Judaism

How did Rabbi Yohanan Ben Zakkai save Judaism?

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2018-03-08 18:44:58
2018-03-08 18:44:58

Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai, disciple of Hillel, found favor in the eyes of the Roman leader Vespasian, for a reason explained in the Talmud (Gittin 56a-b), and was granted a request. He asked that the Romans (who had already begun the siege of Jerusalem) spare the town of Yavneh and its Torah-scholars. Vespasian acquiesced (Talmud, ibid), and Rabbi Yohanan gathered whatever Torah-sages he could, to Yavneh.

After the Destruction during which the Romans razed Jerusalem, it was these sages (Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Akiva and many others) who redeemed Jewish captives, distributed charity, and rebuilt whatever they could. (Compare this to the Sadducees, who melted into the background and did not lift a finger to help the people.)

In matters of Torah, the sages of Yavneh recorded the laws of the Temple so that these wouldn't be forgotten, and collated the details of such Mishna-tractates as Shekalim, Yoma, and Tamid. They finalized the text of the Haggadah shel Pesach (Passover Seder), composed prayers for the rebuilding of the Temple, and set in motion the process of collating the entire Mishna, an effort which would be completed a century later.

Through all these actions, they gave the Jewish people new hope, showing them that the nation could continue even under the new circumstances, with its Torah and traditions (Oral Law) intact, clarified and accessible.

At that time (the Second Destruction), non-traditional sects such as the Sadducees and the Essenes, either went extinct or drifted completely away from Judaism because of the hardships the Jews were experiencing. Judaism today can name only the Torah-sages as its spiritual forebears.

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2015-01-11 17:36:47
2015-01-11 17:36:47

Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai, disciple of Hillel, found favor in the eyes of the Roman leader Vespasian, for a reason explained in the Talmud (Gittin 56a-b), and was granted a request. He asked that the Romans (who had already begun the siege of Jerusalem) spare the town of Yavneh and its Torah-scholars. Vespasian acquiesced (Talmud, ibid), and Rabbi Yohanan gathered whatever Torah-sages he could, to Yavneh.
After the Destruction during which the Romans razed Jerusalem, it was these sages (Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Akiva and many others) who redeemed Jewish captives, distributed charity, and rebuilt whatever they could. (Compare this to the Sadducees, who melted into the background and did not lift a finger to help the people.)

See also the other Related Links.

Link: Jewish history timeline

Link: Destruction and Diaspora

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The answer that you're looking for is "Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai." However, there is a mistake in your question, or its perceived answer. Rabbi Johanan did not found the Torah-academy in Yavneh. Rather, it had already existed, and he bolstered it with hundreds of additional disciples.


Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai.However, there are two mistakes in your question, or its perceived answer. One is that the school had already existed. He bolstered it with hundreds of additional disciples.Also, thousands of scholarly Jews have founded Torah academies, throughout the generations.See also the Related Links.Link: How did Rabbi Yohanan Ben Zakkai save JudaismLink: Timeline of Jewish history


Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai.However, there are two mistakes in your question, or its perceived answer. One is that the school had already existed. He bolstered it with hundreds of additional disciples.Also, thousands of scholarly Jews have founded Torah academies, throughout the generations.See also the Related Links.Link: How did Rabbi Yohanan Ben Zakkai save JudaismLink: Timeline of Jewish history


The answer that you're looking for is "Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai."However, there are two mistakes in your question, or its perceived answer. One is that Rabbi Johanan did not found the Torah-academy in Yavneh. Rather, it had already existed, and he bolstered it with hundreds of additional disciples (Talmud, Berakhot 28a and Gittin 56b).The other mistake is the possible implication that only one such school was founded. In fact, thousands of Rabbis, and some women too such as Sarah Schenirer, have founded important Torah academies, throughout the generations. These include Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Hezekiah, Ezra, Hillel, Rashi, and very many more.


Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai.However, there are two mistakes in your question, or its perceived answer. One is that the school had already existed. He bolstered it with hundreds of additional disciples.Also, thousands of scholarly Jews have founded Torah academies, throughout the generations.See also the Related Links.Link: How did Rabbi Yohanan Ben Zakkai save JudaismLink: Timeline of Jewish history


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