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. Jamnia in Greek. Old Palestinian city on the Mediterranean coast between Jaffa and old Ashdod. At the time of the Second Temple, Yavneh was a well-populated, well-fortified city. During the Roman siege of Jerusalem, it is said that Rabbi Johanan Ben Zakkai escaped the city and made his way to the camp of the Roman general Vespasian. He told Vespasian that he would soon become Emperor of Rome, which indeed happened. After the fall of Jerusalem, Vespasian, in gratitude, granted Ben Zakkai’s request to let him gather a small community of sages and organize a school. The Sanhedrin was reestablished at Yavneh, and Ben Zakkai became its head. Yavneh remained the seat of scholarship and culture until the Bar Kokhba revolt in 132-135 C.E., when the Sanhedrin was disbanded, and many of the Jewish inhabitants of the city fled. In 1948, Yavneh was an Arab market-town known as Yebneh. In 1979, there was a religious kibbutz near the abandoned site of the old Yavneh. Recently the inhabitants of the kibbutz built a yeshiva, and the tradition of scholarship for which ancient Yavneh was famed is now carried on by modern settlers.

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