Born in the times of the Hasmonean rebellion celebrated with the holiday of Chanukah, Yohanan Cohen Gadol was one of the most prominent Jewish leaders during the brief period of Jewish freedom in the 2nd century BCE. Caught in the swirling controversy of internal religious debate, in his old age he abandoned his Pharisaic roots orientation to join the Sadducean movement, prompting the Rabbis to issue the adage, “do not trust in yourself till the end of your life.”
Henry Abramson is a specialist in Jewish history and thought. Author of A Prayer for the Government: Ukrainians and Jews in Revolutionary Times (Harvard, 1999) and Reading the Talmud: Developing Independence in Gemara Learning (Feldheim, 2006), and most recently The Kabbalah of Forgiveness: The Thirteen Levels of Mercy in Rabbi Moshe Cordovero's Tomer Devorah (Date Palm of Devorah) (Smashwords, 2014). Dr. Abramson serves as Dean at the mighty Avenue J campus of Touro's Lander Colleges.