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September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
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Q & A: ‘The Scepter Shall Not Depart From Judah’ – Redux (Part II)

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“After him [i.e., after Rabban Yochanan b. Zakai’s passing], Rabban Gamliel son of Rabbi Shimon b. Gamliel [the elder] who was executed [with the 10 martyrs – this Rabban Gamliel was his son] served as the Prince in Yavneh and R. Yehoshua served as av beit din. It happened that Rabban Gamliel humiliated R. Yehoshua on three different occasions; [thus] he was removed as prince and R. Elezer b. Azaryah, who was rich, was placed in his stead. R. Elezer was also a tenth generation from Ezra the Scribe. [One of the official functions of the Prince was to deliver the lecture in the academy every Sabbath, and as a result of his removal, Rabban Gamliel no longer would deliver that lecture.] Afterward they [sought to appease him and] restored Rabban Gamliel to his position, but they did not remove R. Elezer b. Azaryah; thus [they established a compromise:] Rabban Gamliel would lecture for two [consecutive] Sabbaths and R. Elezer b. Azaryah would lecture for one Sabbath, as the Gemara in perek Tefillat HaShachar (Berachot 28a) explains.”

(To be continued)

About the Author: Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.


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