Sunday, April 09, 2017

The Sanhedrin Trail

ISRAEL ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY PRESS RELEASE: The Sanhedrin Trail - the First Interactive Hiking Trail of its Kind in the Country. The large project involves thousands of students and volunteers who will excavate and prepare a new trail that is among the longest in the country.
The authors of the Passover Haggadah will be at the focal point of a new interactive trail – the first of its kind in Israel. The Sanhedrin Trail is currently being constructed in Tiberias and will be 70 kilometers long! It will cross the Galilee from Bet She?arim to Tiberias and will pass between sites that are associated with members of the Sanhedrin. Work on the first section of the trail has already begun with pupils from the National Religious Education system of the Ministry of Education and volunteers participating.


The Sanhedrin Trail will cross the Lower Galilee by way of many of the sites that were inhabited during the time of the Mishnah and Talmud. The activity of the Sanhedrin – the foremost body of Jewish leadership and supreme authority during the Second Temple period – was exiled to Yavne after the destruction of Jerusalem, and from there to the Galilee following the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 CE. From the difficult identity crisis that the people experienced in the wake of the destruction of the Temple, and led by the seventy sages and the president of the Sanhedrin, a renewed work of Jewish law, philosophy and culture was developed. The Oral Law was recorded for the first time, and the Mishnah and Talmud were written. As part of this activity, the Passover Haggadah was also written, which cites the dialogue of a meeting of the members of the Sanhedrin after the destruction of the Temple in which they discussed the appropriate ways to mark Passover outside the ruined Temple and laying out the new spiritual path of the people of Israel (“It happened that Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Elazar ben Azaryah, Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Tarphon were reclining [at a seder] in B'nei Berak. They were discussing the exodus from Egypt all that night, until their students came and told them: "Our Masters! The time has come for reciting the morning Shema!").

Their bold-font emphasis. Cross-file under Passover is Coming.