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Yohanan ben Zakkai

From Academic Kids

Yohanan ben Zakkai was a Jewish sage of the first century of the common era, and a primary contributor to the core text of rabbinic Judaism, the Mishnah. He was an important sage in the era of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, and after the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE re-established the Sanhedrin in Jamnia (Jabneh/Javneh) during a time of consolidation that in the modern scholarly discussion is often, but arguably mistakenly, referred to as "The Council of Jamnia".

The Mishnah offers no information on his birth or family. He is recorded as living until the age of 120 years.

He is said to be a pupil of Hillel. He is known to have studied in Jerusalem, in the Land of Israel, and then went to the Galilee.

He is credited with originating several ritual innovations that made it possible to replace animal sacrifice lost with the destruction of the temple with prayer. In this post-Temple period, rabbinic tradition records a restructuring in prayer services to make this transformation possible. However, Yohanan Ben Zakai was not the only Rabbi from that time period. Other Rabbis that contributed to the Mishnah include Ben Heyhei among others.


There is an intriguing parallel with New Testament scripture. In the New Testament, John the Baptist (Yohanan) is the son of Zakkaraias. That is, John the Baptist would have been called in his day "Yohanan ben Zakkaraias" which is almost the same name. New Testament scholars have noted that no "Zakkaraias" appears in the surviving lists of high priests from the 1st century AD. For an additional remarkable parallel to Jesus and John, see Bagoas.

External links

Template:JewHist-stubhe:יוחנן בן זכאי

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