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244 DURA-EUROPOS SYNAGOGUE ( Syria)

An Aramaic inscription from this date makes it one of the oldest known synagogues in existence. The Dura synagogue is famous for his well preserved wall paintings. Of the 58 panels which have survived, most depict specific biblical scenes. It was abandoned after the Sassanid siege in 256.rnrn


247 JUDAH BEN EZEKIEL (Babylon)

Inaugurated the academy at Pumbedita where he focused study on practical daily laws. Two years prior to his death in 299, he headed both Babylonian academies (Sura and Pumbedita).


247 SAMUEL (Babylon)

Samuel became the acknowledged leader of the Jewish community in Babylon. A friend and colleague of Rav, he lived and taught in Nahardea where he was head of the academy. He was also an astronomer who composed a fixed calendar. He did not publish it, however, out of respect for the Patriarchate in Eretz Israel. In monetary and civil matters his rulings were accepted as binding. He also instructed Jews to adopt the laws of whichever land they dwelt in (Dina d'malchuta Dina), thus preparing them for survival in foreign environments. He served for only seven years.


249 CYPRIAN OF CARTHAGE

Became a Bishop. He then wrote a series of biblical proofs entitled Testimoniorum adversus Judaeos, (Testimony Against the Jews). This was basically a compendium of the church's teachings on Judaism. He was greatly influenced by Tertullian (see 198), insisting that the Jews have been forsaken by God because of their rejection of Jesus.




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