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Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi
Transcript of Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi
Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi was born in 135 C.E., on the same day as Rabbi Akiva died, according to the Midrash. The Talmud suggests that Hashem was giving the Jews a new leader to succeed Rabbi Akiva after his death. His place of birth is not recorded.
What was his job?
Rabbi Yehuda spent his youth learning from his father Shimon ben Gamliel II and Usha in Jerusalem. This included the Greek language, which enabled him to later in life become the Jews' intermediary with Roman authorities. However, in his house only Hebrew was spoken.
Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi was in charge of appointing and deposing local leaders and checking the family purity of Jews at the time. He tried to create a more popular Halachic system and, therefore, permitted the use of produce immediately following the end of the Shmita year, the import of produce into the holy land, and more.
Discuss: Why would he do this?
Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi was a wealthy man; some say he was richer than the King of Persia. In spite of this, he was very humble and many times said he learned from his students. With his great wealth, he would help needy people, and in times of famine he opened his orchards and food storages to help the hungry.
By making the laws more lenient he was able to strengthen his ties with the wealthy and, at the same time, broaden his power base by becoming a more popular figure.
Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi left the world with many great ideas, such as: "When a Jew performs a Mitzvah, he should not rejoice merely over that commandment alone, for one Mitzvah brings others after it. Likewise, when a Jew commits a sin, he should not regret merely that one sin, for other sins will surely follow that sin.”
He also taught that one shouldn't be ashamed to learn Torah from someone younger than them because Torah is like water, and just as one isn't ashamed to ask someone younger for water one shouldn't be ashamed to ask someone younger to quench your thirst for knowledge.
Listen to the first ten and a half minutes of the shiur and answer the questions on the next slide
1. According to general Tradition how long did he reign?
2. Where did the title of Nasi originate? With Rebbi Yehudah Hanasi? If not then with whom did it start? not with rebbi yehudah.
3. Who does some bring this list all the way back to?
4. What tribe are these people from? Yehudah
5. Where else does rabbi gamliel hazakein appear?
6. How long did the patrilineal descent of the leadership last?
Thanks for participating!
Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi’s most important achievement was his compilation of the Mishnah, the oral law. Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi did this because although the oral law wasn't allowed to be written down, he found that people were forgetting the laws because of their lack of a Temple. The Mishnah was assembled into six volumes, each about a different topic.
Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi was friends with the Roman Emperor, Antoninus, which created a good relationship for the Jews with the Roman leadership, something not so common at the time. There is a story in which the Emperor sent one his messengers to Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi to answer a question: why was his treasury empty? So Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi went outside uprooted some plants and replaced them with others, when the messenger again asked him the question he didn't answer. When the messenger arrived to Antoninus he told him that Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi had refused to answer, but when he told him his actions Antoninus understood and replaced some unreliable officials.
Most Important Achievement
1. 50 years
2. not with rebbi yehudah. It originated with Hillel hazaken 100 years prior to the the destruction of the beit hamikdash
3. King shlomo
5. He appears in the new testament in the books of acts
6. 445 years