YOCHANAN

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#1 Sun, 1998-03-15 13:53
Harry Onickel
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Joined: 2010-12-22 23:50

YOCHANAN

Here is an interesting little tid-bit I discovered which may or may not be of interest to list members: Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakkai escaped from the city of Jeruselem back when it was about to be destroyed by the Romans. Believing in peace, he had no wish to fight the Romans.The Emperor Vespasian allowed him to travel to the city of Yavnah to open a seminary where he was acknowledged as the first great sage of rabbinical Judaism. He taught others some in turn who became great sages. He taught that the atonement of sin need no longer involve the sacrifice of animals at the now destroyed temple. Atonement can be attained by acts of loving kindness. He established a model of Judaism without the need for sacrifices, or a central temple, or the state. One source I read claimed that he was the first rabbi to deal in mysticism. Another claimed that he didn't believe in mysticism. Two important quotes: "If you are holding a sapling in your hand and someone says to you the messiah is here, plant the sapling first, then welcome the messiah." "If you have learned much Torah ( aka The Five Books of Moses aka. the first five books of the Old Testament), do not ascribe any merit to yourself, since it was for this that you were created." Harry