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originally posted by: Sigismundus
a reply to: dashen
Your comments betray a lack of even basic historical knowledge of the period. First, there was no 'temple' standing in Jerusalem after 70 CE when the Romans ground Jerusalem to powder and burned the 2nd Herodian Temple down during the 1st Failed Jewish Revolt against Rome (66 - 72CE). Read 'The Jewish War' by Josephus for taste of how horrific and devastating this War was to world Jewry who no longer had a central shrine to worship in Jerusalem.
It will help if you could stick to fact and not fantasy on this thread !
After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, the Sanhedrin was re-established in Yavneh by agreement between Yochanan ben Zakai and Roman Emperor Vespasian. Vespasian agreed in part due to the perception that the Pharisees had not participated in the first revolt to the extent that other groups had. Thus the Sanhedrin in Yavneh was comprised almost exclusively of pharisaic scholars. The imperial Roman government recognized the Sanhedrin. They regarded the head of the Sanhedrin as their own paid government official with the status of Prefect. Roman legislation severely reduced the scope of its authority, but confirmed the body's ultimate authority in religious matters. In an attempt to quash revolutionary elements, Rome in effect declared one form of Judaism to be the only recognized form of religion. This led to persecution of sectarian groups, and attempts by these groups to find fault with the Sanhedrin before the Roman government.
The tractate consists of six chapters. It begins with an order of transmission of the Oral Tradition; Moses receives the Torah at Mount Sinai and then transmits it through various generations (including Joshua, the Elders, and the Neviim, but notably not the Kohanim), whence it finally arrives at the Great Assembly, i.e., the Rabbis (Avot 1:1). It contains sayings attributed to sages from Simon the Just (200 BCE) to shortly after Judah haNasi (200 CE), redactor of the Mishnah. These aphorisms concern proper ethical and social conduct, as well as the importance of Torah study.
The first two chapters proceed in a general chronological order, with the second focusing on the students of Yochanan Ben Zakkai.