The third part of David’s series, Unorthodox Episodes from the Talmud, explores a fascinating series of interconnected stories involving:
a high-level international diplomatic mission,
undercover rabbinical espionage,
a cast of remarkable Talmudic rabbinical figures,
a curious question of Jewish law,
the mystical powers of the rabbis,
a sighting of looted treasures from the temple in Jerusalem,
and a quest to overturn devastating Roman decrees.
David discusses key Talmudic personalities from the first two centuries, including:
Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai
Rabbi Yossi Ben Halafta
Rabbi Reuben Ben Strobilus
Rabbi Yossi HaGellili
Rabbi Eleizer Ben Yossi
as well as (lehavdil) Ben Tamalia.
He also provides historical context for the events discussed in the Talmudic passages, some of the prevailing cultural and religious norms of the time, and the messages that arise from this unorthodox episode of the Talmud.
The consequences of the Roman destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem were devastating and yet Jewish life continued in fascinating ways. In particular, the years that followed saw Jewish spiritual and intellectual endeavours developing in profound and impactful directions. In this podcast episode, David examines the second century CE, exploring the enormous contributions of some remarkable Jewish men and women from the period. He also discusses several extraordinary events, including the conquering of Adiabene, the Kito Wars, and the second Jewish revolt.
This episode has particular resonance today as it explores the historical period which saw a brutal end to aspirations for Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel for almost two millennia. As we celebrate Yom Haatzmaut, Jewish History allows us to see, in context, the true impact of this event and the enormity of the establishment of the State of Israel.
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