Sadducees and Pharisees: The final victories over the Hellenists and the
rise of the Sadducees.
The struggle over the soul of the Jewish people lasted many years after the Chanukah miracle. Full control over Judea by the Maccabees was only achieved with great sacrifice. The defeated misyavnim, assimilated Jews, those who chose to remain in Judea, returned to the fold reluctantly, retaining much of their secular orientation, as they joined the ranks of the Sadducees, those who denied the veracity of the Torah SheBaal Peh, the Oral Law, the belief in an afterlife and Divine Providence. These Sadducees eventually influenced Yochanon Hyrcanus, the High Priest, the son of the last surviving son of Matisyahu, Shimon, to come over to their side. In the process, Yochanon killed out many of the Sadducees opponents, the Pharisees, the rabbinic scholars who believed and preserved the Oral Law. Yochanon’s conversion changed the nature of the Jewish state and set the tone for much of the future history of the Second Temple period. The details of the Maccabee’s struggle and final victory and the rise and influence of the Sadducees are the subjects of this lecture.
Click the Play button for an excerpt of this lecture
Click Here for a preview of the included handout (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)