Yet he sought to point out which rulings he favored by providing information on majority and minority status or rulings, and by indicating the greater or lesser authority of individual tradents (transmitters of tradition) and decisors whose statements he included. If so, can we speak of a normative tradition at any time in pre-rabbinic times? What was new was the venue. Many Jews believed, incorrectly we think, that the redactors of the Babylonian Talmud must have had at their disposal the work of the Palestinian amoraim and that they had consciously selected or rejected its views. In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of the Torah. Today, these tractates are arranged roughly in size order within each order, at least in the Mishnah texts. In addition, the tannaim enacted laws designed to further separate the Jewish Christians from the community by prohibiting commerce with them and forbidding certain other interrelationships. Mentions of a synagogue in inscriptions from Hellenistic times in the Diaspora refer not to a prayer area (proseuche in Greek), but rather to a Jewish communal organization which managed the local affairs of the Jews in their Diaspora communities. It emerged as the descendant of ancient Israelite Religion, and is characterized by monotheism and an adherence to the laws present in the Written Torah (the Bible) and the Oral Torah (Talmudic/Rabbinic tradition). Alan Segal has written that "one can speak of a 'twin birth' … Various sects, some of which are represented in the corpus of materials discovered in the Qumran caves, tell us of the extreme apocalypticism of some groups of Jews at that time. The Sadducean movement was so tied up with the priestly aristocracy and Temple worship that when the Temple was destroyed and the social order decimated, the priestly, Sadducean approach simply could not endure. Rabbinic Judaism holds the belief that God revealed the Torah in both written and oral form. They understand the Diaspora as a trauma and thank the rabbis for, presumably, stepping in to save Jerusalem. On the other hand, the history of post-biblical prayer begins early in the Hellenistic period, and perhaps even before. The Mishnaic tractates served as the basis for these discussions. The following article is reprinted with permission from From Text to Tradition: A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism (Ktav). Simeon seems to have embodied Messianic dreams to some of his followers, like the later Simeon bar Kosiba (bar Kokhba), who led the revolt against Rome in 132–135 C.E. From the point of view of Christianity, the schism is not difficult to trace. Both of these men seem to have been charismatic leaders who headed private armies. This should have required that the oral law be transmitted orally, and, indeed, it was so in the tannaitic period. We have seen that the issues raised by the sectarian movements in the Second Temple period were not, in almost every case, new ones. The second process, by which the Babylonian tradition attained ascendancy, is somewhat more complicated. At this point, the development of the Palestinian Talmud was virtually arrested by the onset of anti-Semitism and the difficult conditions which the Jews of the Byzantine Empire faced. For the most part, the Mishnah endows the Talmuds with their organizational framework. To be sure, Philo had pictured the Essenes as pacifists, but we must assume that they saw this war as the eschatological battle and, therefore, that they had no qualms about participating in it. It still remains to be seen how the heritage of the Pharisees will continue, but there can be no question that it will. In the Maccabean uprising, the lines had been drawn more clearly. Rabbinic Judaism, which probably originated during the Babylonian Exile and became organized after the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 ce, concerned itself primarily with the solution of legal and ethical problems. Second Temple Judaism (516 BCE - 70 CE) -. Later tradition and many modern scholars ascribe the basic subject classification into orders (Hebrew sedarim) and tractates (massekhtot) to Rabbi Akiva who flourished at the Yavneh academy ca. The second temple in Jerusalem was the central place of worship for the Jewish people from ca. Any study of the career of Jesus and the rise of the Christian church must acknowledge that Palestine in this period was the scene of the occasional messianic and prophetic figure. Even in this literature, however, one can trace the rising tensions which would ultimately prevail between the two groups. It was as a consequence of the Pharisaic tolerance of Roman rule that the descendants of Rabban Gamliel were entrusted by the Romans with the internal self-government of the Jewish people, usually termed the Patriarchate. This situation continued until the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E. Rabbinic Judaism has again had to face alien values in the modem world. (Masada, Herodion and Gamla), and probably somewhat earlier in the Diaspora. Another group involved in the rebellion was the Zealots. A certain John the Essene appears as a revolutionary commander. Thus, many more tractates began to move toward completion while halakhic concepts developed over the years served as the basis for new organizational and redactional approaches. We must inquire here as to whether this evaluation is valid. Hellenism was a synthesis of Greek (Hellenic) culture with the native cultures of the Near East. Differences between the two concerned mostly detailed halakhic rulings or certain ideas prominent in Babylonian society that entered the Jewish tradition there. Gentile Christianity had gained the ascendency totally and now was virtually the only form of Christianity the Rabbis encountered. Once Antiochus stepped in and outlawed certain basic Jewish practices and defiled the Temple, the masses of Jews rallied behind the Maccabean family, leaving only the extreme Hellenizers and the armies of Seleucid Syria on the other side. And so it was that after the destruction, the Pharisaic approach, as interpreted by the Rabbis of the Mishnah and Talmud, furnished the groundwork for what we have come to call rabbinic or normative Judaism. There is no question that from a political or military point of view they were a disadvantage. The way was paved for the legitimization of Christianity as a licit religion. This group seems to have been identical with the Sicarii (“dagger-carriers”), who played so important a role in the revolt against Rome. Josephus states that these men agreed in other respects with the Pharisaic approach. Josephus speaks of the so called Fourth Philosophy (alongside Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes). Rabbinic Judaism or Rabbinism has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century, after the codification of the Talmud. It must be remembered that the destruction of the Temple was not just a religious tragedy. As generation after generation passed down their discussions to circles of later scholars, the discussions were augmented with the later scholars’ comments and glosses. In any case, the Palestinian Talmud remained a more difficult text than the Babylonian. Jewish Christian Relations in the Early Centuries. The Babylonian Talmud was redacted after the Palestinian. The early days of the schism were marked by questioning and debate. Then the final touches, including the occasional halakhic rulings (“the law is according to . Understanding Second Temple and rabbinic Judaism User Review - Not Available - Book Verdict. By the time Rabbi Judah the Prince began his work of final redaction, he had most probably inherited many almost completed tractates and a basic system of classification by orders. To the Rabbis, what God had given orally had to be transmitted orally, and so it was with the Mishnah, the consummate summary of the oral law. This in tum led to various digressions and to the comments and glosses of various amoraim to the tannaitic texts under discussion. Answer: Rabbinic Judaism is a Judaism centered around the teachings and writings of Rabbis. Nonetheless, the primacy of the Land of lsrael should have been expected to have guaranteed its Talmud first place. In this cours, we will explore the many ways in which Judeans creatively managed and co-created emerging forms of Judaism during Second Temple times and through the early centuries of the Common Era. After the destruction, the tannaim immediately recognized the need to standardize and unify Judaism. By the Bar Kokhba period, this process was complete. We cannot be sure. I think not. Within Judaism there are a variety of movements, most of which emerged from Rabbinic Judaism, which holds that God revealed his laws and commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai in the form of both the Written and Oral Torah. This book is about the Second Temple & Rabbinic Judaism, as the title states. More important, the ever-expanding, developing nature of the oral law attracted the best minds, leaving the written Torah to serve as an object of elementary instruction, midrashic exegesis, and technical grammatical study by a select few. Scholars have long debated the exact nature and history of the process that led to the redaction, arrangement and selection of the Mishnah, the first major document to emerge from and to represent the tannaitic tradition. They wielded the authority of the state to help enforce Rabbinic law and to spread the teachings of the Babylonian Talmud. We will see the establishment of an alternative path of Jewish religious expression following the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in the year 70 C.E. It was the sudden disappearance of this avenue of communing with God that was most tragic. The Romans at first regarded the Christians as part of the Jewish people. Whereas in earlier times, there was coexistence and harmony, by the fifth century anti-Semitic legislation was prominent in Byzantine codes. This group evolved from a coterie of Jews seeking to propagate the belief in Jesus as messiah to an apostolic group seeking to convert the world. Rabbinic Judaism gained predominance within the Jewish diaspora between the 2nd to 6th centuries, with the development of the Oral Law to control the interpretation of Jewish scripture and to encourage the practice of Judaism in the absence of Temple sacrifice and other practices no longer possible, since the destruction of the Second Temple … gtag('js', new Date()); These two factors together constituted the major influences on the rise of this new religious group and the schism which would eventually follow. Where did Jews pray before the rise of synagogue buildings? The Mishnah was studied orally in amoraic times. When Christianity came to the fore in the first century C.E., its adherents saw themselves living in the period of the