Ezra: The rebuilding of the Bais Hamikdash (Second Temple), Ezra’s
influence and legislation, the impact of the Great Assembly.
One of Jewry’s greatest disseminators of Torah, Ezra, the leader of Jewry in the initial years of the second Temple period, left an indelible mark on generations to come. Plagued with problems that are familiar to today’s Jewry, ignorance, assimilation, and intermarriage, the fledgling community of immigrants who had settled in Jerusalem and its environs and who had recently finished rebuilding the Temple, received new inspiration and guidance with the arrival of Ezra from Babylon. Armed with authority from the Persian king, Ezra vigorously instituted and enforced needed changes in the community, changes that are still in effect till this day. The story of Ezra and the changes he wrought in conjunction with the other leading authorities of his day, the Men of the Great Assembly (Anshei Knesses HaGedolah), are the subjects of the this lecture.
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