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Chapter 7 Section
Judaism over the Centuries
The Big Idea
Although they were forced out of Israel by the
Geography and Early China
Romans, shared beliefs and customs helped
Jews maintain their religion.
Main Ideas
• Revolt, defeat, and migration led to great
changes in Jewish culture.
• Because Jews settled in different parts of the
world, two cultural traditions formed.
• Jewish traditions and holy days celebrate their
history and religion.
Revolt, Defeat, and Migration
• After the conquest of Israel by the Romans, many
events threatened to tear Jewish society apart. One threat
to Jewish society was foreign rule.
• By the beginning of the first century AD, many Jews
in Jerusalem had grown tired of foreign rule.
• If they could regain their independence, these Jews
thought they could re-create the kingdom of Israel.
Revolt Against Rome
• The most rebellious of these
Jews were a group called the
• This group didn’t think that
Jews should answer to anyone
but God.
• As a result, they refused to
obey Roman officials. The
Zealots urged their fellow Jews
to rise up against the Romans.
Revolt Against Rome
• Tensions between Jews and Romans increased.
Finally, in AD 66, the Jews revolted.
• In the end, the Jews’ revolt against the Romans was not
Revolt Against Rome
• The revolt lasted four years and
caused terrible damage.
• By the time the fighting ended,
Jerusalem lay in ruins.
• The war had wrecked buildings and
cost many lives.
• The Romans burned the Second
Temple during the last days of
fighting in AD 70
Revolt Against Rome
• After the Temple was destroyed, most Jews lost their
will to fight and surrendered.
• But a few refused to give up their fight. That small
group of about 1,000 Zealots locked themselves in a
mountain fortress called Masada.
Revolt Against Rome
• Intent on smashing the revolt, the Romans sent 15,000
soldiers to capture these Zealots.
• However, Masada was hard to reach. The Romans had
to build a huge ramp of earth and stones to get to it.
• For two years, the Zealots refused to surrender, as the
ramp grew. Finally, as the Romans broke through
Masada’s walls, the Zealots took their own lives. They
refused to become Roman slaves.
Results of the Revolt
• With the capture of Masada in AD 73, the Jewish
revolt was over.
• The Romans killed much of the Jewish population as
• They took many of the surviving Jews to Rome as slaves
and the Romans dissolved the Jewish power structure.
Results of the Revolt
• After the destruction of the Second Temple, many
moved to Jewish communities in other parts of the
Roman Empire.
• Once such destination was Alexandria, Egypt.
• The populations of these Jewish communities grew after
the Romans destroyed Jerusalem.
A Second Revolt
• In A.D. 132, a military
leader named Simon ben
Kosiba, known as Bar
Kochba led the Jews in
another battle for freedom.
• After three years, the
Romans crushed the
second revolt, and passed
stricter rules and controls
over the Jews.
A Second Revolt
• The result of this revolt is the Romans did not allow
Jews to live in or visit Jerusalem
• They renamed Judea, calling it Palestine, referring to
the Philistines, whom the Israelites had conquered
centuries before.
• This increased Jewish migration to the
Mediterranean region.
Migration and Discrimination
• After the loss of the loss of the Second Temple,
local synagogues became more important in Jewish
life and rabbis began serving as religious leaders.
• Rabbis were responsible for interpreting the Torah and
Migration and Discrimination
• Yohanan ben Zaccai persuaded the
Romans to spare the city of Yavneh,
where he founded a school to
continue teaching the Torah.
• This school would become a model
for other schools, and a center of
Torah studies.
What was the result of the
destruction of the Second Temple?
Migration and Discrimination
• The Jews were forced to move by
other religious groups who
discriminated against them or
were unfair to them.
• Jews were forced to leave their cities
and find new places to live.
• As a result, some Jews settled in
Asia, Russia, and the United States.
Two Cultural Traditions
• Jews everywhere shared the basic beliefs of Judaism,
such as monotheism.
• Jewish communities in various parts of the world
developed different customs, including language and
The Jews in Eastern Europe
• One of the two traditions, Ashkenazim, is made up
of Jews who moved to France, Germany, and
eastern Europe.
• They lived in separate communities, away from their
The Jews in Eastern Europe
• They developed their own language called Yiddish.
The Jews in Spain and Portugal
• Another group of descendants, called the Sephardim,
lived in what is now Spain and Portugal.
• They mixed with non-Jews, borrowing elements from their
culture and producing a golden age of Jewish culture.
• Jewish poets wrote beautiful works in Hebrew and other languages.
• Jewish scholars also made great advances in mathematics,
astronomy, medicine, and philosophy.
What are the two groups of
Judaism and how are they
Tradition and Holy Days
• Jewish traditions and holy days celebrate their history
and religion.
• The three important holy days are Hanukkah,
Passover, and the High holy Days
Tradition and Holy Days
• Hanukkah honors the rededication of the Second
Temple during the revolt of the Maccabees.
• It is celebrated by lighting candles in a menorah.
• The eight days represent the amount of time the oil burned
during the rededication.
Tradition and Holy Days
• The Passover is a time for Jews to remember the
• It is celebrated in March or April
• They eat only flat bread and have a ritual meal called the
Tradition and Holy Days
• The High Holy Days, which consists of Rosh
Hashanah and Yom Kippur, are the two most sacred
Jewish holy days
• They take place each year in September or October.
Tradition and Holy Days
• The first two days, Rosh Hashanah, celebrate the
beginning of the Jewish new year.
Tradition and Holy Days
• On Yom Kippur, the most
holy day, they fast all day
and ask God for forgiveness
of their sins.
• It is the holiest day of the
year, Jews don’t eat or drink
anything for the entire day.
• These ceremonies help many
Jews feel more connected to
their long past, to the days of
Abraham and Moses.
Questions pages 214-219
Cambridge answer in a complete sentence
1. Who were the Zealots?
2. Why did the Jews revolt against Rome?
3. How did the nature of Judaism change after the loss of the
Second Temple?
4. Who was Yohanan ben Zaccai?
5. What language did each Jewish cultural tradition develop?
6. What is the most sacred holy day, and what event does it