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Echoes of Glory
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Item #: B-ECHOES

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The first book in the series tells the story of the Jews in the Classical Era, 350 BCE - 750 CE. Rabbi Wein transports us to the eras of Alexander the Great; the creation of the Mishnah and Talmud, and how they saved Jewish life for all time; the Roman Empire and the courageous rebellion of Bar Kochba; the rise of Christianity; such Geonim as Rav Saadia, Rav Sherira and Rav Hai, and how they led the monumental Torah centers of Babylonia and North Africa; the emergence of Islam and the Jewish response; and Jewish life taking root in the then barbarous lands of Europe.

Table of Contents

Prologue
  • Up From Despair / Focus on the Land of Israel / An International Faith / The Centrality of the Oral Law
Section I: The Beauty of Japheth and the Tents of Shem
  • Going Home
  • A Hostile Welcome / Rebuilding of the Temple Is Halted / In the Wake of Purim / Ezra / The Second Temple / Building a New Community / Nechemiah / Persian Tolerance / The "Great Assembly" / A Vital Partnership
  • Greece and Hellenism
  • The Beginning of Greek Dominance / Alexander the Great / Division of the Greek Empire / Division of the Commonwealth / A Corrupting Alliance / Translation of the Seventy /
  • Hellenism / The Spread of Greek Culture / The Development of Philosophy / Three Schools of Thought / The Philosophic Challenge / The Ravages of Hellenism
  • Twin Hellenism - Ptolemaic And Seleucid
  • The Jews of Alexandria / Parallel Governments / The Sadducees / Tax Collection / Division of Power / The Persistence of Hellinism / Antiochus III / An Attmept to Rob the Temple
  • Economic and Social Life in Judah in Second Temple Times
  • The Basis of the Economy / Agriculture / Produce / Other Resources / The Trades / Slavery / Population Centers
  • Chanukah and the Hasmoneans
  • The Greek Notion of Sports / Jason's Decline / Menelaus and Lysimachus / Civil War / Persecution / Mattisyahu and His Sons / Yehudah HaMaccabee /
  • The Miracle of Chanukah / Significance of the Miracle / The Hasmonean Kingdom / Lysias and Philip / Yehudah Defeats the Syrians
  • The Hasmonean Dynasty
  • A Clouded Destiny / Alexander Balas / Yonasan's Rise / Changes of Power / Tryphon's Treachery / Shimon's Victory / A Tragic Breakdown / The Exterminaiton of a Family / Jewish Independence Regained / Enlarging Judah's Borders / Dissent from Within /
  • Efforts of the Pharisees / A Troubled End / The Essenes / Yehudah Aristobulus / Opposition to the Hasmoneans / Two Brothers Die / Shomis Alexandra / Alexander Yannai / Alexander Yannai and the Pharisees /
  • A School System / Sacrilege in the Temple / Civil War / Alexander Yannai's End / A Period of Healing / Shomis Loses Power
Section II: Edom Ascendant
  • Rome the Colossus
  • Julius Caesar / A Conflict of Approaches / Tiberius / Caligula / Claudius / Nero
  • Aristobulus, Hyrcanus and Antipater
  • Brother Against Brother / The Rabbis Withdraw from Politics / A Pig on the Temple Mount / Pompey's Intervention / Second Siege of the Temple / Pompey's Regime / Alexander's Escapes / Disbanding of the Sanhedrin /
  • Caesar and Pompey / Antipater's Ascension / Herod / Herod's Trial / Antipater's Wiles / Herod's Persistence / Hillel / A New Focus / The Houses of Hillel and Shammai / Further Atrocities of Herod / Family Murders / Herod's Temple / Hillel's Legacy
  • The End of the Second Commonwealth
  • A Respite from Cruelty / Corruption in the High Priesthood / The Zealots / Pontius Pilate / Gaius and Agrippa / Claudius / The Pathe to Revolt / Florus / Inner Strife / A Fatal Triumph /
  • Josephus Flavius / Vespasian's Campaigns / The Year of the Four Emperors / Three Factions in Jerusalem / A Meeting with Vespasian / Yavneh / Titus Attacks Jerusalem / Tishah b'Av
Section III: Response to Exile
  • Yavneh and Its Wise Men
  • The Sanhedrin / Preserving the Oral Law / A Smaller Community / The Synagogue / Five Disciples / Titus and Domitian / The Leadership in Yavneh / The New Nasi / Changes in Yavneh / Nerva
  • The Rise of Christianity
  • Roots of the Religion / Paul / A Series of Paradoxes / Too Much the Same / A Widening Gap / One Good Word
  • Bar Kochba
  • Yavneh Disbanded / Lod / Roman Fury Unleashed / The Jews Revolt / Hadrian / The Sanhedrin Reconvenes / A Third Rebellion / High Hopes / The Fall of Beitar / A Failed Promise
  • Rabbi Akiva and the Aftermath of Bar Kochba's Defeat
  • A True Martyr / Rabbi Akiva's Disciples / Acher / Ambivalence Towards Rome / Hope for Peace / The Power of the Nasi / Antoninus and Rabbi
Section IV: Torah Remains Eternal
  • Mishnah
  • Rabbi's Project / Notebooks of the Scholars / Sections of the Mishnah / Migration from the Homeland / Rabbi Chiya / Rabbi's Legacy
  • The Valley of Babylonia
  • Rav / The Sidra / Hutzal / Nehardea / Sura / The Mantle Passes to Babylonia / Rav's Work / Rav's Prayers / Rav's Disciples / The Sassanian King / Sura and Pumbedisa / The Exilarch / Rav Huna and Mar Ukva / Rabbi Yochanan
  • Rome Declines and Dies
  • The Yeshivos in Tiberias and Caesarea / Decline of the Samaritans / Destruction of Nehardea / Growth of Pumbedisa / Constantine / Decline of the Jews in Israel / The Jewish Calendar / The Christian Calendar / Babylonian Leadership / Abbaye and Rava
  • A Warring Family / "Julian the Apostate" / The Empire Weakens / Shifting of the Yeshivos / Rav Ashi / Reviving the Yarchei Kallah / Truce with Parthia / Leader of Pumbedisa / Leaders in Sura / Declining Fortunes in Babylonia
  • The Talmud - The Book of the Jews
  • Talmud Yerushalmi / Talmud Bavli / Aggadah / The Power of the Talmud / Toward Deeper Understanding
Section V: New Challenges, New Lands
  • The Era of Byzantium
  • The New Rashei Galusa / The Savoraim / Life Under the Byzantines / Jews in the Western Empire / Jewish Life Under Christianity / The Synagogue / Monastic Living
  • Islam and the Jews
  • The Founding of Islam / The Influence of Judaism / The Rule of the Sword / The Spread of Islam / Sunnis and Shiites / Omayyads and Abbasids / The Jews and Islam / The Effects of Islam
  • The Era of the Geonim
  • Bustenai / Bustenai and the Geonim / The Courts / The Role of the Babylonian Geonim / Chisdai and Shlomo / The Abbasids / Anan and the Birth of Karaism / The Waning Power of the Reish Galusa / The Legacy of the Geonim
Epilogue
Bibliography
Index

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