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The Chosen FewHow Education Shaped Jewish History, 70-1492$
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Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691144870

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691144870.001.0001

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The People of the Book, 200 BCE–200 CE

The People of the Book, 200 BCE–200 CE

(p.66) Chapter 3 The People of the Book, 200 BCE–200 CE
The Chosen Few

Maristella Botticini

Zvi Eckstein

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the well-documented shift of the religious norm that transformed the Jews into the People of the Book. During the first century BCE, some Jewish scholars and religious leaders promoted the establishment of free secondary schools. A century later, they issued a religious ordinance requiring all Jewish fathers to send their sons from the age of six or seven to primary school to learn to read and study the Torah in Hebrew. With the destruction of the Second Temple, the Jewish religion permanently lost one of its two pillars (the Temple) and set out on a unique trajectory. Scholars and rabbis, the new religious leaders in the aftermath of the first Jewish–Roman war, replaced temple service and ritual sacrifices with the study of the Torah in the synagogue—the new focal institution of Judaism.

Keywords:   People of the Book, Jewish scholars, free secondary schools, Torah, Second Temple, Jewish religion, rabbis, Jewish–Roman war, Judaism, synagogue

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