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JHI1300RosNotes2 - JHI 1300 Medieval Jewish History Rabbi B...

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JHI 1300 – Medieval Jewish History Fall 2002 Rabbi B. Rosensweig Notes by Ami Meyers Downloaded from: www.yumesorah.com Page 1 of 21 21 Elul. Jewish Medieval history starts from the Arabic conquests to the post- Shabbtai Tzvi. For a long time, Middle Ages regarded as bad period – b/w classical period and Rennaissance. However, nowadays, this isn’t any longer accepted (lots o’ advances in art, architecture, religious thought, law, theology). Important contribution in form of attempt at synthesis of religious philosophy and works of Greeks (Aristotle etc.). This is the meaning that the secular world attaches to it. For Jews, however, it’s mixed – lots of suffering, åðøîùé ä, but on the other hand, lots of scholarly development. Lived under Muslims or notzrim. The notzrim were more interested in the beliefs of the Jews than the Muslims. So, we’ll look at notzri world and its relationship with the Jews. Y’rushalmi – there were 22 different sects of Judaism, one of whom was notzriyus. What “saved” notzriyus was Saul of Tarsus, who had a vision, and saw the lite, who saw the limitations of its attempt to influence only the Jews in Eretz Yisra’el. First, he took the message to the Jews in the Diaspora, thinking they were less committed, but here too failed, and punished him for his heresy. So, then he went to the goyim. Had to sell to goyim, so said don’t have to keep mitzvos. Faith over deeds – Paulinian antonomianism (it’s not the law that’s important, rather, it’s the belief). Made great headway amongst the goyim, and when returned to Y’rushalayim T”V in 47 CE, notzrim there were incensed, and compromise – in Eretz Yisra’el, converts would have to accept the commandments, but those of outside Eretz Yisra’el wouldn’t have to. Ultimately, the Judeo-notzrim were declared to be an heretical sect. 3 steps between Judaism, and, l’havdil, notzriyus. 1 st step when Jews refused to accept J as messiah – at revolt ag. Rome in 66-70. Notzrim sat out the war, and crossed to other side of Jordan, to Pella. L’havdil, Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai also didn’t want to fight. Difference was that his opinion was based on political analysis – Jews didn’t have the power to defeat the Romans. The notzrim, however, said that it was because of religious considerations that they didn’t want to fight against the Romans, because they were waiting for the temple from heaven to come down. 2 nd step came from Rabban Gamliel of Yavneh – destruction of Beis Hammikdash and Y’rushalayim shook faith of Jews, and notzrim took advantage of this time to say that the destruction of the Beis Hammikdash etc. was because of the rejection of J. Jews asked, who will cleanse us now, and notzrim said J will. The notzrim were considered doubly dangerous b/c they were Jews (took part in synagogue services), so in 90 CE, Rabban Gamliel instituted the blessing against the heretics. This isolated the notzrim, because of the rule that the shatz could make a mistake at any blessing, except for this blessing.
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