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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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Jews in the Talmud Era, 200–650

Jews in the Talmud Era, 200–650

The Chosen Few

(p.95) Chapter 5 Jews in the Talmud Era, 200–650
The Chosen Few

Maristella Botticini

Zvi Eckstein

Princeton University Press

This chapter shows that the implications of the economic theory in the previous chapter are consistent with what happened to the Jewish people during the five centuries following the destruction of the Second Temple. An impressive body of evidence from both the Talmud and archaeological discoveries indicates that during the Talmudic period, Jews in the Land of Israel and Mesopotamia began obeying the religious obligation to educate their sons. Indeed, a larger and larger proportion of Jewish farmers sent their sons to the primary schools located in or near synagogues. As for conversions, many Jewish farmers converted to Christianity during the Talmud era. By embracing Christianity, Jews who converted still maintained their core belief in the existence of one God and the pillar of the Written Torah but were no longer obliged to obey the religious laws and tenets of Judaism, including the costly norm requiring fathers to educate their sons.

Keywords:   Jewish people, Second Temple, Talmud era, Israel, Mesopotamia, education, conversion, Christianity, Written Torah, Judaism

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