The Mishna, etc

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DCHindley
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Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by DCHindley » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:12 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:28 pm
Comments from elsewhere -

1. 'Thomas Brodie argues that Jesus is a creation of (Christian) scribes working from the Hebrew Bible.'

2. 'Robert M Price thinks Jesus was a divine figure inferred or developed from Jewish scripture who was historicized along the same pattern as other pagan gods, with the quasi-historical Gospel stories consisting largely of reworked narratives and themes from the Tanakh (like Brodie).'
  • (responding to person 1's comment that ''Price, on the other hand [ie. cf. Brodie], is from the history of religion school and argues that Jesus is a 'Christianization' of pagan myths").
While I think the "History of Religion" school has some interesting things to say (mainly the process of syncretism), I am not impressed by their attempts to explain how these myths evolved. I accept that some myths are just ad-hoc "explanations" for the quirks of the nature of things (weather, flash floods, lightening strikes, out of control fires, who runs the gov'ment, etc.). They are attempts to explain what is beyond their comprehensions (they knew almost nothing about science or chemistry, etc.) by using human models (family relationships, rule as exercised by various kings, etc.).

But what the authorities cited above seem to be saying is that some very complex redeemer myth(s) had been "humanized" by symbolically placing them in the known stream of history. I don't know if that is reasonable. It would not be easily explained as part of the process of syncretism. One authority on the subject is Birger Pearson, also known for his advocacy of the position that Gnosticism as practiced in 2nd-3rd century CE was fueled by Judean sages escaping the wars in Judea in the 1st century, whose view of their national God suffered by the repeated defeats of the Judean rebels, developed "Sethian" style Gnosticism. He thinks they synthesized their Gnostic world view by exposure to a pre-existing non-Judean/non-Christian redeemer myth (i.e., via the process of syncretism), to which a modified Judean worldview was blended.

For those interested in Syncretism I'd recommend this book, Religious syncretism in antiquity: essays in conversation with Geo Widengren / edited by Birger A. Pearson 1975. While I have it, it is a photocopy sitting with about 20 others on top of my bookshelves so I have not looked for it. IIRC, this was a collection of English translations of Pearson's essays on Syncretism from his days in Scandinavia. It is actually a typed and offset printed book, but that's how you self-published things in the 1970s.

Other works of his that may be worth chasing down:
*Philo and the gnostics on man and salvation: protocol of the twenty-ninth colloquy, 17 April, 1977 ed. Birger Pearson 1977. [I don't have this one, but probably also a typed and offset printed selection of papers presented by various participants in the conference.]
*The Roots of Egyptian Christianity / Birger A. Pearson & James E. Goehring, editors 1986. [Have this one, very interesting.]
*"Eusebius and Gnosticism" in Eusebius, Christianity, and Judaism / edited by Harold W. Attridge and Gohei Hata 1992. [Haven't read this one ... yet.]
*"Theurgic Tendencies in Gnosticism and Iamblichus's Conception of Theurgy" in Neoplatonism and gnosticism / Richard T. Wallis, editor, Jay Bregman, associate editor 1992. [Again, this sounds very interesting. Andrew C. would also like it, if he hasn't already read it.]
*Gnosticism and Christianity in Roman and Coptic Egypt / Birger A. Pearson 2004. [Got this one, again very interesting.]
*"Gnosticism as a religion" in Was there a gnostic religion? / edited by Antti Marjanen 2005. [Don't have this one either ... yet.]

One thing you will not see there, is any treatment of the idea that cosmic myths were humanized. Euhemerus had proposed the idea that the myths about many of the commonly worshipped gods were symbolic deifications of human heroes of old. These folks thus became the nucleuses around which accreted those cosmic explanations of why things happen. However, this is not the same as explaining how cosmic myths can become humanized. The human man deified as Zeus was not a god, nor was he - as a deified man - really a cosmic God, as Jesus was imagined by Christians to have been from the start.

DCH

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Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by MrMacSon » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:40 pm

DCHindley wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:12 am
While I think the "History of Religion" school has some interesting things to say (mainly the process of syncretism), I am not impressed by their attempts to explain how these myths evolved.
I'm not aware of an ongoing "History of Religion[s]" school. Do you have further information?

