Jochanan Ben-zachal

Jochanan Ben-Zachal, a Jewish rabbi of some note, and contemporary of the celebrated Gamaliel II, whom he succeeded in the patriarchal dignity, was born about B.C. 50. But little is known of his personal history. He is said to have been a decided peace man, and to have greatly discouraged any revolutionary efforts of his suffering countrymen. This may account for the esteem in which he was held at the court of Vespasian, who was always found ready to oblige his Jewish friend. Jochanan Ben-Zachai is regarded as the restorer of Jewish learning and scholastic habits after the destruction of the Temple, by the founding of a school at Jabneh, and a new sanhedrim, of which he was the first president, thus presenting to the unfortunate and dispersed race another center in place of the lately destroyed capital. How long he served his people at Jabneh is not well known; Grätz inclines to put it at about ten years (comp. Frankel, Monatsschrift [1852. p. 201 sq.]). He died about A.D. 70. For details, see Grätz, Gesch. der Juden, 4, ch. 1; Basnage, Hist. des Juifs, 5, 15 sq.; 9, 95 sq. (J.H.W.)

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