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Rome

Judaea’s Leaderless Revolt Against Rome

The Second Temple was destroyed in the course of the Judaean Revolt (66–73 C.E.) against Rome, and looms large in Jewish history for the way in which it decisively shaped the future of Judaism. But how different was it from other revolts against Rome? Are there elements that mark the Judaean Revolt as unique and essentially different?

Prof.

Eric Orlin

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Walled Cities “from the Time of Joshua” Celebrate Shushan Purim – Why?

Hidden behind the strange rabbinic definition of walled cities is a polemical response to the notorious claim of Emperor Hadrian, who rebuilt Jerusalem as the pagan city Aelia Capitolina.

Prof.

Eyal Ben-Eliyahu

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Mariamme, the Last Hasmonean Princess

The Hasmonean princess Mariamme is best known today for her tempestuous and doomed marriage to Herod the Great. During her lifetime, however, Mariamme was a Jewish celebrity in her own right. As a descendant of the Hasmonean family on both her maternal and paternal sides, Mariamme was the closest thing that Jews had to royalty.

Dr.

Malka Z. Simkovich

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How Jewish Was Herod?

Despite the negative evaluation of Herod in traditional Jewish sources, archaeological evidence seems to suggest that, with some notable exceptions, Herod saw himself as tied to the Jewish religion and tried, to a certain extent, to uphold its laws, even in his own lifestyle.

Evie Gassner

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Why Rome Is Likened to a Boar

The Romans were baffled as to why Jews would not eat pork, an idiosyncrasy that became the subject of speculation as well as ethnic humor. In response, Jewish texts highlight the way the hated Romans remind the rabbis of pigs and wild boars.

Dr.

Malka Z. Simkovich

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The Law of the Disrespectful Son and Daughter

Deuteronomy’s law of the rebellious son (Deuteronomy 21:18–21) poses numerous problems. Like the rabbis, Josephus interprets the law, but his conclusions are quite different.

Prof.

Michael Avioz

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Esau the Ancestor of Rome

In the Bible, Esau is the ancestor of the Edomites who live on Mount Seir, southwest of Judah. So how did the rabbis come to associate Esau and Edom with Rome? Two main factors are at work here: Christianity and Herod.

Dr.

Malka Z. Simkovich

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Yom Turyanus: The 12th of Adar

The mysterious Jewish holiday in rabbinic times that begins and ends with the execution of two brothers.

Prof.

Vered Noam

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Why Did Vespasian and Titus Destroy Jerusalem?

What brought Rome to present a military campaign against the small and distant province of Judaea as a great victory? Why did such a small rebellion succeed for so many years? What brought Titus to raze the most important metropolis of Judaea when much less would have put down the rebellion? Finally, why did the Flavian emperors actively publicize the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple? The answer to these questions should be sought not in Jerusalem, but in Rome and its political climate.

Dr.

David Gurevich

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