DCHindley wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:12 am
But what the authorities cited above seem to be saying is that some very complex redeemer myth(s) had been "humanized" by symbolically placing them in the known stream of history. I don't know if that is reasonable. It would not be easily explained as part of the process of syncretism.
Jesus as "a divine figure inferred or developed from Jewish scripture" may have largely been a passive process (??) Developed as the Oral Torah was being debated and recorded, albeit likely to have been a fringe development (?) (cf. Serapis who I allude to below)

DCHindley wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:12 am

One authority on the subject is Birger Pearson, also known for his advocacy of the position that Gnosticism as practiced in 2nd-3rd century CE was fueled by Judean sages escaping the wars in Judea in the 1st century, whose view of their national God suffered by the repeated defeats of the Judean rebels, developed "Sethian" style Gnosticism. He thinks they synthesized their Gnostic world view by exposure to a pre-existing non-Judean/non-Christian redeemer myth (i.e., via the process of syncretism), to which a modified Judean worldview was blended.

For those interested in Syncretism I'd recommend this book, Religious syncretism in antiquity: essays in conversation with Geo Widengren / edited by Birger A. Pearson 1975 ... IIRC, this was a collection of English translations of Pearson's essays on Syncretism from his days in Scandinavia. It is actually a typed and offset printed book, but that's how you self-published things in the 1970s.

Other works of his that may be worth chasing down:

* 'Philo and the gnostics on man and salvation: protocol of the twenty-ninth colloquy', 17 April, 1977 ed. Birger Pearson 1977. [.. probably also a typed and offset printed selection of papers presented by various participants in the conference.]

* The Roots of Egyptian Christianity / Birger A. Pearson & James E. Goehring, editors 1986. [Have this one, very interesting.]

*"Eusebius and Gnosticism" in Eusebius, Christianity, and Judaism / edited by Harold W. Attridge and Gohei Hata 1992. [Haven't read this one ... yet.]

* "Theurgic Tendencies in Gnosticism and Iamblichus's Conception of Theurgy" in Neoplatonism and gnosticism / Richard T. Wallis, editor, Jay Bregman, associate editor 1992. [Again, this sounds very interesting. Andrew C. would also like it, if he hasn't already read it.]

* Gnosticism and Christianity in Roman and Coptic Egypt / Birger A. Pearson 2004. [... very interesting.]

* "Gnosticism as a religion" in Was there a gnostic religion? / edited by Antti Marjanen 2005. [Don't have this one either... yet.]
.
Cheers DCH. Those works would be pertinent to what I'm thinking. Also Margaret Barker's proposals that Gnosticism was well established by the ist century AD may be relevant (eg. idea's she proposed in The Great Angel: A Study of Israel’s Second God).


DCHindley wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:12 am
One thing you will not see there, is any treatment of the idea that cosmic myths were humanized. Euhemerus had proposed the idea that the myths about many of the commonly worshipped gods were symbolic deifications of human heroes of old. These folks thus became the nucleuses around which accreted those cosmic explanations of why things happen. However, this is not the same as explaining how cosmic myths can become humanized. The human man deified as Zeus was not a god, nor was he - as a deified man - really a cosmic God, as Jesus was imagined by Christians to have been from the start.

Cheers. Of course, when Christians first crystalised the notion that Jesus was a defied man, or if 'He' started as a humanised celestial-being / angel, is the current hot topic.

Whether Zeus had been a deified human before Euhemerus' alleged commentary, or had ever been proposed to have been, is not really known, as far as I know.

A model I have been interested in is Serapis: a god established or elevated by Ptolemy Soter I to maintain unity in Egypt (and surrounds) after the death of Alexander the Great (whether Ptolemy stole the god or a statue from elsewhere or not is beside the point). Serapis was supposed to be a syncreticism of Osiris and Apis (the bull), hence the name. By the 1st century 'He' had the same imagery as we now have of Jesus (shoulder length hair and beard).

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Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by MrMacSon » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:41 pm


After the death of Hadrian [soon after the end of the bar Kokhba reovlt] , reconciliation started. The new emperor Antoninus Pius allowed the burial of the dead and repealed the ban on circumcision that had caused the war (Digests 48.8.11). The rabbis started a self-critical discussion. Messianic claims in general were considered suspect. When Jehuda ha-Nasi composed that large collection of rabbinical wisdom, the Mishna, he left out many messianological speculations. Politically, Judaism was dead; there was to be no Jewish state for more than eighteen centuries. What was left, was the religion, which easily survived Roman paganism.

http://www.livius.org/articles/concept/ ... sh-wars-8/?

