Ungracious Hosts: The Story of Greek and Roman Oppression of Jews (323 BCE – 66 CE)

At the beginning of the Second Commonwealth Era the Jews were introduced to a reality that they were previously unexposed to; namely living in Israel under foreign rule. With relatively minor exceptions such as the successful Macabbean revolt in 67 BCE and the Bar Kochba Revolt in 132 CE, Israel will be thenceforth dominated by non Jewish entities until the founding of the modern State of Israel. This created unique challenges for the Jewish communities living in Israel at that time. They were at the mercy of their hosts, and no longer could they feel at home and have their rights to live and practice as a Jew guaranteed. Additionally, the spiritual effects of the exposure to these foreign influences began to permeate into the ideological and religious consciousness of the people. Jews abandoning their dedication to their religion became a trend. The offices of Jewish central authority became destabilized opening up room for spiritual dissent and spiritual descent. This is a story of Jewish resolve in the face of tremendous conflict.