entrance into Yerushalaim﷓ there iseven proof that there were Yeshivas in YerushalaimAfterthe destruction all the cities in Yerushalaim were destroyed on behalf of theRomans. The situation is so bleak that the power switched onto the people inBabylonia and there is an argument between the Rabbis of Babylonia and Israelconcerning who has the power to decide what day is Rosh Chodesh.

C.Things are fairly good. There were 3 attitudes/approaches towards the Romans:

Moderates﷓ they saw some good in theRomans﷓ Rav Yehudah Bar Elay

Neutral﷓ didn t care﷓ didn t favor orhate the Romans﷓ Rav Yossi Ben Chalafta

Zealots﷓ hated the Romans greatly﷓Shimon Bar YochaiStory:The 3 were sitting down and a conversation started and Rav Yehudah said howgreat the Romans were﷓ they built bridges and marketplaces, etc. Rav Yossi saidnothing. Shimon replied to Rav Yehudah that they only built it for their owngood﷓ the bridges and marketplaces are to transport and sell their prostitutes.Someone heard this and tattled on the Rabbis. The Romans rewarded Rav Yehudah,did nothing to Rav Yossi and wanted to kill Shimon. He ran away to a cave withhis son. He was a Kabbalist in the cave and wrote the Zohar. He came out of thecave with eyes and a face so bright that that he burnt people there. He didn tunderstand how people could live such ordinary lives. He went back in the cave,learned, came out and understood how people could live such plain, worldlylives.

D.The Sanhedrin and the President in Ushah:

﷓RavShimon Ben Gamliel II (Rashbag II) is the President

﷓RavNatan is the Av Beit Din.

﷓AndRav Meir is the Chacham (smart one). There s a pasuk talking about him and itsays he only learned the essence, or the good stuff, and discarded with the badstuff because he learned from Elishah﷓ an Apikores.

Wenow return to a time where there s both a President and an Av Beit Din.

SoRav Yehudah Ben Bavah dies cause he gives too many people Smichah (Rav Natanand Rav Meir also did that).

RavNatan and Rav Meir didn t like Rashbag II and didn t give him much respect andthought he was not qualified to for his position. He didn t know MasechetOoksin. Rav Meir and Rav Natan knew this and wanted to embarrass Rashbag whenthe Sanhedrin got together and they d ask him to explain it and he wouldn tknow it. A student of Rashbag heard this and one day and he sat next to Rashbagand learned it out loud. He went to the Sanhedrin, and answered the questions.Rav Natan and Rav Meir were punished﷓ that any Halachah in the Gemarah thatthey said their names were not mentioned.

Rashbagstrengthened the Presidency (Patriachate):

He demanded that you must stand up forthe President until he is seated (you were not required to do this for theAv Beit Din or the Chacham)

The President had to agree on whomeverthe Sanhedrin appointed or else it s not a legitimate appointment. But thePresident could appoint and the Sanhedrin would have to accept him Rashbagalso said that it was forbidden to export fruit outside of Israel becauseIsrael was still rebuilding itself and needed those fruit.

Rashbag sson was Rav Yehudah Hanasi﷓ he organized the Mishnah at circa 200 C.E. He wascalled Rebbi. The power of the presidency reached itshighpoint in his time. He was not only smart and great but he was also veryrich.

TheJobs of Rebbi:

Head of the Sanhedrin

Was responsible for the calendar

Was the representative of the Jews withthe Romans

Appointed officials

Decided who would get Smichah﷓ whichwas a big deal back then

Responsible for collecting taxesHewas not only spiritual power but also power on the everyday lives of the Jews.

Question:How was it that in his time the presidency became so powerful﷓ why not hispredecessors?

Answer:He was the close friend of the Roman Caesar﷓ Anthony (Antoninus).

TheMishnah tells us about their friendship but which Anthony are we talkingabout???

