REL 320, Judaism 09/15: Talmud on Temple Fall 2015 Babylonian Talmud. Epstein, I., et al., ed. , translated by Maurice Simon et al. 35 vol. LondTonh:e S oTnacilnmo Purdes so, n19 t3h1e. Temple File archives: https://archive.org/details/TheBabylonianTalmudcompleteSoncinoEnglishTranslation The Soncino Babylonian Talmud http://ancientworldonline.blogspot.com/2012/01/online-‐soncino-‐babylonian-‐talmud.html I. Imagining the destroyers’ perspective: Roman numerals are my own for this handout. (Soncino, 20,859–29,863): Vespasian sent Titus who said, Where is their God, the rock in whom they trusted? This was the wicked Titus who blasphemed and insulted Heaven. What did he do? He took a harlot by the hand Gittin 56b and entered the Holy of Holies and spread out a scroll of the Law and committed a sin on it. He then took a sword and slashed the curtain. Miraculously blood spurted out, and he thought that he had i) slain himself, as it says, Thine adversaries have roared in the midst of thine assembly, they have set up their ensigns for signs [Ps. 74:4]. Onekelos son of Kolonikos was the son of Titus’s sister. He had a mind to convert himself to Judaism. He went and raised Titus from the dead by magical arts, and asked him; “Who is in most repute in the [next] world?” He replied: Israel. What then, [Onekelos] said, about joining them? [Titus] said: Their observances are burdensome and you will not be able to carry them out. Go and ii) attack them in [the living] world and you will be at the top as it is written, “Her adversaries are become her head . . . “; whoever harasses Israel becomes her head” [Lam. 1:5]. [Onekelos] asked him: What is your punishment [in the next world]? He replied: What I decreed [on Jerusalem] for myself. Every day my ashes are collected and sentence is passed on me and I am burnt and my ashes are scattered over the seven seas. (Soncino, 20,862–20,863) II. “Why was this allowed to happen?” (Socino, 3,571–3,575): R. Abbahu said: Jerusalem was destroyed only because the reading of the morning and evening was neglected, for it is said, Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may Shabbat 119b follow strong drink; and it is written, And the hard and the lute, the timbrel and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts, but they regard not the work of the Lord; and it is written, before my people are gone iii) shema into captivity, for lack of knowledge [Isa. 5:11–13]. R. Hamnuna said: Jerusalem was destroyed only once they neglected children’s schooling; for it is said, Pour [My wrath] out because of the children in the street. Why pour it out? Because the child is in the street [Jer. 6:11]. iv) 1 .
REL 320, Judaism 09/15: Talmud on Temple Fall 2015 ‘Ulla said: Jerusalem was destroyed only because they [who lived there] were not ashamed of each other, for it is written, Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? Nay, they were not at all ashamed [Jer. 6:15]. v) R. Isaac said: Jerusalem was destroyed only because the small and the great were made equal, for it is said, And it shall be, like people like priest; which is followed by, The earth shall be utterly emptied [Isa. 24:2f.]. vi) R. Amram son of R. Simeon b. Abba said in R. Simeon b. Abba’s name in R. Hanina’s name: Jerusalem was destroyed only because they did not rebuke each other: for it is said, Her princes are become like harts that find no pasture [Lam. 1:6]. Just as the hart, the head of one is at the side of the other’s tail, so Israel of that generation hid their faces in the earth [ ], and did not vii) rebuke each other. Rab Judah said: Jerusalem was destroyed only because scholars were despised therein: for it is “ostrich” image said, but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and scoffed at his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, until there was no remedy [2 Chron. 36:16]. What does “Until there was no remedy” intimate? Said Rab Judah in Rab’s name: He who despises a viii) scholar has no remedy for his wounds. . . . Resh Lakish said in the name of R. Judah the Prince: School children may not be made to neglect [their studies] even for the building of the Temple. Resh Lakish also said to R. Judah the Prince: I have this tradition from my fathers – others state, from your fathers: Every town in which there are no school children shall be destroyed. ix) Raba said: Jerusalem was destroyed only because men of faith/trustworthy men ceased therein: for it is said, Run ye to and fro in the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that doeth justly, that seeketh faithfulness, and I will pardon her [ = Jerusalem; Jer. 5:1]. But is that so? For R. Kattina said: Even at the time of x) Jerusalem’s downfall men of faith did not cease therein . . . [Isa. 3:6]. (Socino, 8,302–8,303): Rabba b. Bar Hana said: What is the meaning of the passage [Prov. 10:27]? “The fear of the Lord prolongeth days” refers to the first Sanctuary, which remained standing for 410 years and in which Yoma 9a only 18 high priests served. “But the years of the wicked shall be shortened” refers to the second Sanctuary, which abided for 420 years and at which more than 300 served. xi) (Socino 8,309–8,310): Why was the first Sanctuary destroyed? Because of three things which prevailed there: idolatry, immorality, and bloodshed? [Isa. 28:20, 3:16; 2 Kg. 21:16; Micah 3:11]. But why was the second Yoma 9b Sanctuary destroyed, seeing that in its time they were occupying themselves with Torah, [observing its] precepts, and the practice of charity? Because therein prevailed hatred without cause [ xii) ]. That teaches you that groundless hatred is considered equally serious as the three sins of idolatry, immorality, and bloodshed together.