Things were very different in the Talmudic period, in the first centuries CE, when Jews were subject to terrible persecution by the Roman authorities. As Rabbi Chanina ben Teradyon is quoted as saying in Avoda Zara 18a, it was Rome that “destroyed God’s Temple, and burned His sanctuary, and killed His pious ones, and destroyed His best ones.” Yet somehow, “it still exists,” which suggested to Chanina that God must have “given reign” to Rome for inscrutable reasons of his own. This combination of resignation and resistance was dramatized this week in several stories about confrontations between Jewish sages and Roman power.Also, there is a rare reference to Jesus of Nazareth in this week's Talmudic reading.
Earlier Daf Yomi columns are noted here and links.
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