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Jewish Self-government

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Chapter Summary

Jewish self-government in both its local and national forms in the cities and towns, was interwoven with the Torah and the observance of the commandments. Not only did it make it possible to observe the Law and keep to the Jewish way of life, but it was an essential part of the Jewish ideal, according to the Torah and the Halakah as taught by the sages. At an earlier time, Judah Maccabee had charged his soldiers 'to fight nobly, even to the death for the laws, temple, city, country and commonwealth. Tannaitic Halakah often dealt with the arrangements of the Sanhedrin meetings and its various responsibilities, as well as with Jerusalem and its leadership. The development of the central leadership that is, the Sanhedrin and the public struggles to shape it while the Temple existed, and particularly after its destruction, may be regarded as the bond of Jewish history and culture.

Keywords: Jerusalem; Jewish self-government; Judah Maccabee; Sanhedrin; Tannaitic Halakah; Torah

10.1163/9789004275003_008
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