fulfillment of biblical eschatological visions. How did Jews and Christians relate once the final break had come about? Pharisees, Saducees, and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Rediscovering the Fascinating Revolt of Bar Kochba. The new Babylonian Judaism attained this vitality precisely because it was so strongly linked to that of Palestine and almost identical with it. Outside of Biblical Books, NO Sacred Jewish Texts in this period - (Mostly Preserved by Christians) Rabbinic Judaism. The amoraim and the later redactors of the halakhic midrashim (the so-called tannaitic midrashim) sought to reintegrate law and Scripture, to demonstrate that the written and oral laws constituted one unified revelation of God. Rabbi Judah the Prince, however, promulgated his Mishnah in oral form. 25:8). The displacement of the Bible was a process long in the making. Perhaps it was the religious victory of the Pharisees and the attendant recognition of their political powers (which we shall mention below) ‘which further weakened the Sadducees. Original Judaism, the first and true one, is the one described in the writings of the OT and the NT. The Qumran materials, if properly understood, provide this background for Christianity, showing that it was on the foundation of a Judaism like this, not that of the Pharisees, that the church was erected. Foreign domination was nothing new for the Jews. This was despite the much more moderate, almost pacifist view of some members of the Pharisaic leadership. The oral law was believed by the tannaim to have been revealed by God at Sinai to Moses, alongside the written law. The most central aspect of the transition from pre-destruction to post-destruction times was the change of the center of worship from Temple to synagogue. Such an assumption led in part to Zedekiah’s rebellion against Babylonia, which resulted in the destruction of the nation and its Temple in 586 B.C.E. If life in this world was not what it should he, they would be rewarded in the next for their observance in this world. From Amoraic Interpretation to Talmudic Texts. Had the Jewish people been unified, there would have been a better chance of holding out longer against Rome, although there can be no question that enough Roman men and materiel would have eventually been victorious. freed the Christians (probably including the Jewish Christians) from paying the fiscus judaicus, the Jewish capitation tax decreed as a punishment in the aftermath of the revolt of 66–73 C.E. While we know that some individuals kept written notes, the formal activity of the amoraim, like that of their tannaitic predecessors, was conducted orally. Were these divisions beneficial or harmful to Jewish life? Sometimes referred to erroneously as “intertestamental,” Second Temple Judaism has attracted sustained attention since the late 19th century as a transitional age between the ancient Israelite religion reflected in the early strata of the Hebrew Bible and the emergence of Christianity and classical rabbinic Judaism in their characteristically postsacrificial forms in late Antiquity. Not only did the amoraim not complete their task, but also the Talmud of the Land of Israel was hastily compiled. Rather, it was edited in an atmosphere in which the restoration of that Temple-centered reality was still a living hope, and in which the conception of sanctity still flowed from that reality, even in its absence. We will discover why Jewish practice of this period can be described as vibrant, diverse, and confidently engaged in lively dialogues with surrounding cultures. 9 years ago. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, Pharisaic beliefs became the foundational, liturgical and ritualistic basis for Rabbinic Judaism. The origins of rabbinic Judaism are found in the many Judaisms that coexisted during the Second Temple period in the land of Israel, when biblical and co-biblical texts were edited and interpreted. With the destruction of the Temple and the shifting of the activity of the tannaim to centers at Yavneh, Usha, Bet Shearim and Sepphoris, profound changes occurred in the manner by which tannaitic material was transmitted. Physical attacks against Jews and their houses of worship were not unknown in this period. Indeed, Christianity was firmly anchored in the heritage of Second Temple sectarianism. He even placed materials in his text anonymously, the tradents for which he was well aware of, in order to indicate the ruling he thought was to be followed. The destruction of the second Temple left Judaism without a center of teaching and study; without a centralized state, there had been a concern that oral scholarship could not maintain Jewish laws, customs, and ideas. 