The Temple had been destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E. Jerusalem itself was totally destroyed by Romans in 135 under the emperor Hadrian and many of those not killed were sold into slavery or deported. The name “Judea” was changed to “Syria Palestina” and the name of Jerusalem was changed to “Aelia Capitolina”. A Jewish population nonetheless remained and apparently achieved some autonomy as a political entity under Roman rule in the following centuries.
What power did the Jewish patriarchs have under Rome that usually only a government has? What were the three most important offices? Why did some Jewish leaders want to revolt against the Patriarch according to the passage Horayot? What weapon did the rebels use against the Patriarch.
There was another center of Jewish autonomy that also had a supreme authority (Exilarch). Where was that? The passage “Gittin” illustrates the difference between rabbinic authorities and Jewish civil authorities. The rabbis did not always trust the purity of the kitchen of the civil authorities. Why did the blind Sage secretly wrap up meat in his scarf when eating at the Exilarch’s house? What is meant by the “portion which chokes the mother in law”? The Seder Olam Zuta recounts the only known instance in which Jews tried to revolt and set up their own independent State after the destruction of Jerusalem by Hadrian in 135 C.E. The story may be apocryphal, but it illustrates certain Jewish beliefs about the importance of food taboos. What country did the revolt take place in? What divine assistance did the Jews receive? Why did God remove the divine assistance?