From Temple to Talmud
DOI link for From Temple to Talmud
From Temple to Talmud book
This chapter focuses on the rabbinic movement and its transformative impact on Jewish culture in late antiquity. The most telling aspect of Julian’s attempt to rebuild the Temple from the perspective of Jewish history may well be that its failure doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference to Jews—rabbinic sources never actually mention it, as if the rabbis had never heard of the attempt. Jews were able to find ways to maintain a distinct cultural and religious identity—to engage the Bible, to build and sustain communal institutions, to practice their laws and traditions—and they did so in ways that were also adapted to their cultural environs in a late antique world. Jews fared better than pagans did in a Christianized Roman Empire— the latter more or less disappeared—but their situation certainly seemed to deteriorate, at least when compared with the condition of Jews living beyond the Roman Empire, and especially in Babylonia.