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Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by MrMacSon » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:56 pm

.
1. Hillel [the Elder] d. ~10 CE

2. Simeon / Shimon ben Hillel (a short unremarkable period as president of the Sanhedrin)

3. Gamaliel the Elder, aka Gamliel, & Rabban Gamaliel I (d. ~52 AC)

4. Simeon ben Gamliel (I) c. 10 BCE – 70 CE: killed by the Zealots during the civil war according to Josephus )

5. Rabban Gamaliel II (aka Gamliel of Yavne) (Johanan ben Zakkai's successor*). Died before the insurrections under Trajan.
    • * ben Zakkai died 90 AD/CE
  • Gamaliel II's sister Ima Shalom is said to have married Eliezer ben Hurcanus/Hyrcanus
  • Ima Shalom is one of the few women who are named and quoted in the Talmud, though scholars believe that, like Bruriah, Ima Shalom was the composite of several people.[1] Ima Shalom is mentioned by name in four 'traditions'. Three of them appear in the Babylonian Talmud (bShabbat 116a, bNedarim 20a-b, bBaba Mezia 49b).[4]
6. Simeon / Shimon ben Gamliel II
  • a youth in Betar when the Bar Kokhba revolt broke out
    .
  • There were many children in his family, one-half of whom were instructed in the Torah, and the other half in Greek philosophy (Gittin 58a;[1] Sotah 49b;[2] Bava Kamma 83a;[3]). According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, Shimon himself seems to have been trained in Greek philosophy; this probably accounting for his declaring later that the Scriptures might[?] be written only in the original text and in Greek (Meg. 9b;[6] i. 8;[7] Yer. Meg. 71c[8]).
    .
    Shimon established the additional office of "ḥakam", with authority equal to that of the others [the nasi (president/prince) and the ab bet din (chief justice)], appointing R. Meir to the new office. In order, however, to distinguish between the dignity of the patriarchal office and that attaching to the offices of the ab bet din and the ḥakam, Shimon issued an order to the effect that the honors formerly bestowed alike upon the nasi and the ab bet din were henceforth to be reserved for the patriarch (nasi), while minor honors were to be accorded the ab bet din and the ḥakam. By this ruling Shimon incurred the enmity of R. Meir, the ḥakam, and of R. Nathan, the ab bet din (Hor. 13b[26]). Shimon had made this arrangement, not from personal motives, but in order to increase the authority of the college over which the nasi presided, and to promote due respect for learning. His personal humility is evidenced by his sayings to his son Judah I, as well as by the latter's sayings (B. M., 84b,[27] 85a[28]).[5]
7. Judah ha-Nasi b. 135 CE (said to be the same day Rabbi Akiva died as a martyr ie. executed by the Romans)
  • spent his youth in the city of Usha. His father presumably gave him the same education that he himself had received, including the Greek language.[9] This knowledge of Greek enabled him to become the Jews' intermediary with the Roman authorities. He favored Greek as the language of the country over Jewish Palestinian Aramaic.[10] It is said that in Judah's house, only the Hebrew language was spoken, and even the maids spoke it.[11]
Judah, on beginning his public activity, transferred the seat of the patriarchate and of the academy to another place in Galilee, namely, Bet She'arim. Here he officiated for a long time. During the last seventeen years of his life he lived at Sepphoris, which place ill health had induced him to select on account of its high altitude and pure air (Yer. Kil. 32b; Gen. R. xcvi.; Ket. 103b). But it is with Bet She'arim that the memory of his activity as director of the academy and chief judge is principally associated: "To Bet She'arim must one go in order to obtain Rabbi's decision in legal matters," says a tradition concerning the various seats of the directors of the academies (Sanh. 32b).

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8963-judah-i
8. Gamaliel III

9. Judah II, aka Nesi'ah I. Lived in Tiberias in the mid 3rd century.
  • Relations with Origen
    Various stories of Judah's youth, referring to him and his brother Hillel, have been preserved. "Judah and Hillel, the sons of R. Gamaliel [Gamaliel III.], on their trip to Kabul, in Galilee, and to Biri" (Tosef., Mo'ed, ii., end; Yer. Pes. 30d; Pes. 51a) "offend against the customs of both places. In Kabul they meet with a solemn reception" (Sem. viii.). Grätz identifies this Hillel, Judah's brother, with the "patriarch Joullos" ('Ιοῦλλος πατριάρχης), with whom Origen conversed at Cæsarea on Biblical subjects (Origen on Psalms, i. 414; see Grätz, "Gesch." 2d ed., iv. 250, 483; "Monatsschrift," 1881, pp. 443 et seq.); but as Hillel himself was not a patriarch, it may be assumed that it was Judah who conversed with Origen. Origen probably misread ΙΟϒΛΟΣ for ΙΟϒΔΑΣ. This assumption agrees with the above-mentioned statement about Hoshaiah's close relations with the patriarch, for it may be assumed as a fact that Hoshaiah had intercourse with Origen at Cæsarea (" Monatsschrift," l.c.; "J. Q. R." iii. 357-360; Bacher, "Ag. Pal. Amor." i. 92).