﷓ Antoninus Pius138﷓161 C.E.﷓ NO﷓ didn t visit Israel and was too long before Rebbi s time

﷓ Marcus Aurelius161﷓180 C.E.﷓ NO﷓ Anti﷓ Semitic

﷓ Commodus 180﷓192C.E.﷓ NO﷓ didn t go to Israel

﷓ Septimus Severos193﷓206 C.E.﷓ NO﷓ never known as Antoninus

﷓ Caracalla 206﷓217C.E.﷓ YES﷓ called Antoninus and did visit Israel

Examples of theirfriendship:

1. Antoninus came to Rebbi on Shabbat and ateby him and the Caesar is eating and tastes one particularly delicious food. Sohe asked Rebbi for the recipe, he gave it to him and his cook made it. But whenhe tasted it﷓ it wasn t as good as it was by Rebbi﷓ so he asked Rebbi﷓ why doesit not taste that good? Rebbi answered﷓ you re missing one spice﷓ SHABBAT!!!!!

2. Rebbi was the advisor of Antoninus﷓ he wasasked about how to deal with a revolt in Egypt, and about the city Caesarea.

3. The Caesar gave Rebbi land in Israel﷓ inRamat HaGolan.

4. Rebbi gave Caesar good animals for breedingso the Romans would have better animals.

5. The Caesar gave Rebbi a beautiful Menorah.

6. The Jews got citizenship﷓which gave themspecial privileges.

Rebbi wore shoesmade of gold. Some people didn t like that. So when people would complain hewould take off the shoe to show a hole on the sole (to show he s still aregular guy).

The Time of theMishanah:

They start writingthe Oral Torah now because they realize that the Jews are spreading everywhereand they need to write it down for everyone around the world. There s a pasukthat says that when the time comes sometimes you have to transgress the Torahin order to preserve it. In this case﷓ they wrote it down which was forbidden.

We know that Rebbiredacted the Mishnah because there s a pasuk that says he and Rav Natan werethe end of the Mishnah. Also Rashbag didn t know Ooksin﷓ meaning over time itwas a collective effort of all the Rabbis compiled by Rebbi. (He was not theonly one working on it).


﷓ Knew many languages

﷓ Decided to writeMishnah in modern Hebrew

﷓ Had German bodyguards

﷓ Had tremendousauthority﷓ if there was an argument he decided it

﷓ Built a Yeshivah inBeit Shearim and then in Tiberias

Rebbi died in 219C.E.

The time of theMishnah was until 219 C.E. and most Rabbis were in Israel and some were inBabylonia. From 219﷓ 500 C.E. was the time of the Gemarah and most of theRabbis were in Babylonia and not in Israel.

What caused thisswitch?

The Romans had manyproblems that caused the Jews to suffer, so they left:

They were fighting with the Parthiansand the Barbarians

They had economic problems

In 311 C.E. Constantine declaresChristianity the official religion of the Roman Empire (before that theydespised Christianity). Paganism is starting to be viewed as wrong andbarbaric which was bad for the Jews. Romans now believe that the Jewscommitted DEICIDE (killing of a god=Jesus). Christianity is not tolerantto Judaism and over the next few years laws will be decreed against theJews.359 C.E.﷓ TheRomans (Christians) did not allow the Jews to send messengers to other Jewsoutside of Israel.

Hillel II madethe calendar based on mathematics/calculation.

Babylonia is neverunder Christian rule= peaceful for Jews= so thousands move to Babylonia.

The Rise ofChristianity:

311 C.E.﷓ Constantineconverts to Christianity and makes decrees against the Jews:

Every Jew can convert to Christianity﷓whoever tries to stop him will be burnt alive (obviously no conversion toJudaism)

No intermarriage

Slaves of Jews may not convert toJudaism (the custom of the time was that slaves converted to theirmasters religion

306 C.E. Counsel of Elvira﷓ see thatChristianity is starting to organize so they made laws:﷓ No intermarriage

﷓ Jews could not blessthe fields of Christians (believed Jews were possessed with magical powers, andshows Jews were once respected)

﷓ Jews and Christianscouldn t eat together= couldn t be friendly (segregation)= couldn t intermarry

325C.E.﷓ Counsel of Nicaea﷓ The priests decided (Constantine is head) they had tomake clear the difference between Jews a


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