Jochanan ben-Zakkai

(1st century AD)
   Palestinian tanna. Jochanan played a key role at a crucial moment in Jewish history. He studied under HILLEL the Elder, and was elected head of the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. His pupils included the leading scholars of the next generation, and his standing as a teacher was so high that it is said he had to conduct his classes in the open plaza before the Temple. In religious and legal matters, he was the spokesman of the
   Pharisees, the party of the rabbis in opposition to the Sadducees, the rigid establishment party of the priests and landowners. In 66 the great Jewish revolt broke out against the Romans. By 69 the Roman general VESPASIAN had subdued most of the country and was preparing to besiege Jerusalem. Jochanan realized that further resistance would be useless. He feigned death, was carried out of the city in a coffin by two of his pupils, and made his way to Vespasian. Legend has it that he greeted the Roman with the words: ‘Peace unto thee, Caesar’, just before a messenger arrived with the news that Vespasian had been proclaimed by his troops in Egypt as the new emperor. Jochanan obtained permission to settle in the small town of Jabneh near the coast. Here he gathered a group of rabbis and pupils and started an academy. Meanwhile Vespasian had returned to Italy and handed over the Judean campaign to his son Titus. In 70, after bitter fighting against its Zealot defenders, the city was taken and destroyed, with the Temple. It was Jochanan and his little band of scholars at Jabneh that kept the flame of Judaism alive. He revived the Sanhedrin and led the reorganization of Jewish life after the catastrophe. As soon as the political situation permitted, Jochanan handed over the leadership to the nasi Gamaliel II and went to Beror Chayil near Ashkelon. Here he set up a college and a bet din (religious court), and many of his pupils were with him there until his death a short time afterwards.
   Jochanan was the only rabbi to be addressed as Rabban, a title otherwise reserved for the nasi.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

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  • Jochanan ben Zakkai — Jochanan ben Zakkaị,   jüdischer Gesetzeslehrer des 1. Jahrhunderts n. Chr., Schüler Hillels. Die Aussichtslosigkeit des jüdischen Kriegs erkennend, erwirkte er noch vor der Zerstörung des Tempels (70) von den römischen Behörden die Erlaubnis… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Jochanan ben Sakkai — (hebräisch: יוחנן בן זכאי) war ein herausragender jüdischer Gelehrter der ersten Tannaiten Generation und lebte um das Jahr 70 n. Chr. Rabbi (Ehrentitel Rabban : Er blieb neben den Nachkommen Hillels der einzige, der mit dem Ehrentitel Rabban,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • JOHANAN BEN ZAKKAI — (first century C.E.), tanna, considered in talmudic tradition the leading sage at the end of the Second Temple period and the years immediately following the destruction of the Temple. Johanan b. Zakkai s personality and work are depicted in a… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Joshua ben-Hananiah — (1–2nd century AD)    Tanna. Joshua, a pupil of JOCHANAN BEN ZAKKAI, was a member of the Sanhedrin at the time of the destruction of the Temple. During the siege of Jerusalem, Joshua and ELIEZER BEN HYRCANUS carried Jochanan ben Zakkai out of the …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Eliezer ben-Hyrcanus — (1–2nd century)    Palestine tanna. The son of a wealthy farmer, Eliezer spent his youth working in his father’s fields. At the age of twenty two (some say twenty eight) he decided to go to Jerusalem and devote himself to the study of the Torah.… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

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