    Bibliography:
    Grätz, Gesch. 2d ed., iv. 241 et seq.;
    Frankel, Mebo, pp. 92a et seq.;
    Weiss, Dor, iii. 65 et seq.;
    Halevy, Dorot ha-Rishonim, ii. 36 et seq. and passim;
    Bacher, Ag. Pal. Amor. iii. 581.
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Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by MrMacSon » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:20 pm


Houses of Shammai and Hillel

Despite the many disputes that later developed between their respective Houses, only five differences are recorded between Hillel and Shammai themselves. In the record of the Talmud alone, there are 316 issues on which they debated;[1] the large number of their disputations led to the saying the one law has become two.

The matters they debated included:
  • Admission to Torah study: The House of Shammai believed only worthy students should be admitted to study Torah. The House of Hillel believed that Torah may be taught to anyone, in the expectation that they will repent and become worthy.[5]
  • White lies: Whether one should tell an ugly bride that she is beautiful. Shammai said it was wrong to lie, and Hillel said that all brides are beautiful on their wedding day.[6]
  • Divorce. The House of Shammai held that a man may only divorce his wife for a serious transgression, but the House of Hillel allowed divorce for even trivial offenses, such as burning a meal.[7]
  • Hanukkah: The House of Shammai held that on the first night eight lights should be lit, and then they should decrease on each successive night, ending with one on the last night; while the House of Hillel held that one should start with one light and increase the number on each night, ending with eight.[8]
In general, the House of Shammai's positions were stricter than those of the House of Hillel.[1] On the few occasions when the opposite was true, the House of Hillel would sometimes later recant their position;[1][9] similarly, though there are no records of the House of Shammai as a whole changing its stance, a few individuals from it are recorded as deserting a small number of the more stringent opinions of their school, in favour of the viewpoint of the House of Hillel.[10][11]

The principles of the House of Shammai in relation to foreign policy were similar to those of the Zealots, among whom they therefore found support.[1] As, over the course of the 1st century, public indignation against the Romans grew, the House of Shammai gradually gained the upper hand, and the gentle and conciliatory House of Hillel came to be ostracised from the House of Shammai's public acts of prayer.[1]

As the Jewish conflict with the Romans grew, the nations surrounding Judea (then part of Roman Iudaea province) all sided with the Romans, causing the House of Shammai to propose that all commerce and communication between Jew and Gentile should be completely prohibited.

The House of Hillel disagreed, but when the Sanhedrin convened to discuss the matter, the Zealots sided with the House of Shammai.

Subsequently Eleazar ben Ananias, the Temple captain and a leader of the militant Zealots, invited the students of both schools to meet at his house ... many of the House of Hillel were killed, meaning that those present from the House of Shammai were able to force all the remaining individuals to adopt a radically restrictive set of rules known as 'The Eighteen Articles'; later Jewish history came to look back on the occasion as a day of misfortune.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillel_and_Shammai
After the fall of the 2nd Temple the Sanhedrin is said to have decamped to Yevnah (in Judea; aka Yavneel/Jabnah/Jamnia).
  • It may have first moved to Usha (a small village in west Galilee) (until 116 AD/CE, before moving to Yevnah).
The Roman-Jewish War had diminished appetites for war. Under Gamaliel II, the opinions of the House of Hillel won the reconstituted Sanhedrin's support on most issues (see also Council of Jamnia).

The Sanhedrin is said to have moved [or returned] to Usha in 135 or 146 AD/CE (or somewhere in between).
  • Simeon/Shimon ben Gamliel II was elected president of a restorated 'college' at Usha [after the end of the Bar Kokhba Revolt], in recognition of his personal worth and influence as much as or more than because he was a descendant of the house of Hillel. He was then elected president of the Sanhedrin.
It is said the choice of the small village of Usha as the seat of this council was deliberate - to keep its activities on a small key as, at these times. the Romans were suspicious of any political and religious activities.

