The Emperors and the Jews
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…The Emperors and the Jews is a most fascinating and informative read… It belongs in the home of every Jew interested in our tradition and history.
- Rabbi Berel Wein, Founder and Director of the Destiny Foundation
Jewish sources focus on the rare but pivotal interactions between great Jewish Sages and ancient emperors.
The reason is clear: some of life’s greatest lessons can be learned from these historical encounters.
This unique book draws on scores of famous and lesser-known Torah sources, as well as the works of Jewish and non-Jewish historians throughout the ages. For the first time, historian and storyteller Ari Lieberman has collected, analyzed, and explained these incredible encounters, and the result is a fascinating, inspirational page-turner.
Alexander the Great conquers the world, triumphant in battle after battle. Yet when he meets Shimon HaTzaddik, he jumps off his horse and bows down. Why?
Ptolemy’s translation of the Torah into Greek is celebrated by the Jews of Alexandria, but Chazal designate its completion as a tragedy commemorated within a fast day. Why?
Vespasian, astounded by Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai’s prediction that he would become emperor, appears ready to grant any wish, but Rabbi Yochanan “limits” his request to asking for Yavneh. Why?
Hadrian was so bad that we add the words “may his bones rot” to his name, yet Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chananya appears at home in his royal court. Why?
Marcus Aurelius leads Rome, the implacable enemy of the Jewish people. But when faced with political threats and personal crisis, he turns to Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi. Why?