The Decline of the Messiah

  • Lionel Kochan


Probably the last attempt to construct a Jewish history in terms of rabbinic scholarship came from R. Yehiel Halperin of Minsk. His Seder Ha’Dorot (Order of the Generations, 1769) is precisely such a work. He saw himself in the same tradition as Zacuto and Ibn Yahya. Indeed, he castigated them for their defective pre- sentative of the Kabbalah, whilst giving qualified praise to Gans. The ignorance of his own generation appalled Halperin. He emphasised that ‘a knowledge of the generations’ will show who is the teacher and who the pupil — following the precedent established by Maimonides and Alfassi. cIn this way you will be able to understand how to correct many errors in the Talmud and you will find hundreds that need correction.’ Halperin undertook to cite ‘two great men who erred because of their defective knowledge of the sequence of the generations’.1


World History Jewish History Historical Writing Historical Framework Rabbinic Literature 
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Copyright information

© Lionel Kochan 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lionel Kochan
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WarwickUK

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