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Brothers EstrangedHeresy, Christianity and Jewish Identity in Late Antiquity$
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Adiel Schremer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195383775

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383775.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 July 2021

1 “Where Is Their God?”

1 “Where Is Their God?”

Destruction, Defeat, and Identity Crisis

Chapter:
(p.25) 1 “Where Is Their God?”
Source:
Brothers Estranged
Author(s):

Adiel Schremer (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383775.003.0002

This chapter discusses the effects of the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, and the failure of the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 CE, on the morale of Palestinian Jews, as reflected in earliest rabbinic literature. It argues that these events, as well as the continuous Roman oppression, brought about a crisis of faith among Palestinian Jews, who were facing the existential question: Where is God? Doubts concerning God's power and Divine providence, His ability, and His desire to rule the world, were raised, and as a result the identity question, “Who we are,” was asked. These questions, which are given different expressions in classical rabbinic literature, are presented by various Tannaitic texts as emanating from the destruction of the Second Temple, and as relating to the Roman Empire and its overwhelming power.

Keywords:   Second Temple, crisis of faith, God's power, Divine providence, Roman empire

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