• January 28, 2020
  • 2 5780, Sh'vat
  • פרשת בא



Join Rabbi David Sedley as explores the life and times of Shammai. Who was this figure who is known to be so closely tied to Hillel? Hillel and Shammai agreed on so much but they are often known more for how they disagreed. What were Shammai’s political and religious disagreements with the House of Hillel?

January 21, 2020 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Shammai: Shammai the Elder
Class description

This class is about Shammai the Elder (or Shammai Hazaken), famous as Hillel’s sparring partner in halakha.

In fact there were very few times that Hillel and Shammai themselves argued, but the disputes between their students led to modern Judaism. Almost all of Shammai’s students disappeared from history unrecorded by name, possibly because they sided with the extremist rebels at the time of the destruction of the Second Temple.

The class ends with a look at the idea that although nowadays the halakha is (almost) always like Beit Hillel, in the future the halakha will be like Beit Shammai.


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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 - https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/author/david-sedley.