The fate of the Pharisees

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MrMacSon
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The fate of the Pharisees

Post by MrMacSon » Sat Feb 13, 2021 12:09 am


Of all the major Second Temple sects, only the Pharisees remained. Their vision of Jewish law as a means by which ordinary people could engage with the sacred in their daily lives was a position meaningful to the majority of Jews. Such teachings extended beyond ritual practices. According to the classic midrash in Avot D'Rabbi Nathan (4:5):

The Temple is destroyed. We never witnessed its glory. But Rabbi Joshua did. And when he looked at the Temple ruins one day, he burst into tears. "Alas for us! The place which atoned for the sins of all the people Israel lies in ruins!" Then Rabbi Yohannan ben Zakkai spoke to him these words of comfort: "Be not grieved, my son. There is another way of gaining ritual atonement, even though the Temple is destroyed. We must now gain ritual atonement through deeds of loving-kindness."

Following the destruction of the Temple, Rome governed Judea through a Procurator at Caesarea and a Jewish Patriarch and levied the Fiscus Judaicus. Yohanan ben Zakkai, a leading Pharisee, was appointed the first Patriarch (the Hebrew word, Nasi, also means prince, or president), and he re-established the Sanhedrin at Yavneh (see the related Council of Jamnia) under Pharisee control. Instead of giving tithes to the priests and sacrificing offerings at the (now-destroyed) Temple, the rabbis instructed Jews to give charity. Moreover, they argued that all Jews should study in local synagogues, because Torah is "the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob" (Deut. 33: 4).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharisees ... _to_rabbis


After the destruction of the Second Temple, these sectarian divisions ended. The Rabbis avoided the term "Pharisee," perhaps because it was a term more often used by non-Pharisees, but also because the term was explicitly sectarian. The Rabbis claimed leadership over all Jews, and added to the Amidah the birkat haMinim, a prayer which in part exclaims, "Praised are You O Lord, who breaks enemies and defeats the wicked," and which is understood as a rejection of sectarians and sectarianism. This shift by no means resolved conflicts over the interpretation of the Torah; rather, it relocated debates between sects to debates within Rabbinic Judaism. The Pharisaic commitment to scholarly debate as a value in and of itself, rather than merely a byproduct of sectarianism, emerged as a defining feature of Rabbinic Judaism.

Thus, as the Pharisees argued that all Israel should act as priests, the Rabbis argued that all Israel should act as rabbis: "The rabbis furthermore want to transform the entire Jewish community into an academy where the whole Torah is studied and kept .... redemption depends on the "rabbinization" of all Israel, that is, upon the attainment of all Jewry of a full and complete embodiment of revelation or Torah, thus achieving a perfect replica of heaven." [Neusner, Jacob Invitation to the Talmud: a Teaching Book (1998): 9]

The Rabbinic era itself is divided into two periods. The first period was that of the Tannaim (from the Aramaic word for "repeat;" the Aramaic root TNY is equivalent to the Hebrew root SNY, which is the basis for "Mishnah." Thus, Tannaim are "Mishnah teachers"), the sages who repeated and thus passed down the Oral Torah. During this period rabbis finalized the canonization of the Tanakh, and in 200 Judah haNasi edited together Tannaitic judgements and traditions into the Mishnah, considered by the rabbis to be the definitive expression of the Oral Torah (although some of the sages mentioned in the Mishnah are Pharisees who lived prior to the destruction of the Second Temple, or prior to the Bar Kozeba Revolt, most of the sages mentioned lived after the revolt).

The second period is that of the Amoraim (from the Aramaic word for "speaker") rabbis and their students who continued to debate legal matters and discuss the meaning of the books of the Bible. In Palestine, these discussions occurred at important academies at Tiberias, Caesarea, and Sepphoris. In Babylonia, these discussions largely occurred at important academies that had been established at Nehardea, Pumpeditha and Sura. This tradition of study and debate reached its fullest expression in the development of the Talmudim, elaborations of the Mishnah and records of Rabbinic debates, stories, and judgements, compiled around 400 in Palestine and around 500 in Babylon.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharisees ... velopments


About 100 BCE a long struggle ensued as the Pharisees tried to democratize the Jewish religion and remove it from the control of the Temple priests. The Pharisees asserted that God could and should be worshipped even away from the Temple and outside Jerusalem. To the Pharisees, worship consisted not in bloody sacrifices—the practice of the Temple priests—but in prayer and in the study of God’s law. Hence, the Pharisees fostered the synagogue as an institution of religious worship, outside and separate from the Temple. The synagogue may thus be considered a Pharasaic institution, since the Pharisees developed it, raised it to high eminence, and gave it a central place in Jewish religious life.

The active period of Pharasaism, the most-influential movement in the development of Orthodox Judaism, extended well into the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE. The Pharisees preserved and transmitted Judaism through the flexibility they gave to Jewish scriptural interpretation in the face of changing historical circumstances. The efforts they devoted to education also had a seminal importance in subsequent Jewish history. After the destruction of the Second Temple and the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE, the synagogue and the schools of the Pharisees continued to function and to promote Judaism in the long centuries following the Diaspora.

Perhaps in, In Quest of the Historical Pharisees, edited by Jacob Neusner & Bruce D. Chilton, 2007

StephenGoranson
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Re: The fate of the Pharisees

Post by StephenGoranson » Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:48 am

Albert Baumgarten, “The Name of the Pharisees,” J. of Biblical Literature 1983, proposed two meanings of the name: pĕrûšîm,“separatists,” and pārôšîm,“specifiers.”
After the destruction of the Temple, there were efforts to reduce separatism, so the name Pharisee in the sense of separatist was disliked, at least by some. Some rabbis—example in Sota 22b—condemn some separatists. Compare minin and kitot taking on negative connotations.

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