Author Topic: Mikva’ot evidence, from rabbinic legal writings, which do not date before 70 CE  (Read 141 times)

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Online Rella

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Interesting.... and there is that 70 AD... they say CE dates.... hmmmmmm ::pondering:: After the temple destruction time period? Why?

The problem with identifying such pools as ritual baths is that the earliest literary evidence for mikva’ot comes from rabbinic legal writings, which do not date before 70 C.E., while the pools of the type described above emerge around 100 B.C.E. and then proliferate from the beginning of the Roman period, only to disappear shortly after the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132–135 C.E.).


1-Magdala-Photo-by-Aviad-Amitai-768x576" border="0


Offline DaveW

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Interesting.... and there is that 70 AD... they say CE dates.... hmmmmmm ::pondering:: After the temple destruction time period? Why?

The problem with identifying such pools as ritual baths is that the earliest literary evidence for mikva’ot comes from rabbinic legal writings, which do not date before 70 C.E., while the pools of the type described above emerge around 100 B.C.E. and then proliferate from the beginning of the Roman period, only to disappear shortly after the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132–135 C.E.).
To understand that you have to understand the reason that the Mishnah and Talmuds were written in the first place.

After Bar Kochba, most Jews were forcibly moved out of the province of Judea.  So much (including the teachings of the Rabbinic sages) from the entire 2nd Temple period, was transmitted orally.  The Jews got scattered thru out the Empire and in order to keep an understanding of life before the destruction of the temple, they started compiling the Mishnah. IT was published circa 200 CE. 

Since the Temple Mikvaot were additions to the 2nd Temple grounds, their use was a matter of oral tradition also.

Online Rella

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To understand that you have to understand the reason that the Mishnah and Talmuds were written in the first place.

After Bar Kochba, most Jews were forcibly moved out of the province of Judea.  So much (including the teachings of the Rabbinic sages) from the entire 2nd Temple period, was transmitted orally.  The Jews got scattered thru out the Empire and in order to keep an understanding of life before the destruction of the temple, they started compiling the Mishnah. IT was published circa 200 CE. 

Since the Temple Mikvaot were additions to the 2nd Temple grounds, their use was a matter of oral tradition also.

Thank you,

I am amazed at the construction ability of the pic I posted from the link.

They say this one was fed by ground water. While brilliantly logical to do that... albeit so cold... I just wondered how they managed the water situation as they were under construction.

Offline DaveW

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Thank you,
I am amazed at the construction ability of the pic I posted from the link.
They say this one was fed by ground water. While brilliantly logical to do that... albeit so cold... I just wondered how they managed the water situation as they were under construction.
One of the requirements for a mikvah was/is "mayim chaim;" or living water.  (sound familiar?)  That means water that is moving and can support life like fish and seaweed. Tapping into an underground stream would fit the bill.

And remember, the Romans were brilliant in their engineering of water ductwork.  It would have been easy for the Jews to borrow their tech.

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