515 B.C.E. If you are looking for objective "Jewish" history on the Second Temple (from a Beit-Hillel Pharisaic tradition), then this is the place to start. This new world intensified the old conflicts. Clearly, however, the concomitant development of the synagogue as an institution, along with the gradual ascendency of prayer over sacrifice as a means of worship, prepared Judaism for the new situation that the destruction of the Temple would bring. The third point of view, that of the Romans, can be traced as well. The material was organized into six orders: Zera’im (Agricultural laws), Mo’ed (Holy Occasions, Festivals), Nashim (Women, Marriage law), Neziqin (Damage and Civil law), Qodashim (Sacrifices), and Tohorot (Purification Rituals). It was left for those who came after Rabbi Akiva at the academy at Usha to bring many tractates to a well-developed state. It decided. The Pharisees had been among those Jewish parties whose agitation against Judea’s Roman administration contributed to the outbreak of the disastrous revolt of 66-73 C.E., including the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. The redaction of the Mishnah by Rabbi Judah the Prince (c. 200 C.E.) Professor Lawrence H. Schiffman of New York University’s “From Text to Tradition: A history of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism” is an excellent comprehensive and readable history of Judaism during a span of over a thousand years. Yet at the same time, some Pharisaic tendencies had a great impact on the church, as did Second Temple sectarian trends on rabbinic Judaism. Some digressions were rather extensive, and sometimes included the aggadic analysis of related (or even unrelated) biblical material. What of the Pharisees? This was clearly a polemic against the Gospels which must have been circulating in some form, even preredactional, by this time. These groups hoped for the immediate revelation of a messiah who would redeem them from their misfortunes and tribulations. Many Jews assume that the destruction of the Second Temple was a cataclysm threatening the survival of the Jewish people. Statements regarding Jesus found in certain modern writers to the effect that he studied among Essenes or the Dead Sea sectarians must be rejected as purely speculative. In terms of the base, the commandments and rabbinic commandments as well as the base of synagogue services were all in place prior to the destruction of the Second Temple. To the Rabbis, these were not Jews with incorrect views about the messiah. As such, this was a period in which Judaism was not sure in which direction to go. Hereafter, it is possible to trace the growing process of separation from the end of the first century C.E. This is clear from accounts in both Rabbinic literature and in the writings of the church fathers. Yet as the oral tradition became so extensive and complex, and as individuals kept private written texts, this distinction no longer held. Thus, Judaism never faced the problems it might have, had a literalist approach to Jewish law become the norm. In regard to theological questions, the Pharisaic beliefs had long accorded with those of most Jews, for in times of trouble, the Jewish people longed to believe in such ideas as afterlife and the Messianic era. John, on the other hand, seems to have been more moderate and was friendly with Simeon ben Gamliel, the leading Pharisee. In this effort they were greatly helped by the opportunity to piggyback onto the Islamic postal system and administrative apparatus which made possible the wide-ranging influence of the Babylonian Geonim. Indeed, at its origin, the main activity of “Talmud” was the resolution of contradictions in tannaitic materials. The Qumran materials, if properly understood, provide this background for Christianity, showing that it was on the foundation of a Judaism like this, not that of the Pharisees, that the church was erected. Following the lead of Peter, Paul convinced the fledgling church to formally open itself to gentile converts and brought to it the notion of a mission to the gentiles, transforming Christianity in the process. When the Temple was again destroyed in 70CE by the Romans, it was this form of rabbinic Judaism, with the synagogue as its base, that survived the destruction. Whether he himself is responsible for this concept is impossible to determine with precision. The decline of the old pagan cults coupled with the tremendous success of Christianity would eventually lead to the acceptance of the new faith as the official religion of the Roman Empire in 324 C.E. Thereafter, the bulk of the material is anonymous and serves to fill in gaps and make the whole a unified, sensible creation. The immediate followers of Jesus in the early days of his career and soon afterwards gathered together in Jerusalem and formed (according to the Acts of the Apostles) a small group which sought both to live as Jews and to accept the messiahship of Jesus. At the same time, the Hellenistic environment created a greater need to answer the pressing questions Judaism raised. Some believed that Rabbi Judah the Prince himself had recorded his Mishnah in writing, while others believed that the Mishnah was written down in Babylonia only at the end of the Talmudic period as the threat of the Islamic invasion became real and it was feared that the oral traditions would be lost. Finally, both rebels and moderates had urban and rural, rich and poor constituents. By this time, tannaitic Judaism was already the dominant form of Judaism, for the Pharisees had emerged from the revolt as the main influence within the Jewish community. Rabbinic Judaism began after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE and developed over the next four centuries to become the normative form of Judaism (Rabbinic Judaism). In keeping with the commandments of the Torah, Judaism had centered tightly on religious practice and sacrifices at the Temple in Jerusalem. Second Temple / Rabbinic Judaism Many Jews assume that the destruction of the Second Temple was a cataclysm threatening the survival of the Jewish people. proves that this approach, at least on the level of