Responding to Catastrophe: The Impact of the Destruction of the Second Temple

Prof. Isaiah Gafni

The destruction of the Second Temple left its traumatic mark on two distinct areas of Jewish life. The loss of Judaism's religious center clearly represents the outstanding emotional blow to the nation. However, this was also accompanied by the destruction of the practical frameworks of Jewish life and authority structures that regulated Jewish behavior on a daily basis.  Both of these voids required immediate spiritual and practical solutions, with innovative steps taken by Jewish leaders and ultimately embraced by much of the nation.

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