Judah ha-Nasi, on beginning his public activity, transferred the seat of the patriarchate and of the academy to another place in Galilee, namely, Bet She'arim. Here he officiated for a long time. During the last seventeen years of his life he lived at Sepphoris, which place ill health had induced him to select on account of its high altitude and pure air (Yer. Kil. 32b; Gen. R. xcvi.; Ket. 103b).

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8963-judah-i


Other places of Judaic learning were founded by his students in Lod and in Bnei Brak - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tannaim

Some religious leaders may have been based, at some time, in Betar (Elah Valley(?); the site of Bar Kokhba's last stand).



(In parallel to the decline in Yavneh, the number of Samaritan residents in the Sharon cities, including Yavneh/Jamnia, increased considerably. Evidence of the large Samaritan residence was found on a Samaritan synagogue inscription in the ruins of one of the Arab houses.)
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Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by MrMacSon » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:38 pm


Prominent Tannaim

Titles

The Nasi (plural Nesi'im) was the highest-ranking member and presided over the Sanhedrin. Rabban was a higher title than Rabbi, and it was given to the Nasi starting with Rabban Gamaliel Hazaken (Gamaliel the Elder). The title Rabban was limited to the descendants of Hillel, the sole exception being Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai, the leader in Jerusalem during the siege, who safeguarded the future of the Jewish people after the Great Revolt by pleading with Vespasian. Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah, who was also Nasi, was not given the title Rabban, perhaps because he only held the position of Nasi for a short while and it eventually reverted to the descendants of Hillel.

Prior to Rabban Gamliel Hazaken, no titles were used before someone's name1, based on the Talmudic adage "Gadol miRabban shmo" ("Greater than the title Rabban is a person's own name"). For this reason Hillel has no title before his name: his name in itself is his title, just as Moses and Abraham have no titles before their names (an addition is sometimes given after a name to denote significance or to differentiate between two people with the same name. Examples include Avraham Avinu (Abraham our father) and Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses our teacher).)

Starting with Rabbi Judah haNasi (Judah the Nasi), often referred to simply as "Rabbi", not even the Nasi is given the title Rabban, but instead, Judah haNasi is given the lofty title Rabbeinu HaKadosh ("Our holy rabbi [teacher]").

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tannaim#Titles
1 Could this be reflected in the development of Nomina Sacra ??



First Generation (10-80 C.E.):
Principal tannaim: the Shammaites (Bet Shammai) and the Hillelites (Bet Hillel), 'Aḳabya b. Mahalaleel, Rabban Gamaliel the Elder, Ḥanina, chief of the priests ("segan ha-kohanim"), Simeon b. Gamaliel [I], and Johanan b. Zakkai.

Second Generation (80-120):
Principal tannaim: Rabban Gamaliel II. (of Jabneh), Zadok, Dosa b. Harkinas, Eliezer b. Jacob, Eliezer b. Hyrcanus, Joshua b. Hananiah, Eleazar b. Azariah, Judah b. Bathyra.

Third Generation (120-140):
Principal tannaim: Ṭarfon, Ishmael, Akiba, Johanan b. Nuri, Jose ha-Gelili, Simeon b. Nanos, Judah b. Baba, and Johanan b. Baroḳa. Several of these flourished in the preceding period.

Fourth Generation: [140-165?]
This generation extended from the death of Akiba (c. 140) to that of the patriarch Simeon b. Gamaliel [II] (c. 165). The teachers belonging to this generation were: Meïr, Judah b. Ilai, Jose b. Ḥalafta, Simeon b. Yoḥai, Eleazar b. Shammua, Johanan ha-Sandalar, Eleazar b. Jacob, Nehemiah, Joshua b. Ḳarḥa, and the above-mentioned Simeon b. Gamaliel [II].

Fifth Generation (165-200):
Principal tannaim: Nathan ha-Babli, Symmachus, Judah ha-Nasi I., Jose b. Judah, Eleazar b. Simeon, Simeon b. Eleazar.

Sixth Generation (200-220):
To this generation belong the contemporaries and disciples of Judah ha-Nasi. They are mentioned in the Tosefta and the Baraita but not in the Mishnah. Their names are: Polemo, Issi b. Judah, Eleazar b. Jose, Ishmael b. Jose, Judah b. Laḳish, Ḥiyya, Aḥa, Abba (Arika). These teachers are termed "semi-tannaim"; and therefore some scholars count only five generations of tannaim. Christian scholars, moreover, count only four generations, reckoning the second and third as one (Strack, "Einleitung in den Talmud," pp. 77 et seq.).

