DID ANY RABBIS BECOME GLADIATORS?

December 29, 2015

 

So many of you when reading my books in the Miriam bat Isaac Mystery Series ask about Miriam’s brother Binyamin and whether Jews indeed became gladiators, even whether some rabbis became gladiators or vice versa.

 

The answer to both questions is yes. Apparently, it was common knowledge at the time that Jews became gladiators. Most sold themselves out of necessity and, in fact, were bought for large sums. The minority, however, were like Binyamin, volunteers eager to experience the thrill of the arena. But the most remarkable example is Rabbi Simeon ben Lakish (aka Resh Lakish), a gladiator who became a Torah scholar.

 

Legend has it that ben Lakish was a man of gigantic might who under the stress of unfavorable circumstances gave up the study of Torah to sell himself to a gladiator school. Then one day, Rabbi Johanan saw him swimming in the Jordan and was so impressed by his beauty and strength that he offered ben Lakish his sister in marriage if he would return to his studies. The deal was struck, and through his talent and diligence, ben Lakish came to be among the most incisive sages of his generation.

Please reload

Featured Posts

I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!

Please reload

Recent Posts

December 3, 2019

Please reload

Search By Tags

I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!

Please reload

Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square

© 2018 by June Trop

Designed by Len Ritchie