Their Love For Tilling the Soil is Truly Great

Daily life in Palestine from the first through fifth centuries.

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Leadership

Another obscure matter is the extent of intervention of the central authorities in the daily life of the local community. All we know is that in Jerusalem the president of the San­hedrin (nasi) and his "government" proclaimed the calendar, sometimes sent a commission to investigate the quality of teaching in the towns, and occasionally appointed a teacher or a spiri­tual leader when a community requested such assistance. One important institution was still absent in the talmudic period: the "town rabbi," spiritual guide and pastor, respected by all and supported by public funds. This type of local leadership was to emerge only in later generations in diaspora communities.

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Isaiah Gafni is a Professor of Jewish History at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He specializes in the history of the Jewish people during the Second Temple period.