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/artic ... nd-amoraim

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Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by MrMacSon » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:20 pm


"In tannaitic sources study houses are rarely linked to particular rabbi1. The Mishnah and Tosefta never mention any individual study houses."

The Social Structure of the Rabbinic Movement in Roman Palestine by Catherine Hezser

1 a few are named in the link

Also, https://www.geni.com/projects/Talmudic- ... eonim/1385

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Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by MrMacSon » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:46 am

The Synagogue

With the destruction of the 1st Temple in 586 B.C.E., and the Jewish exile to Babylonia, the synagogue became the focal point of Jewish community life. The Talmud finds a direct reference to the synagogues of Babylonia in Ezekiel 11:16: G-d said: �I have indeed removed them far among the nations and I have scattered them among the countries, and I have become to them a small sanctuary in the countries to which they have gone. The phrase: �small sanctuary�, was in the course of time applied to a synagogue. Without a Temple, the synagogue became the main place of public Jewish gathering and worship ...

The Temple was the place where G-d made his presence manifest to the people. It was the symbol of national unity in Jerusalem, the holy city. Secondly, there was no need to build special houses of prayer at a time when the nation of Israel lived in their land, because in their dwelling areas, there were public gathering places which were used for all their needs, including communal prayer. In Writings and Prophets, public gathering places are mentions as being �Makhelot� (Psalms 68:27) (Deuteronomy 13:17) and Mikra�ah (Isaiah 4:5).

The people would gather to pray outside, under the sky. One should keep in mind that in the Temple itself, there was a place before the Eastern gate for public gatherings, including prayer. This place was called the Eastern Street. (Chronicles 2, 29:4. Mishnah in Taanit 2:5).

The �streets of the city� were also before the gates of every city. (�To the street of the gate of the city� (Chronicles 2, 32:6 Deuteronomy 13:17).
At the gate of the city the Court sat (Deuteronomy 21:19), and around it, in the �street of the city�, people came for general business needs, national gatherings and speeches. It is very likely that in these public streets, prayer gathering were held.

When the children of Israel were living on Gentile land, spread out amongst the nations, crying, remembering Jerusalem, they desired to pray to G-d, and pour out their hearts to him. But amongst the nations, the Jews couldn�t gather in the streets or in another public area, like they were accustomed to doing in their homeland Israel. Therefore, there was a need to create in every city a gathering place for prayer and the study of Torah. So was the synagogues built as a national spiritual center.

With the destruction of the First Temple, many Jews went to Egypt. In Egypt, many synagogues were built.

When the Jews returned to Israel, they brought with them the custom of building synagogues in all of their dwelling places. Even after the building of the second Temple, the Jews continued to go to synagogues. Even the Temple itself had a synagogue which people would attend on Sabbaths and holidays.

In Jerusalem, the holy city, in the time of the second Temple, there was a great number of synagogues and houses of study. In the Talmud (Ketubot 100a), it says that there were 394 synagogues in Jerusalem. In the Talmud Yerushalmi (Ketubot 8:1), it says that there were 460 synagogues in Jerusalem. The Yerushalmi (Megillah 3:1) further says that in Jerusalem, there were 480 synagogues and each of them had a house for the study of the written Torah, five books of Moses, a house for the study of the oral Torah, the Mishnah and the Talmud.

In the Talmud, synagogues for people with trades are mentioned. For example, there was a synagogue for workers who refine copper (Megillah 26a). There were also different synagogues for people who came to Israel from different countries. There is mention of synagogues in cities and villages (Megillah 26a). There is also mention of publicly and privately owned synagogues (Mishnah Megillah 3:1).

There were not only synagogues in Israel. In every land that the Jews settled in the time of the Second Temple, there were synagogues. Josephus mentions synagogues in Greece, Rome, Egypt and other places in southern Africa.

We find that there was a synagogue for the Jews from Rome who were in Mechoza (Megillah 26b), a synagogue for Jews from Bavel (Babylonia) (Yerushalmi Yoma 7:1), and a synagogue for Jews from Alexandria (Yerushalmi Megillah 3:1).

In Beitar, there were 400 synagogues (Gittin 58a). In Tiberius there were 13 synagogues. (Brachos 8a)


The shift from Temple to Synagogue

After the Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans, Yochanan the son of Zakkai requested that the Kaiser Aspifamus give him Yavneh and its sages. (Gittin 56b) According to Avot Di� Rabbi Natan, Rabbi Yochanan also said the following to the Kaiser: ��and there (in Yavneh), I will establish a place for prayer and I will fulfill G-d�s commandments�. During the time of the Second Temple, the great house of learning was in Yavneh, and the Sanhedrin was moved there after the destruction of the Second Temple.

