Parashat Va’era / Do Like the Frogs Do

The Talmudic discussion does not dissipate the doubts as to the nature of Todos’ status. Did the sages not excommunicate him because he was a learned Talmudic scholar – that is, a great individual – or because he was a powerful leader whom the sages feared?

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In the Talmudic period, Todos of Rome was one of the leaders of the Jewish community living in the capital of the Roman Empire. He is referred to in Tractate Pesachim of the Babylonian Talmud in connection...