Rabbi Barry Chesler: Ninth Grade: Rabbinic Civilization

During this semester, we focused on Rabbinic authority by examining the story of Moshe in the Academy of Rabbi Akiva, the story of the Oven of Akhnai and how the Rabbis responded to texts they did not like [the ben sorer and moreh, the difficult son], and issues regarding the calendar and the rise of the Babylonian Jewish community. Making specific references to the texts, discuss how successful the Rabbis were in asserting their authority. Keeping in mind that much of what we know about the period is the view of the Rabbis, how do you evaluate them? What is their strength? What is their weakness?

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