After the destruction of the Second Temple, the center of serving G-d shifted from the Temple to the synagogue. The Tana�im (authors of the Mishnah) of the generation arranged anew the order of the prayer service, in a more expanded and firm manner. The synagogue and the house of learning became the focal points of Jewish life. So in Yavneh, there was the institution of the synagogue, house of learning and the Sanhedrin.
Service of G-d was not easy in Babylonia. The Persians only let the Jews build synagogues outside of the city. The Jews suffered from persecution from the Persians. The Persians put idols of kings in the synagogues.

During the 2nd Temple period, from 516 B.C.E. - 70 C.E., records show that there were numerous synagogues in existence. When the Second Temple was destroyed in 70 C.E. the central role of the synagogue in Jewish family life became firmly established. The Jews who left Israel and found refuge in Babylonia established synagogues and houses of study. Rabbi Yitzchak, one of the sages of the Talmud, commented on the verse in Ezekiel 11:16, �I will be for them a miniature sanctuary�, as a reference to synagogues and houses of prayer of Babylonia. The sages viewed the synagogue as a miniature Temple where Jewish congregations all over the world could gather, and to some extent, fill the void left by the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. The synagogue became the unrivalled hub of the social and religious life of each community.

The Jewish population had shifted largely to the Galilee, in the North, where the earliest concentration of structures is to be found. These follow several different prototypes. Most common is the basilica form, consisting of a long hall, divided by two rows of pillars, into a central nave and two aisles. Benches line the internal walls, and the pillars probably supported a gallery. Exteriors tend to be impressively constructed and ornamented, making the synagogue the most imposing structure of the settlement.

Whenever possible, the synagogue was situated at the town�s highest point or close to a water source. Interiors tend to be plain and unornamented, presumably to avoid distracting worshippers from the service. At a particular stage, mosaic floors were introduced, first with only geometrical designs, and later with representations of human and animal figures, depictions of Bible stories, the fruits of Israel and Temple implements.

http://www.torahlab.org/community/article/synagogue/

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MrMacSon
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Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by MrMacSon » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:23 pm

Hananiah ben Hezekiah ben Garon (Hebrew: חנניה בן חזקיה בן גרון‎, or in short חנניה בן חזקיה, "Hananiah ben [Son of] Hezekiah") was a Jewish Tanna sage, contemporary of House of Shammai and House of Hillel era. He is recounted as being one of several sages who weighed in on the question of the canonization of the Book of Ezekiel. The contradictions of the Book of Ezekiel are said to have been resolved in the aliyah, or upper chamber, of his house of study. He took 300 barrels of oil along with him, and shut himself at that place, where he looked up and studied their claims, until he was able to resolve the contradictions. Some sources identify this story with his son, Eleazar ben Hananiah. http://www.haaretz.com/culture/books/fa ... t-1.109244

The Gemara summons the matter:
"Rab Judah said in Rab's name: In truth, that man, Hananiah son of Hezekiah by name, is to be remembered for blessing. If it were not him, the Book of Ezekiel would have been hidden"

— Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shabat, 13b
Authorship of the Megillat Taanit is attributed to Hananiah ben Hezekiah in the Gemara, Tractate Shabat

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hananiah_ ... h_b._Garon
Eleazar ben Hananiah

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:45 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:44 am
Something else strikes me from that article by Mitchell:

The ‘Four Craftsmen’ appear in a total of seven texts in two major variants. Our present text and two more give Messiah ben David, Messiah ben Joseph, Elijah and the Righteous Priest in that order. As these are amoraic versions of the tradition, I shall call them Variant B. The older tannaitic version of the tradition – Variant A – also appears in three texts, which name in order Elijah, the King Messiah, Melchizedek, and the War Messiah. A third variant (C) resembles B, but replaces the priest with a Manasseh Messiah.

....

Such a date is confirmed by the early first century BCE Qumran text 4Q175 (4QTest). It features four testimonies clearly demarcated by spaces and a hook-shaped symbol. The first three are routinely seen as representing end-time prophet, priest and king figures. The fourth figure, Joshua, on the other hand, has long been ignored. Yet, given the messianic tenor of the text, it must represent a Joshua Messiah, that is, a Messiah from Joseph. Therefore 4Q175 features prophet, priest, king, and Josephite War Messiah. These are not only the same figures as the ‘Four Craftsmen’, but are even in the same order as the tannaitic Variant A.

