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Second Temple

Sukkot, the Temple, and the Messianic Controversy

“May the All-Merciful One reestablish the fallen sukkah of [King] David” הרחמן הוא יקים לנו את סוכת דוד הנופלת — from the Grace after Meals of Sukkot.

Dr.

Malka Z. Simkovich

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The Vision of 6th Century Chanukah in Zechariah

The Significance of the Rabbinic Choice of Haftarah for Shabbat Chanukah

Prof.

Eric M. Meyers

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Ahasuerus and Vashti: The Story Megillat Esther Does Not Tell You

Why the rabbis came to imagine Ahasuerus as a usurper who halted the rebuilding of the Temple and his wife Vashti as a wicked and grotesque Babylonian princess, who lived as a libertine and persecuted Jews.

Dr.

Malka Z. Simkovich

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Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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Rabbi

David D. Steinberg

The 220-Year History of the Achaemenid Persian Empire

An overview of Persian history starting from Cyrus the Great’s conquest of Media (549 B.C.E.) until Alexander the Great’s conquest of Persia (334-329 B.C.E.), including related biblical references and Jewish texts.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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The Biblical Building Blocks of Chanukah

Biblical concepts about the Second Temple, its purification, and dedication strongly inform the development of Chanukah’s earliest customs and symbols.

Dr.

Yael Avrahami

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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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