individual tractates, was evolving in his day. Another important aspect of amoraic analysis is inquiry into the Scriptural source (proof text) for a particular rule. Yet the large number of highly developed treatises which remain embedded in, or which even constitute, Mishnaic tractates from the period between the Great Revolt (66–73 C.E.) The emergence of the Jewish people into the Hellenistic period was in many ways analogous to its emergence into modem times. The terms that you used, especially Rabbinic Judaism, are terms that are part of the Christian Church and were invented to make the case that today's Judaism is different from a previous Judaism and that the rabbis made a new version of Judaism. He also worked to make the scrolls fully published and available to the academic world. Further, the question of legal status as seen through the eyes of the Romans also had some relationship to this issue. This new environment, culturally and historically, gave new impetus to some conflicts and modified others. Within the six orders there are a total of sixty-three tractates. Apocalypticism and the approach of such groups as the Essenes and the sect of the Dead Sea Scrolls had already served as the background for emerging Christianity. These could be religious, political, or socioeconomic. As time went on, and as political and economic conditions worsened, these groups became more and more convinced that this messianic deliverance would be accompanied by a cataclysm. These views, by and large, he reproduced anonymously, or with the label “the opinion of the sages,” where there was an individual who dissented. In Palestine and Babylonia different Mishnaic tractates were selected for detailed study, and different emphases existed even within the various Palestinian and Babylonian schools. The redactors of the Babylonian Talmud who inserted these anonymous links and glosses also added some of the more extensive digressions, and provided the formulary introductions which allow us to identify Mishnah, baraita, and the statements of individual amoraim. written manuscripts of the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds are first mentioned, and the dissemination of these manuscripts continued throughout the Middle Ages until the rise of printing. In Rabbinic Judaism, resurrection was taken for granted, and it was argued that the resurrection belief is founded on the Hebrew Scripture. This, indeed, was one of the several factors leading to the greater popularity and authority of the Babylonian Talmud. The mainstream of Jewish life would confront this approach again only in the guise of false Messiah movements, most notably that of Shabbatai Zevi, or in the form of Christian conversionist preaching. Only occasionally do the amoraim base their discussions on a baraita (tannaitic tradition outside the Mishnah) or on a Mishnah which has been quoted incidentally. Then, the Rabbis termed the Christians noserim (“Nazarenes”) and regarded them as a completely separate and alien religious group. These study sessions were organized around the formal curriculum provided by the Mishnaic tractates. The former counseled rebellion as their ally, Egypt, was expected to lend support. The formal transition to the use of a written Mishnah as an object of teaching, study and exegesis took place only at the end of the amoraic period or later. Yet there is absolutely no evidence, literary or archaeological, for this theory. Rabbinic Judaism became the predominant stream within the Jewish diaspora between the 2nd to 6th centuries, with the redaction of the oral law and the Talmud as the authoritative interpretation of Jewish scripture and to encourage the practice of Judaism in the absence of Temple sacrifice and other practices no longer possible. This process continued in both Babylonia and Palestine into the fifth century. “) and some philological explanations were added by the savoraim, interpreters, whose work continued up to the seventh century and even later. (John was put to death in c. 29 C.E. In the 1st century, many Jewish sects existed in competition with each other, see Second Temple Judaism. (70 CE- 638 CE) History of Second Temple Judaism (516 BCE - 70 CE) 516 BCE. Only a small part of the Mishnaic material is attributed to the period before the Roman conquest of Judea in 63 B.C.E. However, two factors militated against this development: first, the nature of the Palestinian Talmud itself, and second, the political history of Jewry under the Islamic caliphate in the seventh and eighth centuries. This faction must have continued its operations and stayed under the leadership of the same family through the Great Revolt of 66–73 C.E. It is difficult to determine at what point in the history of the Mishnaic material the process of redaction began. Flusser rightly argues that the Qumran Community should not be studied in isolation, but within the larger context of Second Temple Judaism from which both Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity emerge. They are mentioned by Josephus only once in regard to the revolt. Just as the Deuteronomic editor of Kings saw the misfortunes of the Israelites in biblical times as stemming from deviation from the teachings of the Lord, so it was this deviation, in the form of the rejection of the true tradition, which led, in the Talmudic view, to the destruction in 70 C.E. The Zealots were a group that crystallized quite late in the revolt.