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Hananiah Ben Hezekiah Ben Garon, The Eighteen Decrees And The Outbreak Of The War Against Rome

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Chapter Summary

The identification of the eighteen decrees is problematic. In the context of the Mishnah, we have to think of Sabbath laws, possibly combined with purity laws. The anti-Gentile tendency of these laws is assumed only in the Yerushalmi where several efforts are made to identify these halakhot on the basis of lists of halakhot in the Mishnah. This line of interpretation, which even in the Yerushalmi is not the only one, in the Bavli recedes again to the background. The understanding of "their gifts" as sacrifices offered by Gentiles is not the natural meaning of the expression. But it became the cornerstone of the historical reconstruction a very weak cornerstone indeed. Only on the basis of this identification was it possible to date the meeting in the upper room of Hananiah ben Hezekiah ben Garon in the year 66 C.E. at the outbreak of the war against Rome.

Keywords: anti-Gentile tendency; eighteen decrees; halakhot; Hananiah ben Hezekiah ben Garon; Mishnah; purity laws; Rome; Sabbath laws



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