• June 29, 2022
  • 30 5782, Sivan
  • פרשת חקת

Rebuilding After Destruction Through Text

Rebuilding After Destruction Through Text

After the destruction of the Second Temple, Judaism was transformed from a nation living freely in its own land to a nation held together by one great book after another. Join Rabbi David Sedley and explore how long before the Jewish People returned to Zion and rebuilt their ancestral homeland, they found a way to survive as a unit through written word. 

Next Class

July 05, 2022
5
Days
23
Hours
53
Mins

Timezone

Time of Class

Tuesday 7:00 pm
June 14, 2022 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rebuilding After Destruction Through Text: Destruction, exile and Bible
Class description

My theory, which I will be exploring in these classes, is that destruction and tragedy ultimately leads to a new era in Jewish history which is represented by a new text. But that text is not accepted immediately. Instead, it is gradually refined and accepted. But eventually, the text creates the boundary between epochs, and later generations are no longer permitted to disagree with earlier eras.

This class begins with the destruction of the First Temple and the Babylonian Exile. Following this tragedy, Ezra and Nehemiah returned to Israel along with the Men of the Great Assembly. They wrote several books of the Bible and canonized the entire text of the Bible, deciding which texts are holy and which are not.

Yet, even hundreds of years later, the Amoraim were arguing the details of which books were included and which not.

However, nowadays, the Bible in its current form is fully accepted and nobody would dare remove or add a book to it.

June 21, 2022 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rebuilding After Destruction Through Text: Second Temple and proto Mishna
Class description

This class looks at the period immediately before and after the destruction of the Temple. Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai introduced political and religious changes to adapt Judaism to the post-Temple time. His student, Rabbi Yehoshua, also enacted rules to help people cope without the Temple.
But the Sadducees were left behind, trapped in their worldview that Judaism needed sacrifices. And the high priests were often taken along with them.

Handouts
June 28, 2022 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rebuilding After Destruction Through Text: Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai’s students
Class description

The Mishna in Avot speaks of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai’s five students and his praise for them. These would have been the first generation of rabbis after the destruction of the Second Temple. Yet when we delve further, we find that of the five, only two continued to participate in the transmission of Torah, and one of those was ostracised and excommunicated.
Part of the destruction is that not everyone survives the aftermath.

July 5, 2022 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rebuilding After Destruction Through Text: Rebuilding After Destruction Through Text
Class description
July 12, 2022 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rebuilding After Destruction Through Text: Rebuilding After Destruction Through Text
Class description
July 19, 2022 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rebuilding After Destruction Through Text: Rebuilding After Destruction Through Text
Class description
July 26, 2022 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rebuilding After Destruction Through Text: Rebuilding After Destruction Through Text
Class description
August 2, 2022 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rebuilding After Destruction Through Text: Rebuilding After Destruction Through Text
Class description

Rabbi David Sedley lives in Jerusalem with his wife and six children. He was born and raised in New Zealand before making Aliya in 1992. He left Israel temporarily (for eight years) to serve as a communal Rabbi in Scotland and England and returned to Israel in 2004. He has translated Rabbeinu Yonah's commentary on Pirkei Avos and is the co-author of Sefiros: Spiritual Refinement Through Counting the Omer (both Judaica Press). Over the years Rabbi Sedley has worked as a journalist, a translator, a video director and in online reputation management. He also writes a weekly Torah blog on the Times of Israel.