Lecture Series: The Dead Sea Scrolls and Second Temple History

Building Complex at Qumran

Beth Tfiloh Congregation in Baltimore is hosting a three-part lecture series with Prof. Lawrence Schiffman on the Dead Sea Scrolls and Second Temple History:

March 4: The Maccabees and the Dead Sea Scrolls

This lecture will trace the history of the Jews in Eretz Yisrael from the Maccabean Revolt through the Roman conquest of 63 BCE, showing how the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls reacted to the Maccabean victory and illustrating their opposition to the Hasmonean dynasty that followed.

March 11: The Dead Sea Scrolls and the History of Judaism

Because of their sectarian character, the Dead Sea Scrolls teach us much about the internal Jewish debates regarding law, theology, worship and messianism. This discussion will center on what valuable lessons we can learn from the Scrolls about the history of these important aspects of Jewish life and tradition.

March 25: Jerusalem and Rome: The View from Masada

Elements of the Jewish people revolted against Rome in 66-73 CE. We will trace the history of this period from the Roman conquest of 63 BCE through the fall of Masada in 73 CE. We will reflect on the impact of the failed revolt on the emergence of consensus around rabbinic… Continue reading


Second TempleThe late Second Temple period was an era of spiritual and religious ferment that manifested itself in a variety of Jewish groups. Each sect had its own approach to Jewish Law, religious and national identity, and social constructs. The competition among these groups eventually contributed to the Great Revolt against Rome (66-73 CE) and the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple. In the aftermath of the destruction, a consensus eventually emerged around rabbinic Judaism that would sustain the Jewish people for two millennia. Based on both textual sources and archaeological discoveries, this presentation reconstructs the nature and trajectory of this process and its testimony to the vitality of the Jewish tradition.

  B’nai Israel Congregation6301 Montrose RoadRockville, MD, 20852

See the website of Haberman Institute for Jewish Studies for more information.

Masada and its scrolls

Jews? What Jews?When Yigael Yadin began to excavate Masada in 1963, the possibility of finding ancient manuscripts was but a dream. But this dream would be fulfilled in just a few weeks, as excavators combed a room inside the casemate wall of the fortress. When the manuscripts were opened, Yadin realized that he had found a copy of a quasi-mystical text entitled “Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice” or “Angelic Liturgy,” copies of which had been found at Qumran but which still awaited publication.

This discovery led to the obvious question: how did Masada and the texts discovered there relate to the Dead Sea Scrolls found at Qumran?

Read the rest of this article at The Jerusalem Report.