Holy War Fails

Reuven Firestone

in Holy War in Judaism

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199860302
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950621 | DOI:
Holy War Fails

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With subsequent Roman domination and exploitation of Judea, Jewish leaders were divided over whether resistance should be through military means or otherwise. As is often the case in history, militant factions dominated and imposed their approach. Two great Jewish revolts in Late Antiquity were waged against Roman domination in a pattern not unlike the previously successful Maccabean wars against the Greeks. But not only did the uprising against the Romans fail to achieve their aim of independence, they resulted in the destruction of the beloved Jerusalem Temple, the deaths of tens of thousands of Jews, and the end of biblical Judaism. The result was catastrophic destruction which convinced the emerging rabbinic leadership that military valour should be discouraged and military action proscribed.

Keywords: Great Revolt; Bar Kokhba; Rabbi Akiba; Zealots; Jerusalem; Masada; Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai; Yavneh; Vespassian; Hadrian

Chapter.  10463 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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