SURVIVAL CHALLENGE LEVEL 3: THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE

Exiled from their homeland after disastrous wars lost to the ferocious Roman army, the Jews wandered deeper into the Eastern Roman Empire. They immediately sought out ways to preserve their ancient tradition, including in particular the development of the Mishnah as a kind of “portable Judaism.” Using the Seven Survival Skills, how would you contribute to Jewish survival in his hostile Existential Crisis?

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Introduction:

With the destruction of the Temple, the Bar Kochba rebellion and the Hadrianic persecution, Jews began a new period of wandering in exile with daunting challenges to survival. Perhaps the greatest achievement was intellectual–the dramatic decision to codify the Oral Torah into the Mishnah. The creation of the Kehillah structure also contributed much to the stability of the Jewish people, now a minority population wherever they lived. Prepare yourselves to survive this initial foray into the long post-Roman exile.

Required Survival Gear:

Required Survival Readings:

Catherine Brewer, “The Status of the Jews in Roman Legislation: The Reign of Justinian, 527-565 CE” European Judaism 38:2 (2005) 127-139

Recommended Survival Gear:

“Byzantine Empire,” History Channel (https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/byzantine-empire)

 

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