Elijah = prophet; Melchizedek = priest.

Mitchell provides a handy table of the four figures (the "four craftsmen" of Zechariah 1.20-21) in their three different manifestations in the Jewish texts:


Four Craftsmen.jpg


I posted 4Q175 (4QTestimonia) on my thread about Joshua and Jesus: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3076, but I will post it here, as well, and divide the text up according to the prophet/king/priest/Joshua rubric which Mitchell mentions:

[Prophet:] 1 And **** spoke to Moses saying: [Deuteronomy 5.28-29] «You have heard the sound of the words of 2 this people, what they said to you: all they have said is right. 3 If (only) it were given (that) they had /this/ heart to fear me and keep all 4 my precepts all the days, so that it might go well with them and their sons for ever!» 5 [Deuteronomy 18.18-19] «I would raise up for them a prophet from among their brothers, like you, and place my words 6 in his mouth, and he would tell them all that I command him. And it will happen that /the/ man 7 who does not listen to my words which the prophet will speak in my name, I 8 shall require a reckoning from him.» ....

[King:] 9 And he uttered his poem and said: [Numbers 24.15-17] «Oracle of Balaam, son of Beor, and oracle of the man 10 of penetrating eye, oracle of him who listens to the words of God and knows the knowledge of the Most High, who 11 sees the vision of Shaddai, lying down and with an open eye. I see him, but not now, 12 I espy him, but not close up. A star has departed from Jacob, and a sceptre /has arisen/ from Israel. He shall crush 13 the temples of Moab, and cut to pieces all the sons of Sheth.» ....

[Priest:] 14 And about Levi he says: [Deuteronomy 33.8-11] «Give to Levi your Thummim and your Urim, to your pious man, whom 15 I tested at Massah, and with whom I quarrelled about the waters of Meribah, /he who/ said to his father {not} 16 {...} and to his mother ‘I have not known you’, and did not acknowledge his brothers, and his sons he did not 17 want to know. For he observed your word and kept your covenant. /They have made/ your judgments /shine/ for Jacob, 18 your law for Israel, they have placed incense in your nose and a whole offering upon your altar. 19 Bless, ****, his courage and accept with pleasure the work of his hand! Crush /the loins/ of his adversaries, and those who hate him, 20 may they not rise!» ....

[Joshua:] 21 .... At the moment when Joshua finished praising and giving thanks with his psalms, 22 he said [Joshua 6.26] «Cursed be the man who rebuilds this city! Upon his firstborn 33 will he found it, and upon his youngest son will he erect its gates!» And now an accursed /man/, one of Belial, 24 will arise to be a [fo]wler’s tr[ap] for his people and ruin for all his neighbours. And 25 […] will arise [to b]e the two instruments of violence. And they will rebuild 26 [this city and ere]ct for it a rampart and towers, to make it into a fortress of wickedness 27 [in the country and a great evil] in Israel, and a horror in Ephraim and Judah. 28 [... And they will com]mit a profanation in the land and a great blasphemy among the sons of 29 [Jacob. And they will shed blo]od like water upon the ramparts of the daughter of Zion and in the precincts of 30 .... {in} Jerusalem.

Joshua, needless to say, is a descendant of Joseph though the tribe of Ephraim (Numbers 13.8, 16), just like the War Messiah, Messiah ben Joseph, is supposed to be.
The deceivers described by Josephus may fall broadly into these categories:
  • A prophet (like Moses): the Samaritan (promised to reveal treasures hidden by Moses on Gerizim), an anonymous prophet under Festus (promised signs and wonders in the desert), Jonathan the weaver (promised signs and wonders in the desert).
  • A king (like David): Judas the Galilean (?), Simon of Peraea (?), Athronges (a shepherd who assumed a diadem and led a band of men against the Romans), Menahem (appeared in the temple dressed in royal garments), Simon bar Giora (appeared before the Romans dressed in purple).
  • A priest (like Aaron): ???
  • A warrior (like Joshua): Theudas (promised to part the Jordan), the Egyptian (promised the walls would fall).
It is easy to form the impression that this sort of imitating or attempting to fulfill ancient scriptural paradigms was a pretty common activity, whatever one may think of messianism in particular.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΕΘΕΙΑ

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